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sea shells

Animal Species

Looking to meet the locals? Many of the animal species found in South Texas are indigenous to the area while others visit at certain times of the year, making the area a hot spot for nature tourism.

The following content and links are courtesy of Texas Parks and Wildlife.

Amphibians | Birds | Fish | Invertebrates | Mammals | Plants | Reptiles

Amphibians typically are "cold-blooded" vertebrates which change from an aquatic, water-breathing, limbless larva (or tadpole) to a terrestrial or partially terrestrial, air-breathing, four-legged adult. This group includes: frogs and toads, salamanders and newts, and caecilians (limbless amphibians). Learn more about amphibians.

Birds are warm-blooded, air-breathing vertebrates. Their body is covered with feathers. Birds have beaks, wings and scale covered legs. All birds lay eggs that are covered with a calcium carbonate shell.

  1. American Avocet (Recurvirostra americana)
  2. American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)
  3. American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus)
  4. American Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus anatum)
  5. Arctic Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus tundrius)
  6. Attwater's Prairie Chicken (Tympanuchus cupido attwateri)
  7. Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
  8. Black-capped Vireo (Vireo atricapilla)
  9. Black-chinned Hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri)
  10. Black-crowned Night-heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)
  11. Black-necked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus)
  12. Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)
  13. Buff-bellied Hummingbird (Amazilia yucatanensis)
  14. Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)
  15. Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia)
  16. Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica)
  17. Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)
  18. Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis)
  19. Eastern Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis)
  20. Eastern Screech-Owl (Megascops asio)
  21. Elf Owl (Micrathene whitneyi)
  22. Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis)
  23. Golden-cheeked Warbler (Dendroica chrysoparia)
  24. Inca Dove (Columbina inca)
  25. Interior Least Tern (Sterna antillarum athalassos)
  26. Long-billed Curlew (Numenius americanus)
  27. Mexican Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis lucida)
  28. Mississippi Kite (Ictinia mississippiensis)
  29. Muscovy Duck (Cairina moschata)
  30. Northern Aplomado Falcon (Falco femoralis)
  31. Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)
  32. Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)
  33. Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus)
  34. Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)
  35. Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris)
  36. Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)
  37. Pine Warbler (Dendroica pinus)
  38. Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus)
  39. Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)
  40. Red-cockaded Woodpecker (Picoides borealis)
  41. Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)
  42. Reddish Egret (Egretta rufescens)
  43. Rock Pigeon (Columba livia)
  44. Roseate Spoonbill (Platalea ajaja)
  45. Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)
  46. Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (Tyrannus forficatus)
  47. Swainson's Hawk (Buteo swainsoni)
  48. White-faced Ibis (Plegadis chihi)
  49. Whooping Crane (Grus americana)
  50. Yellow-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus)

Fish are scaled, "cold-blooded" vertebrates found in water environments. They fall into three main groups: agnatha or jawless fish, chondrichthyes or cartilaginous fish and osteichthyes or bony fish. Most fish lay eggs, though a few species give birth to live young. This group includes: Agnatha - lampreys and hagfish, Chondrichthyes - sharks, skates and rays, and Osteichthyes - all other fish.

