42 Black Animals Found in Nature

Black is the color of mystery. And while it may not be as common as brown in the natural world, it’s still fairly easy to spot in nature. Truly black animals are standouts that are certainly hard to forget!

Here are some of nature’s most beautiful animals with black coloration:

1. Friesian Horse

Black Friesian horse gallops on the grass.
  • Latin name: Equus ferus caballus
  • Habitat: Domestic
  • Size: About 15 to 17 hands (60″-68″) tall at withers
  • Diet: Various types of plants (and commercial horse feed)
  • Colorful feature: Most Friesian horses are deep, glossy black. Occasionally, a horse is born with a chestnut coat.

The beautiful Friesian horse originated in the Netherlands. This breed is somewhat unusual in that while it is strong like a draft horse, it is fast and athletic like lighter breeds. It was most likely used as a war horse in ancient times. Today, it is a versatile breed that is used for dressage and competitive driving. Thanks to its calm demeanor and elegant appearance, it is also commonly used in film.

2. Bobolink

Bobolink perched and singing.
  • Latin name: Dolichonyx oryzivorus
  • Habitat: Can be found in central North America in the breeding season; it winters in South America
  • Size: About 6.3″-7.1″ long
  • Diet: Largely insects and seeds; they have an affinity for cultivated grains where available
  • Colorful feature: Male bobolinks have especially memorable markings. They are mostly black and have tan to cream napes. Their rumps and shoulders are bright white!

You might wonder where this pretty bird’s odd name comes from. “Bobolink” is a name that is meant to describe its call: it’s said to sound like “Bob o’ Lincoln.” The bobolink also has interesting colloquial names: it has been called a “rice bird” because it likes to feed on rice. In Jamaica, it has been called a “butterbird” because of its large amount of fat (accumulated from feeding on rice).

3. King Cobra

King cobra in a field.
  • Latin name: Ophiophagus hannah
  • Habitat: Can be found across much of South Asia and Southeast Asia
  • Size: About 10.4′-13.1′ long, though it can reach up to 19.2′ long
  • Diet: Mostly other snakes
  • Colorful feature: This imposing snake’s body is banded with black and white, though most individuals look more black than white.

The king cobra has a reputation for being a highly dangerous snake. However, it tends to avoid people as much as it can. If it’s trapped or provoked, it is capable of a potentially lethal bite. In particular, it can latch on longer than many other snakes. This allows it to release a considerable amount of venom.

4. Black Swan

Black swans form a heart.
  • Latin name: Cygnus atratus
  • Habitat: Can be found in much of Australia, especially the southeast and southwest
  • Size: About 43″-56″ long
  • Diet: Mostly aquatic and marsh plants
  • Colorful feature: These stunning birds are deep black with bright white flight feathers. Their beaks are red and form a striking contrast with their dark bodies.

Though the black swan is native to Australia, its remarkable appearance has made it a favorite as an ornamental bird in many parts of the world. In favorable climates, escaped captive birds have been able to form small populations. The black swan thrives especially well as an introduced species in the town of Dawlish, England.

5. Southern Black Widow

Southern Black Widow on web with blurry background.
  • Latin name: Latrodectus mactans
  • Habitat: Can be found across much of North America
  • Size: Females about 0.31″-0.51″ long; males about 0.12″-0.24″ long
  • Diet: Mostly insects, especially fire ants
  • Colorful feature: Female black widows are famous for their coloring: they are dark, glossy black with a distinctive red hourglass on the belly. Thanks to their round abdomens and shiny black coloring, they are sometimes called “shoe-button spiders.”

The southern black widow is often described as a potentially deadly spider. However, its bite is not usually fatal to humans who are otherwise healthy. The bites can cause significant pain and other adverse effects. Only female spiders are capable of injecting venom into people, as males are too small to do so.

6. Starry Night Cracker

Starry Night Cracker on someone's arm.
  • Latin name: Hamadryas laodamia
  • Habitat: Can be found across tropical parts of South America, Central America, and the Caribbean
  • Size: Wingspan about 2.8″
  • Diet: Mostly juice from rotting fruit
  • Colorful feature: This aptly-named butterfly has a velvety black base color. It’s marked with a smattering of small bright blue spots that look a lot like stars.

