41 Purple Animals Found in Nature

Purple is quite a common color for flowers. But if you want to spot a purple animal, you might need to look a little harder. Once you see some of the striking purple creatures on land and sea, you’ll be glad you did!

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

1. Violet-Backed Starling

Violet-Backed Starling on branch.
  • Latin name: Cinnyricinclus leucogaster
  • Habitat: Woodlands and savannas near forest edges in sub-Saharan Africa
  • Size: About 6.7″ long
  • Diet: Various arthropods, seeds, and fruit
  • Colorful feature: Males of this species have brilliant, glistening purple heads and backs. This deep shade of royal purple contrasts beautifully with the bright white belly.

Like many bird species, this one is quite sexually dimorphic. While males are purple and white, females are more of a nondescript brownish with sparrow-like patterning. However, both males and females have stunning yellow eyes. They’re also sometimes called plum-colored starlings or amethyst starlings.

2. Purple Sea Slug

A Hypselodoris Bullocki nudibranch crawling onto a coral.
  • Latin name: Hypselodoris bullocki
  • Habitat: Can be found in shallow waters across much of the Indo-Pacific
  • Size: Around 3″ long
  • Diet: Various types of sea sponges
  • Colorful feature: The purple sea slug has some variation in color. Many individuals are very pale lavender. Some, like the one in the photo, are closer to being vivid electric purple. In many cases, the sea slug’s “foot” is bright white.

Sea slugs may be small, but they are among the most colorful creatures in the world. Researchers are still discovering new species. Since many of them can be found in warm-water coral reefs, purple sea slugs and other species can often be spotted while diving or snorkeling.

3. Purple Honeycreeper

Purple honeycreeper perches in a tree in Brazil.
  • Latin name: Cyanerpes caeruleus
  • Habitat: Can be found in forest canopies and cocoa and citrus plantations in northern South America
  • Size: About 4.5″ long
  • Diet: Nectar, insects, seeds, and berries
  • Colorful feature: Somewhat confusingly, many male purple honeycreepers look more blue than purple. In many cases, purple males are close to blue-violet in color. Females aren’t purple, but they’re still colorful: their breasts are usually pastel yellow with blue-green streaks, and their faces are reddish.

Even though the purple honeycreeper is small, it’s surprisingly bold. If it hears a ferruginous pygmy owl (a potential predator) nearby, it will come out in large numbers to mob it. With this coordinated attack, the purple honeycreeper can protect its chicks and lessen the risk of being killed by larger predatory birds.

4. Yellowstriped Fairy Basslet

Yellowstriped fairy basslet in aquarium.
  • Latin name: Pseudanthias tuka
  • Habitat: Can be found in coral reefs across the Indo-Pacific
  • Size: Up to about 4.7″ long
  • Diet: Primarily fish eggs and small marine crustaceans
  • Colorful feature: This delicate-looking fish is a bright and energetic purple. It often has a vibrant yellow dorsal stripe. The stripe sometimes extends under the chin and along each tail fin.

This species of fish is especially beautiful, but it’s also very challenging to keep in an aquarium. It’s incredibly sensitive to changes in its environment, so it’s important to monitor water quality regularly. Many yellowstriped fairy basslets will refuse to eat in captivity. If you’re purchasing one from a shop, it’s a good idea to see if the fish eats in the shop before bringing it home.

5. Purple Emperor

Purple Emperor on tree branch.
  • Latin name: Apatura iris
  • Habitat: Can be found in densely wooded areas from Europe to central and western China
  • Size: Males have a wingspan of 2.8″-3.1″; females have a wingspan of 3.1″-3.6″
  • Diet: Aphid honeydew, oak tree sap, urine, dung, and animal carcasses
  • Colorful feature: Males of this species have wings that are mostly black or very dark brown. They have an iridescent sheen that makes them appear purplish blue in the right light. Their dark wings are marked with a few white spots or bands.

Both male and female purple emperor butterflies have similar coloration. However, only males have the iridescence that gives them the distinctive purple sheen the species is known for. They are somewhat unusual in that they seem to especially like feeding on roadkill.

