30 fascinating red animals that you need to know about

30 fascinating red animals that you need to know about

Nature has several colours, red being one of the most striking and adorable shades. When it comes to the animal kingdom, several red species are not only captivating but also surprising. Red animals range from small insects to large beautiful birds, and they use their colours for different purposes, including defence and wooing mates.

Red animals; (L to R) scarlet macaw, red sea urchin, and red-eyed tree frog
Scarlet macaw (L), red sea urchin (C), and red-eyed tree frog (R). Photo: Dave G. Houser, Naturediver, Jeff R. Clow (modified by author)
Source: Getty Images

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Nature’s diversity is seen in its different colours. There are various colours of animals, but the red ones are particularly striking and attract the most attention. They are birds, insects, fish, and other species of large animals. While some are cute, others are bizarre, making you marvel at nature.

30 fascinating red animals in nature

Which animal is red in colour? Numerous red animals live on land and sea. The diversity is surprising. While some are wholly red, others have outstanding red patches on their bodies.

1. Red-bellied snake

A red-bellied snake on stone pellets
Red-bellied snake are small woodland species ranging from 4 inches to 10 inches with distinct red belly. Photo: Jono Searle
Source: Getty Images
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Reptilia
  • Order: Squamata
  • Family: Colubridae
  • Genus: Storeria

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Red-bellied snakes are small woodland species ranging from 4 inches to 10 inches. Their dorsal colours vary from grey to orange, brown, and black, with a light brown ring behind the head. The snake's bright red underbelly differentiates it from other species.

2. Red Fox

A red fox on a foot path
The red fox is the largest fox species. Photo: Wolfgang Kaehler
Source: Getty Images
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Carnivora
  • Family: Canidae
  • Genus: Vulpes

The red fox is the largest fox species. It is closely related to and resembles other animals in the family Canidae, such as wolves, jackals, and coyotes. The red fox is distinguished by its rusty, reddish fur, pointed ears and snout, and a long, bushy tail almost touching the ground.

3. Scarlet Macaw

Scarlet macaw
The scarlet macaw is one of the largest parrot species. Photo: Ezequiel Becerra
Source: Getty Images
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Psittaciformes
  • Family: Psittacidae
  • Genus: Ara

The Scarlet Macaw is one of the largest parrot species and can grow up to 32 inches. Its feathers vary in colour, with light blue, yellow, dark red, and sometimes green combinations. It is mainly found in hot, humid forests and makes loud noises characterised by throaty squawks that can reach many kilometres away.

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4. Red Panda

A red panda on a tree branch
The red panda is sometimes referred to as the lesser panda. Photo: Picture Alliance
Source: Getty Images
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Carnivora
  • Family: Ailuridae
  • Genus: Ailurus

Red Panda is one of the cute red animals. Due to its relatively small size compared to a giant panda, it is sometimes referred to as a lesser panda. This bamboo eater mainly inhabits coniferous forests and temperate broadleaf and mixed forests. It is called a red panda due to its red coat, which may have small orange-brown sections.

5. Northern Cardinal

Northern cardinal
The red cardinal is the official state bird for many states, including Ohio, Indiana, and North Carolina. Photo: Tracy Wilcox
Source: Getty Images
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Cardinalidae
  • Genus: Cardinalis

The northern cardinal is also called the red cardinal. The males are conspicuous with their red crest, and the females are a bit dull and can grow up to 9 inches. The northern cardinal is the official state bird of at least seven eastern states, including Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio, and Kentucky.

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6. Red-Eyed Tree Frog

The red-eyed tree frog on a twig
The red-eyed tree frog is carnivorous and feeds on crickets, flies, grasshoppers, and moths. Photo: VW Pics
Source: Getty Images
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Amphibia
  • Order: Anura
  • Family: Hylidae
  • Genus: Agalychnis

It is called red-eyed due to its big, bulging red eyes. The frog’s body is green, and when it closes its eyes, its green eyelids perfectly blend with the leafy environment. It is a carnivorous frog that feeds on crickets, flies, grasshoppers, and moths.