This butterfly’s striking coloration serves an important purpose: it warns away predators. Birds called jacamars typically feed on similar species. But as larvae, starry night crackers eat a somewhat toxic vine called Dalechampia triphylla. The chemicals from the vine accumulate in the body, making the larvae and adults taste highly unpleasant.

7. Red-Tailed Black Shark

Red-Tailed Black Shark in an aquarium.
  • Latin name: Epalzeorhynchos bicolor
  • Habitat: Can be found in streams and rivers in Thailand
  • Size: Up to about 6″ long
  • Diet: Worms, crustaceans, insects, and various types of plants
  • Colorful feature: This unusual fish is almost entirely jet black. However, its tail is vivid red. But if it is unhealthy or under stress, the color of the tail will fade.

Unfortunately, this beautiful fish is classified by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as being critically endangered. However, in the aquarium hobby, it is highly sought after for its distinctively beautiful color. Despite the name, it is more closely related to carp than to sharks. In the aquarium, it can be a bit aggressive to other fish, but it rarely actually attacks them.

8. Black Wolf

Black wolf in the snow in a cage.
  • Latin name: Canis lupus
  • Habitat: Can be found across much of Eurasia and North America
  • Size: About 41″-63″ long
  • Diet: Mostly various hooved wild animals, though they will also eat smaller animals
  • Colorful feature: The black wolf is not a distinct species of wolf. Rather, it is the melanistic form of the gray wolf. Its coat is intense deep black.

Gray wolves are not the only wolf species with a melanistic variant. Melanistic red wolves have been recorded, but it’s believed that the gene for melanism in the species has been eliminated, rendering melanistic red wolves effectively extinct. Though melanism isn’t always an advantage, it may help wolves to remain camouflaged when hunting in dark forests.

9. La Palma Typical Lizard

La Palma Typical Lizard on log.
  • Latin name: Gallotia galloti palmae
  • Habitat: Can be found across most of the island of La Palma
  • Size: Up to about 15.7″ long
  • Diet: Largely ripe fruit
  • Colorful feature: Males of this species are especially colorful! As you can see in the photo, they have a base color of rich black. Their throats are vivid cobalt blue, and their sides are marked with blue patches. Females tend to be duller and closer to brown in color.

This unusual creature is a subspecies of the Western Canaries lizard. As the name suggests, it is found on the island of La Palma. It’s very popular with tourists, who will often bring bananas for it to eat. It isn’t a shy species, so it will even climb onto tourists’ hands to eat!

10. Lark Bunting

A lark bunting balances on a twig with a caterpillar in beak.
  • Latin name: Calamospiza melanocorys
  • Habitat: Can be found across much of central and western North America
  • Size: About 5.5″-7.1″ long
  • Diet: Mostly insects and seeds
  • Colorful feature: Males of this species have very distinctive coloring. They are dark black with snowy white shoulders. They only have this coloration in the breeding season; they are more gray-brown during the rest of the year. Females are colored more like typical sparrows.

This pretty bird has been Colorado’s state bird since 1931. Though it is not considered to be threatened or at risk of extinction, its population has been gradually declining with the slow elimination of its prairie habitat.

11. American Pelecinid Wasp

Female Pelecinid Wasp on a tree trunk.
  • Latin name: Pelecinus polyturator
  • Habitat: Can be found across much of North, Central, and South America
  • Size: Up to about 2.8″ long
  • Diet: Primarily nectar
  • Colorful feature: This highly distinctive wasp has a body that is almost entirely obsidian black. While its wings are clear, they are marked with dark black veins.

This odd-looking creature is a parasitic wasp, but it feeds on nectar as many butterflies do. When it lays eggs, it does so directly into June beetle grubs. That way, the larvae can feed on the grubs before eventually turning into adult wasps.

12. Malagasy Painted Mantella

Malagasy Painted Mantella isolated on white background.
  • Latin name: Mantella madagascariensis
  • Habitat: Can be found in upland areas of eastern and central Madagascar
  • Size: Females about 0.94″-0.98″ long; males about 0.83″-0.87″ long
  • Diet: Various small insects
  • Colorful feature: This especially beautiful frog is not entirely black, but its shiny black base color makes a striking backdrop for its vivid patches of color. As you can see in the photo, it usually has patches of yellow-green, green, and orange.