6. Blue Pleasing Fungus Beetle

Blue Pleasing Fungus Beetle on tree.
  • Latin name: Gibbifer californicus
  • Habitat: Can be found in Colorado, Wyoming, Arizona, California, New Mexico, Kansas, and Sonora, Mexico
  • Size: About 0.5″-0.8″ long
  • Diet: Primarily conk fungus
  • Colorful feature: Though this species is described as being “blue,” most individuals are closer to lavender in color. They have distinctive markings, too: their heads and legs are black, while the wings are covered in small black spots.

Unlike many other species of insects, blue pleasing fungus beetles change color as they age. Younger beetles are brighter purple or blue. As they age, their coloration begins to fade, gradually turning gray. They are pretty enough that they are sometimes even kept as pets!

7. Purple Grenadier

Colorful Purple Grenadier on a perch.
  • Latin name: Granatina ianthinogaster
  • Habitat: Shrubby areas in Uganda, Tanzania, Somalia, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenya
  • Size: About 5.25″ long
  • Diet: Mostly insects, spiders, and grass seeds
  • Colorful feature: These interesting little birds are a combination of reddish and soft bluish purple. Males are chestnut red with purple bellies and faces. Their bellies are marked with irregular reddish patches. The females are a paler buff color with purplish markings around the eyes.

Africa is home to many colorful birds, and this little finch is especially bright. Though it’s not an especially common pet bird, it can sometimes be found in captivity. Since it’s relatively solitary, it’s best to only keep one pair in any given aviary.

8. Indian Purple Frog

Close-up of Indian Purple Frog.
  • Latin name: Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis
  • Habitat: Can be found across the Western Ghats in India
  • Size: Around 3″ long; males are smaller than females
  • Diet: Mostly termites
  • Colorful feature: Despite the name, this unusual frog is not always purple. Many of them are closer to being purplish-gray.

This odd-looking frog has a long nose that resembles the snout of a pig. That snout can be especially useful for feeding on termites. But its nose isn’t the only strange thing about it. Its call sounds more like that of a clucking chicken than a typical frog’s croak. Unfortunately, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) currently classifies the Indian purple frog as an endangered species.

9. Purple Gallinule

Purple Gallinule walking in vegetation.
  • Latin name: Porphyrio martinicus
  • Habitat: Freshwater marshes in the Caribbean, southern Florida, parts of Central America, and the Gulf Coast and Pacific Coast of Mexico. Depending on the season, they also may be found in the southeastern U.S. and in South America.
  • Size: About 10″-15″ long
  • Diet: Mostly leaves, seeds, fruit, insects, fish, frogs, snails, and worms
  • Colorful feature: These colorful birds have bodies that are iridescent bluish purple. Their wings are green, and their foreheads have a unique blue shield-like marking.

This unusual bird creates floating nests. Pairs are monogamous, and each pair works to defend its nest and the surrounding territory. Purple gallinules have extremely long toes that make it easier to navigate marshland, as the birds can walk across floating vegetation.

10. Goniobranchus kuniei

Close-up of Goniobranchus kuniei.
  • Latin name: Goniobranchus kuniei
  • Habitat: Can be found in coral reefs between the western Pacific and the eastern Indian Oceans
  • Size: Up to about 1.6″ long
  • Diet: Primarily sea sponges
  • Colorful feature: This colorful sea slug has a distinctive, bright purple ring around the body. Its base color is yellow, and it is marked with several deep purple spots

This beautiful species is one of the more recognizable sea slugs; it appears in many image galleries of these unique creatures. Like other sea slugs, it is classified as a mollusc even though it has no shell.

11. Sea Urchin

Group of purple sea urchins.
  • Latin name: Echinoidea class
  • Habitat: Can be found in every ocean and every depth zone
  • Size: About 1″-4″ in diameter, depending on species
  • Diet: Mostly algae, though they also sometimes eat slow-moving animals
  • Colorful feature: Sea urchins come in a number of different colors, but many of them are various shades of purple. As you can see in the photo, some of them can be quite bright!

Though many people don’t know it, there are roughly 950 species of sea urchin across the world. These creatures might look stationary, but they have tube feet and walk just like sea stars. They can move their spines in any direction, and if you touch one, the spines will start to converge near the point of touch.

12. Purple Sea Star

Purple sea star on rock.
  • Latin name: Pisaster ochraceus
  • Habitat: Can be found throughout the Pacific Ocean
  • Size: About 8″-20″ in diameter
  • Diet: Mussels and other aquatic animals
  • Colorful feature: This sturdily-built starfish is most often deep, aubergine purple. However, it comes in several different colors. It can be yellow, ochre, brown, or reddish.