7. Tomato Frog

Tomato frog
The tomato frog has bright, reddish-orange skin colouration, almost like a tomato. Photo: DEA / DANI-JESKE
Source: Getty Images
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Amphibia
  • Order: Anura
  • Family: Microhylidae
  • Genus: Dyscophus

The tomato frog’s name was derived from its bright, reddish-orange skin colouration. However, male frogs are less colourful than females, and their bellies are usually white. This frog species can be found almost anywhere and feeds on insects, insect larvae, and worms.

8. Red Velvet Ant

Red velvet ant
The red velvet ant is also known as a cow killer because of its potent sting. Photo: @PestWorld on Facebook
Source: UGC
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Hymenoptera
  • Family: Mutillidae
  • Genus: Dasymutilla

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Red velvet ants are also known as cow killers and can be easily mistaken for ants but are wasps. They are known for their potent sting, believed to kill a cow, hence the name. The wasp species are generally black, with black sections on the abdomen, thorax, and head.

9. Red Squirrel

Red squirrel
The red squirrel's coat varies depending on the period and location. Photo: Nur Photo
Source: Getty Images
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Rodentia
  • Family: Sciuridae
  • Genus: Sciurus

This tree squirrel is usually found in parts of Europe and Asia. The coat of the red squirrel varies depending on the period and location, and it could be black or red. Its distinguished long tail helps it balance and steer as it moves from tree to tree.

10. Red Sea Urchin

Red sea urchin
The red sea urchin is the largest sea urchin. Photo: XAVIER LEOTY
Source: Getty Images
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Echinodermata
  • Class: Echinoidea
  • Order: Camarodonta
  • Family: Strongylocentrotidae
  • Genus: Mesocentrotus

The red sea urchin is a marine animal with a bright red, spiny body. It feeds on seaweed and algae swept by waves to the shores. It is the largest sea urchin, with a skeletal diameter of about 18 centimetres and a spine length of 8 centimetres.

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11. Red Slug

Red slug
The red slug is red but may sometimes be orange, yellowish, brown, or greyish. Photo: Paul Starosta
Source: Getty Images
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Mollusca
  • Class: Gastropoda
  • Order: Stylommatophora
  • Family: Arionidae
  • Genus: Arion

It is sometimes called the large red slug and chocolate arion and has a distinct red hue. The red slung is one of the largest species in the genus Arion and can extend up to 150 millimetres. Generally, its body colour is red but may sometimes be orange, yellowish, brown, or greyish.

12. Red-Crowned Crane

Red-crowned crane
The red-crowned crane has a red skin patch on its crown. Photo: Jeremy Woodhouse
Source: Getty Images
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Gruiformes
  • Family: Gruidae
  • Genus: Grus

The bird’s name comes from a red skin patch on its crown. Sometimes, the red colour intensifies during mating periods. However, a significant part of their body is white, with a black tail, neck, and legs. The red-crowned cranes are omnivorous, feeding on both plant and animal matter.

13. Red-Lipped Batfish

Red-lipped batfish
The red-lipped batfish is a fish species that is quite weird, with bright red lips. Photo: Brandi Mueller
Source: Getty Images
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Actinopterygii
  • Order: Lophiiformes
  • Family: Ogcocephalidae
  • Genus: Ogcocephalus

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This weird fish species has bright red lips. It is mostly found in the Galapagos Islands. The fish is generally light brown or greyish with a white underbelly. It grows to a maximum length of 16 inches. Red-lipped batfish eat small fish and invertebrates, including shrimp, crabs, and worms.

14. Red-Bellied Piranha

Red-bellied piranha
The red-bellied piranha is found in South American rivers. Photo: Hillary Kladke
Source: Getty Images
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Actinopterygii
  • Order: Characiformes
  • Family: Characidae
  • Genus: Pygocentrus

The red-bellied piranha is among the most dangerous red animals in water. It is most often found in South American rivers. The fish has a red belly and sharp teeth and can reach up to 8 pounds. It is ferocious and is responsible for most piranha attacks on humans.