Madagascar is known for its many species of bright frogs called mantellas. This aptly-named one does appear to be painted! Like other mantella species, it accumulates toxic alkaloids from its diet. These alkaloids are then secreted by the skin to protect it from predators.

13. Sulawesi Black Sailfin Lizard

Sulawesi Black Sailfin Lizard on rock.
  • Latin name: Hydrosaurus celebensis
  • Habitat: Can be found across much of Indonesia
  • Size: About 39″-47″ long
  • Diet: Various small animals and types of plant matter
  • Colorful feature: This striking lizard has a back end and front end that are completely black, though the sides are closer to being yellowish or grayish.

Unlike many lizard species, this one is an excellent swimmer. It has webbed feet and a powerful tail with a sail-shaped fin. However, it can travel quickly on land. When it needs to move quickly, it can even run on its hind legs! Thanks to its distinctive appearance, this large lizard is sometimes found in captivity.

14. Black Panther

Black Panther perched on tree branch.
  • Latin name: Panthera pardus or Panthera onca
  • Habitat: Mostly found in tropical forests; leopards (Panthera pardus) are found in Southeast Asia and parts of Africa, while jaguars (Panthera onca) are found in parts of Central and South America
  • Size: Leopards are 22.4″-27.6″ tall; jaguars are 26.8″-29.5″ tall
  • Diet: Various types of animal prey
  • Colorful feature: These melanistic animals are almost entirely glossy black. They have piercing yellow-green eyes that make them especially memorable.

Though some people think the black panther is a separate species, it’s actually just a melanistic version of the jaguar or the leopard. It’s not usually solid black, either: if you look closely, you can see the same rosette-shaped markings you would see on a jaguar or leopard. Notably, in jaguars, a dominant allele is responsible for melanism. But in the leopard, the coloring is caused by a recessive allele.

15. Black Rat Snake

Black Rat Snake on rock.
  • Latin name: Pantherophis obsoletus
  • Habitat: Can be found across central North America
  • Size: About 3.5′-6′ long
  • Diet: Various smaller animals, including other snakes
  • Colorful feature: The black rat snake is almost entirely black. However, the belly is usually pale yellowish. In some cases, a few scales near the belly are also this lighter color.

This fairly common, non-venomous snake has a somewhat uncommon habit. When hibernating in winter, it shares dens with venomous species including timber rattlesnakes and copperheads.

16. Telescope Goldfish

Black goldfish closeup staring at camera with open mouth.
  • Latin name: Carassius auratus
  • Habitat: Typically domestic, though some escaped individuals can live successfully in the wild
  • Size: Up to about 8″ long
  • Diet: Mostly smaller aquatic animals and some types of plant matter
  • Colorful feature: This particular goldfish variety looks a lot different than many other goldfish. Some individuals are black, with the most valuable individuals having a velvety appearance. It also has telescope-like eyes that protrude noticeably from the head.

The distinctive telescope goldfish has been around for quite a while: it was first developed in China in the 1700s! Its distinctive bulging eyes were referred to as “dragon eyes.” Its pretty flowing fins make it a favorite in aquariums.

17. Phainopepla

Phainopepla perched on tree.
  • Latin name: Phainopepla nitens
  • Habitat: Can be found from central California to central Mexico
  • Size: About 6.3″-7.9″ long
  • Diet: Mostly fruits, vegetables, and smaller insects
  • Colorful feature: This beautiful bird’s name comes from the Greek phrase “phain pepla,” meaning “shining robe.” The name refers to the male’s beautiful feathering. Males are black, but their feathers have an intensely noticeable, satin-like sheen.

This beautiful and highly unique bird is sometimes referred to as the “black cardinal.” Males are the only black birds, though, as females are more of a bluish gray. Both have the small, triangular crest often seen on cardinals and similar birds.

18. Common Hill Myna

Common Hill Myna perched on branch.
  • Latin name: Gracula religiosa
  • Habitat: Can be found in parts of India, South Asia, and Southeast Asia
  • Size: About 11.4″ long
  • Diet: Mostly fruit, insects, and nectar
  • Colorful feature: This pretty and unique bird is almost entirely black. However, as you can see, parts of its head are bright yellow to yellow-orange. These are patches of bare skin. Its beak is bright orange.