  1. Alligator Gar (Atractosteus spatula)
  2. American Eel (Anguilla rostrata)
  3. Atlantic Croaker (Micropogonias undulatus)
  4. Atlantic Cutlassfish (Trichiurus lepturus)
  5. Black Crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus)
  6. Black Drum (Pogonias cromis)
  7. Blue Catfish (Ictalurus furcatus)
  8. Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus)
  9. Channel Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus)
  10. Cobia (Rachycentron canadum)
  11. Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio)
  12. Common Snook (Centropomus undecimalis)
  13. Crevalle Jack (Caranx hippos)
  14. Fathead Minnow (Pimephales promelas)
  15. Flathead Catfish (Pylodictis olivaris)
  16. Florida Pompano (Trachinotus carolinus)
  17. Gafftopsail Catfish (Bagre marinus)
  18. Gizzard Shad (Dorosoma cepedianum)
  19. Grass Carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella)
  20. Greater Amberjack (Seriola dumerili)
  21. Green Sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus)
  22. Guadalupe Bass (Micropterus treculii)
  23. Hardhead Catfish (Arius felis)
  24. Lane Snapper (Lutjanus synagris)
  25. Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides)
  26. Longear Sunfish (Lepomis megalotis)
  27. Longnose Gar (Lepisosteus osseus)
  28. Pigfish (Orthopristis chrysoptera)
  29. Pinfish (Lagodon rhomboides)
  30. Red Drum (Sciaenops ocellatus)
  31. Red Snapper (Lutjanus campechanus)
  32. Redbreast Sunfish (Lepomis auritus)
  33. Redear Sunfish (Lepomis microlophus)
  34. Sheepshead (Archosargus probatocephalus)
  35. Sheepshead Minnow (Cyprinodon variegatus)
  36. Shortnose Gar (Lepisosteus platostomus)
  37. Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieu)
  38. Southern Flounder (Paralichthys lethostigma)
  39. Spotted Bass (Micropterus punctulatus)
  40. Spotted Gar (Lepisosteus oculatus)
  41. Spotted Seatrout (Cynoscion nebulosus)
  42. Striped Bass (Morone saxatilis)
  43. Striped Mullet (Mugil cephalus)
  44. Tarpon (Megalops atlanticus)
  45. Threadfin Shad (Dorosoma petenense)
  46. Tripletail (Lobotes surinamensis)
  47. Vermilion Snapper (Rhomboplites aurorubens)
  48. Warmouth (Lepomis gulosus)
  49. White Bass (Morone chrysops)
  50. White Crappie (Pomoxis annularis)
  51. Yellow Bass (Morone mississippiensis)
  52. Yellow Bullhead (Ameiurus natalis)

Invertebrates are "cold-blooded" animals with no backbone. They may live on land or in water, and may be covered by a shell or exoskeleton.

  1. Atlantic Bay Scallop (Argopecten irradians amplicostatus)
  2. Blue Crab (Callinectes sapidus)
  3. Common Green Darner (Anax junius)
  4. Eastern Oyster (Crassostrea virginica)
  5. Fiddler Crab (Uca rapax)
  6. Giant Floater (Anodonta grandis)
  7. Hellgrammite (Dobsonfly Larvae) (Corydalus cornutus)
  8. Lightning Whelk (Busycon perversum pulleyi)
  9. Monarch (Danaus plexippus)
  10. Stone Crab (Menippe mercenaria)

Mammals are warm-blooded air-breathing vertebrates. Their body is covered with hair. All mammals feed their young milk. Most mammals give birth to miniature versions of themselves. This group includes: Monotremes - duckbilled platypus, echidnas, Marsupials - opossums, kangaroos, and Placentals - most other mammals. For more information and additional species, see The Mammals of Texas.

  1. Atlantic Spotted Dolphin (Stenella frontalis)
  2. Badger (Taxidea taxus)
  3. Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus)
  4. Big Free-tailed Bat (Nyctinomops macrotis)
  5. Black-tailed Jackrabbit (Lepus californicus)
  6. Black-tailed Prairie Dog (Cynomys ludovicianus)
  7. Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus)
  8. Bobcat (Lynx rufus)
  9. Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)
  10. Brazilian Free-tailed Bat (Tadarida brasiliensis)
  11. California Myotis (Myotis californicus)
  12. Cave Myotis (Myotis velifer)
  13. Common Raccoon (Procyon lotor)
  14. Coues' Rice Rat (Oryzomys couesi)
  15. Coyote (Canis latrans)
  16. Cuvier's Beaked Whale (Ziphius cavirostris)
  17. Desert Cottontail (Sylvilagus audubonii)
  18. Dwarf Sperm Whale (Kogia simus)
  19. Eastern Fox Squirrel (Sciurus niger)
  20. Eastern Red Bat (Lasiurus borealis)
  21. Evening Bat (Nycticeius humeralis)
  22. False Killer Whale (Pseudorca crassidens)
  23. Fin Whale (Balaenoptera physalus)
  24. Gervais' Beaked Whale (Mesoplodon europaeus)
  25. Ghost-faced Bat (Mormoops megalophylla)
  26. Jaguarundi (Herpailurus yaguarondi)
  27. Killer Whale (Orcinus orca)
  28. Mexican Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus mexicanus)
  29. Mexican Long-nosed Bat (Leptonycteris nivalis)
  30. Mexican Long-tongued Bat (Choeronycteris mexicana)
  31. Mountain Lion (Puma concolor)
  32. Nine-banded Armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus)
  33. Northern Right Whale (Eubalaena glacialis)
  34. Northern Yellow Bat (Lasiurus intermedius)
  35. Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis)
  36. Pallid Bat (Antrozous pallidus)
  37. Piñon Mouse (Peromyscus truei)
  38. Pocketed Free-tailed Bat (Nyctinomops femorosacca)
  39. Pygmy Killer Whale (Feresa attenuata)
  40. Pygmy Sperm Whale (Kogia breviceps)
  41. Rafinesque's Big-eared Bat (Corynorhinus rafinesquii)
  42. Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus)
  43. River Otter (Lutra canadensis)
  44. Rough-toothed Dolphin (Steno bredanensis)
  45. Short-finned Pilot Whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus)
  46. Silver-haired Bat (Lasionycteris noctivagans)
  47. Southern Yellow Bat (Lasiurus ega)
  48. Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus)
  49. Spotted Bat (Euderma maculatum)
  50. Striped Skunk (Mephitis mephitis)
  51. Swift Fox (Vulpes velox)
  52. Texas Kangaroo Rat (Dipodomys elator)
  53. Townsend's Big-eared Bat (Plecotus townsendii)
  54. Virginia Opossum (Didelphis virginiana)
  55. West Indian Manatee (Trichechus manatus)
  56. Western Mastiff Bat (Eumops perotis)