This striking sea star is especially long-lived. Most sea stars live at least four years, but this one can live up to 20 years. Throughout its large range, it does not have many predators. Experts believe that human collectors pose one of the biggest threats to its population.

13. Purple Jewel Beetle

Purple jewel beetle on rock.
  • Latin name: Chlorocala africana oertzeni
  • Habitat: Can be found in tropical parts of Africa
  • Size: About 0.75″-0.95″ long
  • Diet: Largely nectar and pollen
  • Colorful feature: This beautiful beetle species comes in a few colors. Some, like the one in the picture, are glossy purple. Others are green or even bluish.

This species is popular among beetle hobbyists, largely because it grows fast and is easy to breed. It’s part of a group of beetles known as “flower chafers” due to their habit of crawling up to flowers to feed.

14. West African Fiddler Crab

West African Fiddler Crab on sand.
  • Latin name: Afruca tangeri
  • Habitat: Can be found along the Atlantic coast of southwestern Europe and western Africa
  • Size: Carapace up to about 2″ wide
  • Diet: Algae, detritus, and any animal matter they can scavenge
  • Colorful feature: This crab comes in a range of colors. Some crabs are duller than others, but some are a vivid, bright purple. Others are bright red or orange, while still others are more of a plain brown.

Fiddler crabs can be found in many areas of the world, but this species is the only one that can be found on the eastern Atlantic coast. Like other fiddler crab species, male West African fiddler crabs have one claw that is larger than the other. This claw is used primarily for communication with other crabs.

15. Royal Gramma

The royal gramma swimming in coral.
  • Latin name: Gramma loreto
  • Habitat: Can be found in coral reefs in the tropical western Atlantic
  • Size: Up to about 3″ long
  • Diet: Various types of plankton
  • Colorful feature: Like other basslet species (some of which are also on this list!), the royal gramma is especially colorful. The front half of its body is bright, electric purple. The rear portion is bright, sunny yellow. There is a distinctive black spot toward the front of the dorsal fin.

The royal gramma is sometimes called the fairy basslet. It’s easy to see why, as its bright colors make it look almost magical! It’s one of the easiest basslet species to care for, so it’s a relatively common aquarium fish.

16. Huge Violet Ground Beetle

Huge Violet Ground Beetle on the ground.
  • Latin name: Carabus scabrosus
  • Habitat: Can be found around the area of the Mediterranean; exact range depends on subspecies
  • Size: Up to about 2″ long
  • Diet: Various types of smaller insects
  • Colorful feature: Many of these beetles are very dark violet purple, but their coloration does vary somewhat. Some individuals are darker blue-black, while others are closer to being a dark reddish brown.

The “huge” in this beetle’s name sets it apart from the somewhat smaller violet ground beetle. Like other ground beetles, while it looks a bit intimidating, it’s actually helpful when it comes to pest control. It eats smaller bugs, many of which are considered to be pests.

17. Magnificent Sea Anemone

A Magnificent anemone growing on a coral reef.
  • Latin name: Heteractis magnifica
  • Habitat: Can be found in tropical and subtropical waters of the Indo-Pacific
  • Size: Usually between 8″ and 20″ in diameter, but can be up to about 40″
  • Diet: Mostly young fish and smaller invertebrates
  • Colorful feature: This beautiful anemone comes in a range of colors. Many are various shades of purple, but some are brown, green, blue, red, or pink.

True to its name, the large and colorful magnificent sea anemone (also called the Ritteri anemone) stands out in any coral reef. Its column, or the outer structure housing its tentacles, is its most notable feature. If need be, it can retract its tentacles back into the column.

18. Spanish Shawl

Close-up of Spanish Shawl.
  • Latin name: Flabellinopsis iodinea
  • Habitat: Can be found along the western coast of North America, though it also extends further south
  • Size: Up to about 2.75″ long
  • Diet: Largely small aquatic organisms and sea anemone stinging cells
  • Colorful feature: The Spanish shawl is easily one of the most colorful nudibranchs. Its body is a pale, bright purple, and it is covered with bright orange protruding gills.

The name of this sea slug comes from both its coloration and its graceful way of swimming. If it needs to escape a predator, it will contract and expand its body to move through the water. This pattern of movement makes it look like a shawl or scarf fluttering in the wind.