This bird is the myna bird most often seen in captivity. It’s a popular pet because of its ability to repeat words and phrases. It’s a skilled mimic that often sounds very human-like, and in the past, it was often taught to recite entire prayers.

19. Black Tree Monitor

Close-up of Black Tree Monitor.
  • Latin name: Varanus beccarii
  • Habitat: Areas with trees on the Aru Islands off the coast of New Guinea
  • Size: About 35″-47″ long
  • Diet: Mostly insects, though it will also eat eggs and small animals
  • Colorful feature: Adult black tree monitors are a dark and uniform black. This sets them apart from many other members of the monitor family, as most of these lizards have some type of patterning.

Many reptiles are intelligent, but the black tree monitor is especially so. This pretty, slender lizard has demonstrated the ability to solve complex problems, and it also has impressive fine motor coordination. Like other monitor species, it is sometimes kept as a pet, though its large size and complex care requirements make it best suited to experienced reptile keepers.

20. Magnificent Swallowtail

Magnificent Swallowtail on beautiful orange flowers.
  • Latin name: Papilio garamas
  • Habitat: Can be found across much of Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Honduras, and Costa Rica
  • Size: Wingspan about 3.1″-4.3″
  • Diet: Mostly nectar from various plants
  • Colorful feature: These butterflies have a dark, velvety black base color. They have distinctive curved yellow bands across the wings, and the hindwings have small bluish and reddish markings. Females and males usually look the same, though some females are completely dark with no yellowish band.

The swallowtail family is full of especially beautiful butterflies, and the magnificent swallowtail is a great example. It doesn’t have tiger stripes like many swallowtail species do, but its broad yellowish band certainly makes it easy to spot!

21. Schipperke

Three Schipperkes standing in the grass.
  • Latin name: Canis familiaris
  • Habitat: Domestic
  • Size: About 10″-13″ high at withers
  • Diet: Domestic dog food
  • Colorful feature: This smallish dog is almost always black with a slightly longer ruff of fur around the neck.

This lively dog breed was formerly used to catch rats on barges. It also was used to relay messages in World War II. Though they are intelligent dogs, they need good training to be walkable and well-behaved around other animals. Many Schipperkes seem to like to chase horses, so it’s best to keep them leashed when horses are nearby.

22. Black Baza

Black baza perched on a branch.
  • Latin name: Aviceda leuphotes
  • Habitat: Forested parts of northeastern India, China, the eastern Himalayas, and Southeast Asia
  • Size: About 11.8″-13.8″ long
  • Diet: Mostly insects
  • Colorful feature: This beautiful and distinctive bird is mostly black. Its belly is yellowish-tan with darker brown bands, and there is a white bib on the chest. Its black crest stands up while the bird is at rest, setting it apart from many similar species.

Though these graceful birds are birds of prey, they primarily hunt insects. They do sometimes attempt to catch smaller birds. And while black bazas are beautiful, many people report that they have an unpleasant, insect-like odor if you get too close!

23. Greater Mouse-Eared Bat

Mouse-eared bat with open mouth.
  • Latin name: Myotis myotis
  • Habitat: Can be found in and near forests across much of Europe
  • Size: Wingspan about 15.7″
  • Diet: Various types of arthropods
  • Colorful feature: These bats are usually various shades of brownish. However, as you can see in the photo, some individuals are closer to being black or very dark brown.

Many people visualize bats as nesting in caves. However, throughout the year, the greater mouse-eared bat roosts underground. Notably, this species has the ability to echolocate, though it does not use it for hunting. It typically finds its prey on the ground by listening for the sounds it makes.

24. Rhinoceros Beetle

Closeup shot of Female Rhinoceros beetle isolated on white background.
  • Latin name: Xyloryctes jamaicensis
  • Habitat: Can be found across much of North America
  • Size: Up to about 2.4″ long
  • Diet: Mostly bark and soft fruit
  • Colorful feature: This large, distinctive beetle is almost entirely glossy black. However, its legs and the lower part of its body are typically brown.

If you take one look at this beetle, it’s easy to see where its name comes from. Males have a large, horn-like protrusion reaching upward off of the nose. Females, like the one in the picture, have a very small version of this protrusion. These beetles are relatively easy to spot among leaf litter in forests, as they often gather in large groups around food sources.