15. Red-Winged Blackbird

Red-winged blackbird
The red-winged blackbird has red or yellow patches on its shoulders. Photo: Philip Chin
Source: Getty Images
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Icteridae
  • Genus: Agelaius

This is one of the most beautiful red animals. It is a bird found in North America. It has red or yellow patches on its shoulders, and the males have a pale yellow wingbar, visible when they are at rest.

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16. Western Red Colobus

Western red colobus
The western red colobus is also known as the bay red colobus, rust red colobus, or Upper Guinea red colobus. Photo: Frans Sellies
Source: Getty Images
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Primates
  • Family: Cercopithecidae
  • Genus: Piliocolobus

The western red colobus is also known as the bay red colobus, rust red colobus, or Upper Guinea red colobus. It can grow to a maximum weight of 42 pounds and has a red or chestnut brown head and limbs.

17. Red-Spotted Purple Butterfly

Red-spotted purple butterfly
The red-spotted purple butterfly is mostly found in woodland areas in North America. Photo: Durrell Gulin
Source: Getty Images
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Lepidoptera
  • Family: Nymphalidae
  • Genus: Limenitis

This stunning butterfly species is mostly found in woodland areas in North America. It has red spots on the edges of both of its wings.

18. Red Knot

Red knot
The red knot is the second largest Calidris sandpiper.
Source: Getty Images
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Charadriiformes
  • Family: Scolopacidae
  • Genus: Calidris

The red knot is a bird species that is the second largest Calidris sandpiper. They moult into a rich reddish breeding plumage in February and March, hence their name, red knot.

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19. Red Grouper

Red grouper
The red grouper has a robust body with tiny scales. Photo: Domrowski
Source: Getty Images
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Actinopterygii
  • Order: Perciformes
  • Family: Serranidae
  • Genus: Epinephelus

The red grouper is a fish species with robust bodies with tiny scales. Their head and body are reddish brown with white spots on the sides and black spots on the cheeks.

20. Red Salamander

Red salamander
The red salamander has with purplish brown or crimson red bodies. Photo: Jasius
Source: Getty Images
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Amphibia
  • Order: Urodela
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Genus: Pseudotriton

Red salamanders are amphibians with purplish brown or crimson red bodies. They also have dark spots on their backs and swift tongues that can capture prey within milliseconds.

21. Red Milkweed Beetle

Red milkweed beetle
The red milkweed beetle has reddish-orange beetles with black spots. Photo: Dantesattic
Source: Getty Images
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Coleoptera
  • Family: Cerambycidae
  • Genus: Tetraopes

Red milkweed beetles are reddish-orange beetles with black spots on their cover and head. They have long black legs and antennae with two pairs of eyes.

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22. Red Palm Weevil

Red palm weevil
The red palm weevil has a distinct snout-like protrusion on its mouth. Photo: Jasius
Source: Getty Images
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Coleoptera
  • Family: Curculionidae
  • Genus: Rhynchophorus

The red palm weevils are similar to red milkweed beetles. They have a reddish-brown cover with black spots and a snout-like protrusion on their mouths.

23. Redback Spider

Redback spider
The redback spider is also known as the Australian black widow. Photo: Jenny Dettrick
Source: Getty Images
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Arachnida
  • Order: Araneae
  • Family: Theridiidae
  • Genus: Latrodectus

This spider species is also known as the Australian black widow. Its body is generally but has a distinct reddish-orange stripe on its abdomen. The spider is highly venomous.

24. Red-Wattled Lapwing

Red-wattled lapwing
The red-wattled lawing has a red fleshy wattle and a black-tipped red bill in front of each eye. Photo: Sumit
Source: Getty Images
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Charadriiformes
  • Family: Charadriidae
  • Genus: Vanellus

Red-wattled lapwing is a large wader bird about 14 inches long. It has a red fleshy wattle in front of each eye and a black-tipped red bill. The lapwing is naturally noisy.