19. Purple Shore Crab

Purple Shore Crab next to rock.
  • Latin name: Hemigrapsus nudus
  • Habitat: Can be found in rocky intertidal areas along the western coast of North America
  • Size: Carapace about 1.6″-2.2″ wide
  • Diet: Mostly sea lettuce and other types of green algae, though it will sometimes eat carrion
  • Colorful feature: As we’ve seen, there are a number of purple crabs in the world! This one is usually a dark purple that comes close to burgundy. However, some individuals are red or olive green. It usually has a few scattered cream or white markings on the carapace.

This little crab is quite common throughout its range. However, it can be hard to spot, as its dark coloration helps it to blend in among the rocks. Its dark carapace with white-tipped claws and scattered white markings often matches the darker rocks along the coastline.

20. Nembrotha purpureolineata

Close-up of Nembrotha purpureolineata.
  • Latin name: Nembrotha purpureolineata
  • Habitat: Can be found in the western part of the tropical Indo-West Pacific region
  • Size: Up to about 4.7″ long
  • Diet: Marine invertebrates, especially tunicates and sea squirts
  • Colorful feature: This colorful sea slug has a white base color and large splotches of purple. Some individuals have especially dark, burgundy-colored splotches.

While some sea slug species have been discovered relatively recently, this one was discovered back in 1924. It is one of the larger species of sea slugs, so it tends to be easier to spot as you’re exploring the ocean!

21. Purple Glossy Starling

Purple Glossy Starling looking down from perch.
  • Latin name: Lamprotornis purpureus
  • Habitat: Can be found in open woodlands and cultivated areas in tropical Africa
  • Size: About 8.7″-9″ long
  • Diet: Mostly insects and fruit
  • Colorful feature: This pretty bird looks a bit like an elongated purple grackle. Most of its body is a deep, glistening purple. Its large, intense yellow eyes form a stark contrast, and its wings are dark and glossy green.

If you go out looking for this bird, chances are good that you’ll hear it before you see it! This bird is quite loud, and like many other starling species, it likes to gather in large groups. It is very common throughout its range, and it nests in holes.

22. Twospined Angelfish

Close-up of Twospined Angelfish.
  • Latin name: Centropyge bispinosa
  • Habitat: Can be found throughout the Indo-Pacific
  • Size: Up to about 4″ long
  • Diet: Mostly detritus and algae
  • Colorful feature: This bright and beautiful fish has a dark purple base color. It has bright yellow to yellow-orange barring on the sides. And since yellow and purple are complementary colors, the contrast makes it incredibly striking!

The twospined angelfish is often called the dusky angelfish or the coral beauty. It is one of the most common angelfish found in the aquarium industry. It is generally regarded as being a reef-safe fish, but some keepers have reported that it sometimes tries to nibble on coral.

23. Splendid Sunbird

Splendid Sunbird perched on branch.
  • Latin name: Cinnyris coccinigaster
  • Habitat: Can be found in tropical parts of western and central Africa
  • Size: About 6″ long
  • Diet: Primarily nectar, though they will sometimes eat insects
  • Colorful feature: Male splendid sunbirds are mostly glossy purple. Their backs and parts of their wings are green, and they have a vivid red breast patch.

These beautiful birds have some similarities to hummingbirds. Their beaks are long and curved to make it easier to feed on flowers. And in some cases, they even hover to feed. However, unlike hummingbirds, they tend to perch to feed more often. Their nests are somewhat unusual, as the birds suspend them from tree branches.

24. Purple-Lined Wrasse

Purple-Lined Wrasse against dark background.
  • Latin name: Cirrhilabrus lineatus
  • Habitat: Can be found in coral reefs near Australia and New Caledonia
  • Size: Up to about 4.7″ long
  • Diet: Various small marine animals
  • Colorful feature: This beautiful fish is sometimes called the lavender wrasse. It’s easy to see why; its body is primarily pastel purple, and its yellow fins seem to softly fade into its purple body. Most of its body is marked with thin, horizontal blue lines, though some fish have more pronounced lines than others.

Wrasses are some of the most colorful fish out there, so it’s no wonder that this fish graces many saltwater aquariums. They are generally easy to keep, although it’s important to exercise caution when introducing new fish: the purple-lined wrasse will sometimes be aggressive toward new arrivals.