25. European Fire-Bellied Toad

Close-up of European fire-bellied toad.
  • Latin name: Bombina bombina
  • Habitat: Can be found in lowlands across most of central and eastern Europe
  • Size: Up to about 2.2″ long
  • Diet: Various small invertebrates
  • Colorful feature: You can probably tell from the name that this toad’s belly is fiery red to red-orange. However, its upper body is quite dark. Some individual toads are black, while others are closer to dark brown.

This pretty toad’s unique coloring is an example of aposematic coloring, an advertisement to warn predators that it does not taste good. But its color isn’t the only unique thing about it. Unlike most toads, it has a highly distinctive call that sounds like a whoop!

26. Black Angus

A black angus cow grazes in a green meadow.
  • Latin name: Bos taurus
  • Habitat: Domestic
  • Size: Bulls around 1,800 pounds; cows around 1,200 pounds
  • Diet: Various types of plants and domestic cattle feed
  • Colorful feature: Angus cattle are typically thought of as black. And while black Angus are the more common color, it’s also possible to find red Angus.

Angus cattle are especially popular as a beef breed. Though they originated in Scotland, they have been exported to many different countries, including the United States, Australia, Germany, and Japan. Since their meat typically has excellent marbling, it’s generally regarded as high-quality compared to the meat of some other breeds.

27. Gold Rim Swallowtail

Gold Rim Swallowtail on green vegetation.
  • Latin name: Battus polydamas
  • Habitat: Can be found in fields and open woodlands across the neotropics of the southeastern United States, Mexico, and South America
  • Size: Wingspan about 3.5″-4.7″
  • Diet: Various types of nectar
  • Colorful feature: Like many other species of swallowtail butterflies, the gold rim swallowtail has a jet black base color. There is a flowing, skirt-like band of yellow across the forewings and hindwings. The undersides of the wings also have some reddish spots. Both males and females have the same coloration.

Thanks to its very large range, the gold rim swallowtail has many different subspecies. Currently, there are 22 recognized ones (though at least one is extinct)! However, many of them have similar colors and patterning.

28. Cactus Longhorn Beetle

Cactus Longhorn Beetle on cactus.
  • Latin name: Moneilema gigas
  • Habitat: Can be found in the Sonoran Desert at lower elevations
  • Size: About 0.51″-1.46″ long
  • Diet: Mostly prickly pear, cholla, and sometimes saguaro cacti
  • Colorful feature: This distinctive-looking beetle is dark, shiny black in color. It also has striking antennae that are similarly colored.

The cactus longhorn beetle technically has wings, but they are fused together to form a single hard shell. As a result, this beetle is flightless, and it can often be found crawling and feeding on its preferred species of cacti. In order to protect itself from predators, it tends to mimic some of the behaviors of certain species of stink beetles.

29. Great Black Digger Wasp

Great Black Digger Wasp on orange flower.
  • Latin name: Sphex pensylvanicus
  • Habitat: Can be found across much of North America
  • Size: About 0.8″-1.4″ long
  • Diet: Various types of insects
  • Colorful feature: These wasps are almost entirely black. Their wings are also black, although they often have a bluish, glasslike sheen. Both males and females have the same coloration, though females tend to be a bit bigger than males.

Female great black digger wasps have an interesting way of feeding their young. They build underground nests and then hunt for prey to feed the larvae. The stings paralyze the insect prey, though it is still alive when brought to the nest. The larvae can feed on it for weeks.

30. Brandt’s Cormorant

A group of Brandt's Cormorants nesting on a rock.
  • Latin name: Urile penicillatus
  • Habitat: Can be found along the Pacific coast of North America, mostly along lagoons, estuaries, and bays
  • Size: About 34″ long
  • Diet: Mostly small fish
  • Colorful feature: This large bird’s plumage is entirely black, and it’s especially glossy, too. During the breeding season, both males and females have a blue throat patch.

The Brandt’s cormorant is an especially skilled hunter of fish. It will sometimes catch them from the surface of the water. But it also can dive to the floor of a given body of water to catch prey. When diving, it is able to use its large webbed feet to propel it quickly.

