Though green isn’t such an unusual color in the animal world, beautiful green animals are a bit rare and exotic. A lot of them, for example, are toads, and others are insects that have little going for them besides their green color. The one mammal that can be said to be green, the southern three-toed sloth of South America, is also ugly. Besides, the green in its fur comes not from natural pigment but from the algae that live there. Fortunately, there are enough beautiful green animals to fill this list. Here are 10 of them:
10. Emerald Tree Boa
This beautiful snake gets its name from the brilliant green of its scales. Its entire body is green with white and yellow markings that create a lovely contrast. Its coloration helps to hide it from prey such as birds and rodents and its one serious predator, the Guianan crested eagle. The emerald tree boa is native to northern South America. It isn’t that big for a snake at 5 to 6.5 feet, but its lithe body and prehensile tail make it an excellent climber of trees. Interestingly, baby emerald tree boas are often born in a range of colors, but they turn the usual green by the time they’re a year old.
Go here to learn more about snakes.
9. Red-Eyed Tree Frog
Though most anurans, even colorful ones are unfortunate when it comes to looks, the red-eyed tree frog is an exception. It has bulging blood-red eyes that contrast beautifully with its grass-green body. It also has areas of blue on its thighs and blue and yellow stripes along its sides that can only be seen when the frog jumps. The pads of its toes are yellow. The frog is interesting in that it is completely terrestrial, though, like most amphibians, it needs to stay near water. The female, who’s larger than the male, lays her eggs on leaves overhanging a body of water. The red-eyed tree frog is a little animal of 1.5 to 2.25 inches in length and is native to the forests of Central America.
Go here for more information about tree frogs.
8. Luna Moth
This big silk moth has huge, gorgeous wings of the palest green. The wingspan ranges between 3 to 4.25 inches, and the hindwings have long tails. Both pairs of wings have eyespots, and the moth’s body is robust and furry. You can tell a male because his antennae look like feathers.
The luna moth is active at night, and its only purpose is to make more luna moths. Because of that, it doesn’t eat and only lives a week. During that week, it must find a mate and reproduce. The female lays her eggs on the leaves of trees such as persimmon and birch over a few days, then dies.
Read here to learn more about the luna moth.
7. Green Mambas
Yes, green mambas are some of the most venomous snakes on earth, but their sleek, green bodies make them some of the most beautiful beasts. Africa has three species of green mamba, the eastern, the western, and Jameson’s. All of them live in the trees and despite the lethality of their venom, are shy creatures.
Jameson’s mamba, with is found in equatorial Africa, can grow to over 7 feet and has upper scales of a dull green dramatically edged with black. It eats mostly small mammals and birds and has two subspecies. The subspecies Dendroaspis jamesoni kaimosae is considered the most lethal.
The eastern green mamba is a bit shorter than Jameson’s mamba and lives along the coast of East Africa. It is a thin snake and is brilliant green above and yellowish-green below. An ambush predator, it waits for prey to mozy by then strikes. Its venom makes short work of any small animal. The snake waits a few minutes for it to become immobile or to die, then swallows it whole.
The western green mamba is found in west Africa. It can grow even larger than the other two species, and some snakes have reached 8 feet in length. The head of this snake has a sort of ridge above the eyes, and it can flatten its neck into something like a cobra’s hood when it’s angry.
Read this to learn more about mambas.
6. Amazon Parrots
Most of these beautiful birds are mostly green, with areas of brilliant reds, blues, and yellows. These parents are medium-sized, about 10 to 18 inches long, and have short tails. They are found in the Caribbean, west to Mexico, and south into Central and South America. Some of them have escaped forming feral flocks in South Africa, Europe, and Florida. Many are threatened by habitat destruction and the illegal pet trade. Some outstanding examples of these beautiful birds are:
- Black-billed amazon. This parrot is almost completely green save some spots of red on their wings and sometimes on the head.
- Red-spectacled amazon. This parrot is also mostly green save some red around the eyes, the forehead and the lores, which is the space between the eyes and the upper part of the beak.
- Red-necked amazon. The bright green of these birds is joined by areas of blue on the face and the forehead and white around the eyes. Some have a bit of red on the throat.
Go here to learn more about Amazon parrots.
5. Glorious Scarab
This green beetle is one of the jewel scarabs, named because their carapaces glow like gems or precious metal. In the case of this scarab, it is the deep green of a type of jade, and the elytra, which are the hard wings that cover and protect the wings beneath, are striped with silver. The iridescent colors are caused by the way light strikes the structures made up of molecules of chitin, the material that makes up the carapaces of most bugs.
To learn more about beetles, go here.
4. Wellington Green Gecko
This exotic little gecko is endemic to New Zealand’s North Island, where it is wonderfully camouflaged among the trees. There, it preys on flies and moths. It not only has a green body with rows of white dots, but the inside of its mouth is blue. It uses that flash of blue to startle would-be predators, and it also barks.
The Wellington gecko’s snout to vent length can be 2.95 to 3.74 inches, and its tail is longer than this. It’s also an amazingly long-lived reptile and can live as long as 45 years. Its Maori name is Moko kakariki.
Go here to learn more about geckos.
3. Undulate Triggerfish
The compressed green body of this tropical fish is crossed with contrasting orange lines that start right behind its head and slant down the rest of the body. When it’s resting, the green ground color darkens. Like all triggerfish, it has a tiny mouth with powerful teeth and gets its name because of the spines in the dorsal fin, the first of which can be sprung like the blade of a jackknife from a furrow in the fish’s back. In the wild, it eats anything it can tackle, including sea urchins, mussels, bits of coral, and algae. It will even take bites out of passing fish.
This beautiful triggerfish is often kept as a pet, but it is so aggressive that it must be kept by itself in a large tank. It will attack any other living thing in its vicinity.
2. Sheep Leaf Sea Slug
These tiny, glowing sea slugs look like plants, but they’re really animals. Only 0.2 to 0.39 inches long, they have tiny eyes and rhinophores on their heads that some people claim look like sheep’s ears, hence the animal’s name. The rhinophores help the sea slug find food by picking up chemical signals. Another thing to know about these exotic beasts is that they’re one of the few animals that photosynthesize. This is because they eat algae and use the chloroplasts in the algae to obtain energy from the sun. It’s also why they’re green. Sheep leaf sea slugs also have cerata which are green, resemble leaves, and bear red or pink spots. This sea slug is found in the waters off Japan, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
Go here to learn more about sea slugs.
1. Green Peacock
Of course, this colorful creature must muscle its way to the top of any list of beautiful green animals. One of our most beautiful birds, the green peacock, Pavo muticus is endangered due to the loss of its tropical forest habitat in Southeast Asia. It’s different from the more blue Indian peafowl because both sexes have those long coverts, though only the male’s coverts have the famous eyespots. He only keeps his long train during the breeding season, and when that’s done it is hard to tell him from the females.
The peacock’s breast and neck are glittering green and resemble sequins. The male’s lesser coverts are also green and make a triangle on its shoulders when the bird is resting. Green peacocks can be huge birds, and the male with his coverts can be almost 10 feet long. Despite that long train, the peacock is a strong flyer.
Read this to learn more about the peacock.
Our research shows that the 10 Beautiful Green Animals are:
- Green Peacock
- Sheep Leaf Sea Slug
- Undulate Triggerfish
- Wellington Green Gecko
- Glorious Scarab
- Amazon Parrots
- Green Mambas
- Luna Moth
- Red-Eyed Tree Frog
- Emerald Tree Boa