Plants are multicellular, nonmobile, photosynthesizing organisms adapted to live on land. They consist of leave and/or stems that capture the sun's energy and an underground root system. This group includes: moss and liverworts, ferns, conifers, and flowering plants.

  1. American Chaffseed (Schwalbea americana)
  2. Ashy Dogweed (Thymophylla tephroleuca)
  3. Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum)
  4. Black Lace Cactus (Echinocereus reichenbachii var. albertii)
  5. Bunched Cory Cactus (Coryphantha ramillosa subsp. ramillosa)
  6. Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
  7. Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)
  8. Chisos Mountains Hedgehog Cactus (Echinocereus chisoensis var. chisoensis)
  9. Davis' Green Pitaya (Echinocereus davisii)
  10. Earth Fruit (Geocarpon minimum)
  11. Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida)
  12. Hinckley's Oak (Quercus hinckleyi)
  13. Johnston's Frankenia (Frankenia johnstonii)
  14. Large-fruited Sand-verbena (Abronia macrocarpa)
  15. Little Aguja Pondweed (Potamogeton clystocarpus)
  16. Lloyd's Mariposa Cactus (Sclerocactus mariposensis)
  17. Maximilian Sunflower (Helianthus maximiliani)
  18. Navasota Ladies'-tresses (Spiranthes parksii)
  19. Nellie's Cory Cactus (Escobaria minima)
  20. Slender Rush-pea (Hoffmannseggia tenella)
  21. Sneed's Pincushion Cactus (Escobaria sneedii var. sneedii)
  22. South Texas Ambrosia (Ambrosia cheiranthifolia)
  23. Star Cactus (Astrophytum asterias)
  24. Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua)
  25. Terlingua Creek Cat's-eye (Cryptantha crassipes)
  26. Texas Ayenia (Ayenia limitaris)
  27. Texas Poppy-mallow (Callirhoe scabriuscula)
  28. Texas Prairie Dawn (Hymenoxys texana)
  29. Texas Snowbells (Styrax platanifolius subsp. texanus)
  30. Texas Trailing Phlox (Phlox nivalis subsp. texensis)
  31. Texas Wild-rice (Zizania texana)
  32. Tobusch Fishhook Cactus (Sclerocactus brevihamatus subsp. tobuschii)
  33. Walker's Manioc (Manihot walkerae)
  34. White Bladderpod (Physaria pallida)

Reptiles are "cold-blooded" air-breathing vertebrates. A tough leathery skin that has embedded scales covers their body. Most reptiles lay eggs, though some give birth to fully-formed young. This group includes crocodiles, alligators, turtles, snakes, lizards, and tuatara.

  1. American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)
  2. Black-striped Snake (Coniophanes imperialis)
  3. Brazos Water Snake (Nerodia harteri)
  4. Bullsnake (Pituophis catinefer sayi)
  5. Concho Water Snake (Nerodia pau
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