31. Water Buffalo

Asian water buffalo standing in field.
  • Latin name: Bubalus bubalis
  • Habitat: Originally from the Indian subcontinent, though it can be found in Europe, South America, North America, and Southeast Asia
  • Size: About 47″-52″ high at the withers
  • Diet: Mostly various types of aquatic plants
  • Colorful feature: This distinctive bovine almost always has black skin. Some individuals have black coats, too, while others are closer to being brown. You may occasionally even see an albino water buffalo!

The water buffalo is a critically important animal in many Southeast Asian countries. It’s used for milk, meat, and even agricultural work. It has been introduced to the Amazon basin and parts of Europe as well.

32. Melanistic Zebra

Melanistic Zebra standing in grassland.
  • Latin name: Equus quagga
  • Habitat: Can be found across much of sub-Saharan Africa
  • Size: About 4.17′-4.6′ tall at the withers
  • Diet: Primarily grass
  • Colorful feature: Several animal species periodically produce melanistic individuals, and zebras are one of those species. Melanistic zebras can be all black. But some, like the one in the picture, are primarily black, letting you see some of the characteristic zebra stripes.

In zebras, the gene for melanism is recessive, so melanistic zebras are very rare. Zebras with mild melanism may simply have broader black stripes than normal zebras. Those with more pronounced melanism may be entirely black. Sometimes, melanistic zebras even have a few white spots on a black background.

33. Greater Ani

Greater Ani perched on small perch.
  • Latin name: Crotophaga major
  • Habitat: Can be found across parts of tropical South America
  • Size: About 18″ long
  • Diet: Mostly insects, spiders, fruits, seeds, and even small frogs and lizards
  • Colorful feature: These birds have glossy black feathering much like that of crows and grackles. In some types of lighting, they can even appear to be glossed in dark blue.

This large bird is part of the cuckoo family. It is sometimes even referred to as the black cuckoo. It has a very distinctive beak that is black, hooked, and has a large ridge. Its calls are different from those of most other birds. The greater ani will sometimes croak or gobble like a turkey.

34. American Black Bear

Black Bear in forest.
  • Latin name: Ursus americanus
  • Habitat: Can be found in many forested parts of North America
  • Size: Males about 126-151 pounds; females about 90-375 pounds
  • Diet: Mostly vegetation, though they will also eat fish, carrion, and young deer and similar animals
  • Colorful feature: The American black bear is almost entirely deep black. However, the muzzle is usually light brown to tan.

This bear is an especially hardy species. It prefers areas with plenty of very dense vegetation, but it is adaptable enough to survive near urban areas as well. These bears are also quite good at getting into trash cans, so in some areas, it’s necessary to have bear-proof trash bins!

35. Devil’s Coach-Horse

Devil's Coach-Horse on ground.
  • Latin name: Ocypus olens
  • Habitat: Can be found across much of North America and Europe
  • Size: About 0.8″-1.3″ long
  • Diet: Mostly smaller invertebrates and carrion
  • Colorful feature: This distinctive beetle is dark black, and the joints on its abdomen make it look like it has large scales. It has two white glands that produce an unpleasant smell.

This beetle is surrounded by interesting folklore. In British lore, it’s said to have eaten the core of Eve’s apple. If a person crushes the beetle, they’ll be forgiven for seven sins. Its association with the devil goes back to at least 1840!

36. Bombay Cat

Bombay Cat with yellow eyes in grass.
  • Latin name: Felis catus
  • Habitat: Domestic
  • Size: About 8 to 15 pounds
  • Diet: Domestic cat food
  • Colorful feature: The Bombay cat was developed specifically to produce a sleek black coat. Its thick, glossy fur looks a bit like the coat of a black panther. This cat also has intense, green-gold eyes that stand out against the distinctive dark coat.

The Bombay cat as a breed has relatively simple origins. Breeders crossed sable-colored Burmese cats with black American Shorthairs. The goal was to keep the slender, athletic body of the Burmese but add a beautiful black coat.

37. Black Girdled Lizard

Black Girdled Lizard on rock.
  • Latin name: Cordylus niger
  • Habitat: Can be found in rocky areas on Table Mountain and in the town of Langebaan in South Africa
  • Size: Around 3″ long
  • Diet: Mostly insects, though they will also eat some plant matter
  • Colorful feature: This strange, beautiful little lizard is especially dark black. Its large scales look like that of a crocodile, too.

