Discover The 9 Largest Animals In Connecticut, and Where You’ll Find Them

Written by Hannah Ward
Published: September 14, 2022
© wildestanimal/
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Connecticut is a small state on the south coast of the United States and is uniquely located on the Long Island Sound. Connecticut has some diverse habitats – from its coastal regions to the Connecticut River Valley. There are hundreds of animals which call the state home both on the land and in the water – including bears, snakes, whales, and birds. But just how big can these animals get? Join us as we discover the largest animals in Connecticut, and where you’ll find them!

9. Timber Rattlesnake

Timber rattlesnaake coiled in a loop
Timber rattlesnakes averages about 5 feet.

©Frode Jacobsen/

There are two venomous snakes in Connecticut and the largest is the timber rattlesnake which reaches approximately 5 feet long. Timber rattlesnakes are yellowish brown and have dark brown or black crossband markings on their bodies. They usually prefer to live in forest regions, although pregnant females often reside on rocky outcrops which are known as “basking knolls”. Timber rattlesnakes are not widespread through Connecticut and only live in the Meshomasic State Forest and in the northwest region of Litchfield County. Although they are one of the most dangerous snakes in the entire US, timber rattlesnakes rarely strike unless they are threatened.

8. Asian Long-Horned Beetle

Asian long-horned beetle
Asian long-horned beetles are highly destructive to trees are are often classed as pests.

Beetles are some of the largest insects in Connecticut and the Asian long-horned beetle is an invasive pest which reaches around 1.5 inches long. Asian long-horned beetles are native to China and Korea but were first discovered in the US in 1996. As their name suggests, they have extremely long antennas which can be up to twice the length of their bodies. Asian long-horned beetles live in forests where they can be extremely destructive to trees. This is because they bore into the wood of living or freshly felled trees to feed on the wood and plant material, often with devastating consequences to the trees.

7. Moose

Tallest Animals: Alaskan Moose
The moose is one of the largest animals in Connecticut.

©Steve Bower/

One of the largest animals in Connecticut is undoubtedly the massive moose, which is the largest member of the deer family. Moose stand 4ft 7in to 6ft 11in at the shoulder and can weigh up to a maximum reported size of 1,800 pounds. These huge animals typically inhabit forests across North America. However, they are not widespread in Connecticut and the current population is estimated at only 100 individuals. These are the eastern moose subspecies which has slowly expanded its range into the state. As the numbers are so low, it is illegal to hunt or kill moose in Connecticut.

6. Sand Tiger Shark

A giant sand tiger shark swims in a cave.
Sand tiger sharks can grow up to 10 feet long.

©Stefan Pircher/

Although there has been a great white shark spotted in Connecticut waters, they do not regularly visit the area. Instead, one of the largest fish in Connecticut is the sand tiger shark which reaches approximately 10 feet long. Sand tiger sharks have a stocky body and a particularly pointy and flattened snout with a mouth that extends beyond their eyes. They often swim with their mouth open, displaying their many rows of sharp teeth which often gives them a reputation for being dangerous. However, they are not particularly aggressive and do not usually threaten humans. They are critically endangered, mainly because of their slow reproduction rate as they only produce two pups every two to three years. Although their numbers are low, one of the best places to see them in Connecticut is near Silver Sands State Park.

5. Magnificent Frigatebird

magnificent frigatebird ready for mating season
The male magnificent frigatebird is recognized for having the longest wingspan of any bird.

© Clark

Easily, the most stunning bird in Connecticut is the magnificent frigatebird found only in the state outside of the breeding season. Magnificent frigatebirds have slight bodies but a massive wingspan of 7 to 8 feet. Both males and females typically have black feathers and the females have a white neck and breast with brown on their wings. However, males have a scarlet throat pouch which inflates during the breeding season so that they can attract a mate. Magnificent frigatebirds are seabirds and nest along tropical and subtropical coastlines and prey on fish, squid, and crustaceans.

4. Eastern Rat Snake

Black Rat snake in Virginia's Caledon State Park. These are large, non-venomous snakes between 3.5 and 7 feet (one and two meters) long.
Eastern rat snakes are large, non-venomous snakes between 3.5 and 7 feet long.

©Realest Nature/

The longest snake in Connecticut is the eastern rat snake which regularly reaches 6 feet long, with some individuals reported to exceed 7 feet. Eastern rat snakes are non venomous constrictors which prey on a wide range of lizards, birds, rodents, and frogs. Their color can vary but most are black with white chins, lips, and throats. Their dorsal scales are keeled but for the most part they have a bright and shiny appearance. Eastern rat snakes are highly adaptable and live in a variety of habitats – including farmland, forests, and wetlands. In Connecticut, they inhabit the coastal regions and the southeastern hills – from New Haven to Rhode Island – and the southwestern hills to Litchfield County.

3. American White Pelican

American white pelican in Wisconsin
American white pelicans are distinguished for their long bill and incredible wingspan.

©Jerek Vaughn/

Easily one of the largest animals in Connecticut is the huge American white pelican, which has a massive 9 foot wingspan. These birds are easily distinguished by their bright white plumage and long, flat bill. American white pelicans live near lakes and coastlines and typically visit Connecticut during the winter months. They nest in large colonies which can consist of as many as 5,000 breeding pairs. Nests are simply shallow depressions on the ground which are lined with twigs. Both parents incubate the eggs and care for the subsequent chicks.

2. Bluefin Tuna

Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus thynnus) underwater
Bluefin tuna are very massive.

©jurgal photographer/

One of the most stunning and powerful fish in the waters around Connecticut is the massive bluefin tuna. They can reach approximately 14 feet long and weigh as much as 2,000 pounds. These massive fish have torpedo-shaped bodies and are dark blue on their upper sides and silvery grey on their lower sides. Blue fin tuna reach an incredible speed of 50 mph – something which makes them particularly sought after by sport fishermen. They have few natural predators and they themselves prey on a wide range of fish, octopus, and crabs. Bluefin tuna are native to the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea and can regularly be found in the water around Connecticut.

1. Sperm Whale

Sperm Whale Teeth - Sperm Whale in Ocean
The sperm whale is Connecticut’s state animal.


The largest animal in Connecticut is the huge sperm whale. Sperm whales are the largest of all of the toothed whales. They can reach an immense 59 feet long, with males being larger than females. Sperm whales are some of the deepest diving animals in the world and can reach depths of up to 7,380 feet deep. They are found in most oceans around the world. However, although they are the Connecticut state animal, they are actually now extremely rare in the state, given their status as a vulnerable species. Sperm whales are fascinating animals and live in large matriarchal pods. They have few natural predators, with orcas being the only real threat to young, ill, or injured sperm whales.

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The Featured Image

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A Sperm whale in the Indian Ocean, Mauritius. Sperm whales are the largest of all toothed whales and can grow to a maximum length of 52 feet (15.8 m) and weight of 90,000 pounds (40 metric tons).
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About the Author

I have been writing professionally for several years with a focus on animals and wildlife. I love spending time in the outdoors and when not writing I can be found on the farm surrounded by horses, dogs, sheep, and pigs.

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