25. Purple Martin

Purple Martin perched on small branch.
  • Latin name: Progne subis
  • Habitat: Can be found across temperate North America
  • Size: About 8″ long
  • Diet: Various types of insects
  • Colorful feature: Like some other species on the list, the purple martin does not actually have a purple base color. Rather, its feathers are black with an impressive iridescent sheen. Depending on both the individual bird and the lighting, the colors may shine deep purple, blue, or even green.

This unique bird has a long-standing relationship with humans. It nests in cavities, and many Native American tribes would hang gourd nests for the birds. The birds benefitted from the housing, and the people benefitted from the birds’ voracious appetite for crop pests. Even today, many people across North America hang up nests for purple martins.

26. Felimare picta

Felimare picta underwater.
  • Latin name: Felimare picta
  • Habitat: Can be found in rocky parts of the Gulf of Mexico, the northeastern Atlantic Ocean, waters off the coast of Spain and Portugal, and the Mediterranean Sea
  • Size: Up to about 5.1″ long
  • Diet: Sponges of the Dysidea genus
  • Colorful feature: This large, colorful, and interestingly-marked sea slug is especially memorable! It has a base color of dark blue or dark purple. It’s marked with swirling yellow lines. The amount of yellow varies greatly between individuals.

The exact coloration of this sea slug seems to vary by location. Usually, slugs found in the Atlantic are quite dark and can be almost black. In the Mediterranean, the slugs seem to be paler, particularly as they age. They tend to became pale blue or pale violet, though the yellow markings generally retain their brightness.

27. Purple Firefish

Purple Firefish in aquarium.
  • Latin name: Nemateleotris decora
  • Habitat: Can be found in tropical waters of the Indo-West Pacific region
  • Size: Up to about 3″ long
  • Diet: Mostly smaller marine animals
  • Colorful feature: This slender fish usually has a pearly white base color. Its body is lined in vivid purple, and its fins are bright orange. In some individuals, the bright purple coloration extends to part of the body.

If you’re creating a reef aquarium and looking for fish to add, the purple firefish is a great choice! It is especially disease-resistant and is generally not aggressive toward other fish. However, if it’s kept in close quarters, it may fight with tankmates.

28. Purple-Breasted Cotinga

Purple-Breasted Cotinga in tree.
  • Latin name: Cotinga cotinga
  • Habitat: Can be found in tropical forests and forest edges in parts of northern South America
  • Size: About 4.7″-5.1″ long
  • Diet: Mostly fruit
  • Colorful feature: Cotingas tend to be colorful birds, and the purple-breasted cotinga is especially so. While much of its upper body is blue, its breast is a vivid, faintly reddish purple.

South America is home to a whole range of colorful and beautiful birds, and the purple-breasted cotinga is especially striking. Many cotinga species have some purple markings, but this one has substantially more than other species. With its bright blue body and purple breast, it’s unmistakable!

29. Varied Bunting

Varied Bunting Bird in forest.
  • Latin name: Passerina versicolor
  • Habitat: Can be found across much of the southwestern United States and through parts of Mexico
  • Size: About 4.3″-5.1″ long
  • Diet: Mostly seeds, insects, and berries
  • Colorful feature: Like many bunting species, male varied buntings are extremely colorful. Much of their bodies are a rich reddish color, and their heads are bright purple.

These cute, distinctive birds can often be found in shrubby areas and deserts. When making their nests, they take full advantage of the supplies near them; their nests are most often made of both grasses and spider webs! The exact patterning can vary a good bit from bird to bird: some are primarily red with hits of purple, while others have much higher proportions of purple, blue, or both.

30. Blue Dragon

Underwater picture of blue dragon.
  • Latin name: Pteraeolidia ianthina
  • Habitat: Can be found throughout much of the Indo-Pacific
  • Size: Up to about 2.8″ long
  • Diet: Various microscopic marine organisms
  • Colorful feature: If you look closely at a blue dragon, you’ll see that the base color is a pale tan. The cerata, or tentacle-like growths that help it breathe, are responsible for giving it its blue hue.

If you see this strange sea creature in action, you’ll know where it got its name: it bears a striking resemblance to the Chinese dragon! More recent research has indicated that while it was once believed to be a single species, it is likely a complex of several similar species.