The black girdled lizard is probably the darkest lizard in the world. But its color is a very important adaptation for where it lives. Its habitat is one of the darkest areas of South Africa, and its extremely dark color helps ensure it absorbs enough heat from the sun. It’s also able to conserve energy, as it tends to hunt its prey by lying in wait and then ambushing it.

38. Black Kingsnake

Close-up of Black Kingsnake head.
  • Latin name: Lampropeltis nigra
  • Habitat: Can be found throughout much of the southeastern quarter of the United States
  • Size: About 35″-48″ long
  • Diet: Mostly various types of small animals
  • Colorful feature: True to its name, the black kingsnake is almost entirely black. It’s also marked by scattered yellow or cream scales along the belly side.

Some people might be scared by this snake’s large size and dark coloration. However, the black kingsnake tends to be a good animal to have around. Since it mostly preys on small animals, it can help keep the populations of rats, mice, voles, and other pests under control. It isn’t aggressive toward humans, and it also isn’t venomous.

39. Celebes Crested Macaque

Celebes crested macaque on the green grass.
  • Latin name: Macaca nigra
  • Habitat: Can be found in parts of Sulawesi and other neighboring islands
  • Size: About 17″-24″ long
  • Diet: Mostly fruit, though it will occasionally eat small animals, leaves, fungus, and seeds
  • Colorful feature: This unusual monkey’s skin and hair is entirely pitch black. However, some adults do have a smattering of whitish hairs over the shoulders and arms. The eyes are bright amber in color.

As you can tell from its name, this ape has a dark black crest atop the head. It is unfortunately classified by the IUCN as being critically endangered. Its population is threatened by the clearing of rainforests. It’s also threatened by hunting: it is hunted both for bushmeat and because it often eats crops.

40. Black Rail

Black Rail in grass.
  • Latin name: Laterallus jamaicensis
  • Habitat: Can be found in some marshy areas of North America, South America, and the Caribbean
  • Size: About 4″-6″ long
  • Diet: Primarily, molluscs, crustaceans, insects, and seeds
  • Colorful feature: This distinctive bird has a dark black body marked with starry white speckles. Its head and breast are often a dark slate blue, and its eyes are red.

If you’re out birding in a marsh, you might have a difficult time spotting the black rail. This bird can fly, but it prefers to hide in the dense marsh vegetation and travel on foot. At night, you may hear it making territorial growls!

41. Grecian Shoemaker

Grecian Shoemaker on a green leaf.
  • Latin name: Catonephele numilia
  • Habitat: Can be found across much of Central America and South America
  • Size: Wingspan about 2.6″-3.1″
  • Diet: Various types of rotten fruit
  • Colorful feature: Males and females have different patterning. Males are deep black with large, circular orange spots arranged in a row. Females are black with a yellow or yellowish-white band on each forewing.

This beautiful, unusual butterfly exhibits marked sexual dimorphism. Males and females look like completely different species. They are relatively easy to spot within their native range, as they like to fly close to the ground.

42. Ayam Cemani Chicken

Close-up of Ayam Cemani Chicken.
  • Latin name: Gallus gallus domesticus
  • Habitat: Domestic
  • Size: About 3.3-5.5 pounds
  • Diet: Domestic chicken feed
  • Colorful feature: These birds have a genetic condition called fibromelanosis. This means that their feathers, skin, combs, and wattles are black. Their meat, bones, and organs are even black or gray. The necks and tails of roosters often have a faint turquoise sheen in the right lighting.

This unique chicken breed comes from the Indonesian island of Java. Though it is now kept primarily as an ornamental breed in many areas of the world, its strange coloring has historically made it especially useful in certain mystical and religious rituals. In Bali, its muscular thighs have also made it an especially popular choice of fighting bird.

Black Creatures From Around the World

Hopefully, you’ve seen some familiar creatures on the list. And maybe you’ve even discovered a new species or two you hadn’t seen before. Black animals can be found just about anywhere you go—keep an eye out for them next time you venture outdoors!

Explore beautiful creatures of all colors and types in this list of colorful animals.