25. Red-Shafted Flicker

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Red-shafted flicker
The red-shafted flicker is native to North America. Photo: Darwin Fan
Source: Getty Images
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Piciformes
  • Family: Picidae
  • Genus: Colaptes

The red-shafted flicker, also called the northern flicker, is native to North America. It usually has a grey face and brown crown, and the male birds have a red moustache stripe.

26. Red-Sided Garter Snake

Red-sided garter snake
The red-sided garter snake has stripes along its length and is non-venomous. Photo: R. Andrew Odum
Source: Getty Images
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Reptilia
  • Order: Squamata
  • Family: Colubridae
  • Genus: Thamnophis

The red-sided garter snake has distinct stripes along its sides. It is non-venomous and is usually found in the central United States and southern Canada.

27. Red-Cheeked Cordon-Bleu

Red-cheeked cordon-bleu
The red-cheeked cordon-blue has a striking red patch on its cheek. Photo: Frans Sellies
Source: Getty Images
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Estrildidae
  • Genus: Uraeginthus

This bird species is native to sub-Saharan Africa. The male birds are strikingly coloured, including red patches on their cheeks, while the females are not brightly coloured.

28. Red Tree Vole

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Red tree vole
The red tree vole is a nocturnal rodent with reddish-brown coat. Photo: Stephanie Etienne
Source: Getty Images
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Rodentia
  • Family: Cricetidae
  • Genus: Arborimus

The red tree vole is a small nocturnal rodent with reddish-brown fur. It is mainly found in forest areas and usually feeds on the needles of Douglas fir trees.

29. Red-headed woodpecker

Red-headed woodpecker
The red-headed woodpecker has three colours, but its redhead is the most conspicuous. Photo: Stan Tekiela
Source: Getty Images
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Piciformes
  • Family: Picidae
  • Genus: Melanerpes

The red-headed woodpecker is a bird with multiple colours but is known for its red head, which sharply contrasts with its body, which is black and white.

30. Redtail Catfish

Redtail catfish
The redtail catfish is dark but has a striking red or orange tail. Photo: Charlotte Bleijenberg
Source: Getty Images
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Actinopterygii
  • Order: Siluriformes
  • Family: Pimelodidae
  • Genus: Phractocephalus

This distinctively large species of catfish has a striking red or orange tail, hence its name. Its body is dark with black spots and has a white underbelly.

What animal has a red coat?

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The red fox is known for its red coat. It is the largest fox species and may be confused with wolves, jackals, and coyotes.

What makes animals red?

The biological pigment melanin is responsible for the colour of mammals’ hair and fur. The two melanin types, eumelanin and pheomelanin, produce various colours.

Are there any red animals in the water?

Several red animals inhabit aquatic environments, including red lionfish, red sea stars, red sea urchins, redtail catfish, and red-lipped batfish.

Many animals have black and red colour combinations, which makes them appear cute. Some examples are red foxes, red pandas, scarlet ibises, red-tailed black sharks, and ladybirds.

Red is a striking colour, making red animals adorable and eye-catching. Besides their beauty, the red colour helps them camouflage, blending with their environment as a defence tactic. It is also a striking colour that attracts mates for reproduction. The beauty and uniqueness of red animals depict the rich biodiversity of Earth.

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Source: Legit.ng

Authors:
Muhunya Muhonji avatar

Muhunya Muhonji (Lifestyle writer) Muhunya has been a writer for more than three years. He graduated from Egerton University in 2014 with a degree in Agricultural Economics. He is also a certified public accountant and tax expert. Muhunya joined Legit.ng in July 2021 and writes about various topics such as entertainment, technology, business, and biographies. In 2023, Muhunya finished the AFP course on Digital Investigation Techniques. In March 2024, he completed the Google News Initiative course. Email: muhunyah@gmail.com