31. Purple-Crested Turaco

Portrait of Purple-crested turaco.
  • Latin name: Gallirex porphyreolophus
  • Habitat: Can be found in forests and woodlands in many parts of Africa
  • Size: Up to about 18″ long
  • Diet: Primarily fruit
  • Colorful feature: This colorful bird is primarily blue. Its head is bright green, and it has a brilliantly shiny purple crest. Its flight feathers are bright red.

This beautiful bird’s feathers are of ceremonial importance throughout its native range. It is the National Bird of the Kingdom of Eswatini, and its feathers are also used in ceremonies held by Eswatini’s Swazi royal family. It plays an important role in its habitat: since it eats fruit, it is able to widely distribute the seeds of fruiting plants.

32. Stubby Squid

Stubby Squid on the bottom of the ocean.
  • Latin name: Sepiolida order
  • Habitat: Can be found in coastal waters in much of the Pacific and some parts of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans
  • Size: About 0.4″-3″ long
  • Diet: Small marine crustaceans
  • Colorful feature: These little squid come in a range of colors, and some are bright purple. Thanks to bioluminescent bacteria, it is able to glow. By doing so, it prevents predators from seeing its silhouette.

This cute squid is also called a bobtail squid. Its mantle is quite round, and its tentacles are short. Its bioluminescence makes it especially striking; in addition to being brightly colored, many of these squids appear to be glittering!

33. Seahorse

Purple seahorse in the water on aquarium in oceanarium.
  • Latin name: Hippocampus sp.
  • Habitat: Shallow tropical and temperate waters in most parts of the world
  • Size: About 0.6″-14″ long
  • Diet: Small marine crustaceans
  • Colorful feature: Depending on the exact species, seahorses come in a range of bright colors. As you can see in the photo, some are even vivid purple!

Though many people think of seahorses as a single species, there are actually 46 separate species of this unique animal! Their long, horse-like snouts are an adaptation to help them easily catch prey. Depending on the surroundings, a seahorse may swim around in search of food or simply sit and wait for it to pass by.

34. Violet-Crowned Woodnymph

Beautiful violet-crowned Woodnymph male hummingbird feeding on some wild flowers.
  • Latin name: Thalurania colombica
  • Habitat: Forests and semi-open areas across much of South America; exact range depends on subspecies
  • Size: Males are 3.7″-4.5″ long; females are 3.3″-3.6″ long
  • Diet: Nectar from various plant types
  • Colorful feature: Although both male and female violet-crowned woodnymphs are colorful, males are the ones with purple features. Males have purple heads, backs, and bellies. Much of the rest of the body is blue, and the throat is brilliant metallic green.

There are eight separate subspecies of this pretty little bird. Each subspecies looks a bit different, and some have less purple coloring than others. However, all of them have the striking metallic sheen that makes this bird so memorable!

35. Orchid Dottyback

Close-up of Orchid Dottyback.
  • Latin name: Pseudochromis fridmani
  • Habitat: Can be found throughout the Red Sea
  • Size: Up to about 2.5″ long
  • Diet: Mostly smaller marine animals, but they will eat a wide variety of foods
  • Colorful feature: As you can likely guess from the name, the orchid dottyback is a bright orchid purple. It has a thin black line across the face that runs through both eyes.

Thanks to its pretty coloration and relative ease of care, the orchid dottyback has become somewhat popular as an aquarium pet. However, if it doesn’t have a highly nutritious diet with a lot of variety, its brilliant color may start to fade. If you add it to your tank, make sure you have a secure lid, as it likes to jump!

36. Violet Sabrewing

Violet sabrewing flying next to flower.
  • Latin name: Campylopterus hemileucurus
  • Habitat: Can be found in forests, gardens, and plantations from Mexico to Panama
  • Size: About 5.1″-5.9″ long
  • Diet: Nectar from a variety of plants, though they also can eat some arthropods they get from plants
  • Colorful feature: Both males and females are very colorful. Males are mostly bluish-green, but their face, underparts, and upper backs are violet purple. Females have a violet throat, and the rest of their bodies are largely bronzish green.

As we’ve seen, many hummingbird species are at least partially purplish in color! This one seems to have a healthy population and a large range. The IUCN currently classifies this species as being of least concern, but experts believe that its population may be in decline.

37. Velvet-Purple Coronet

Seven-colored hummingbird with its beak open, sticking out its tongue.
  • Latin name: Boissonneaua jardini
  • Habitat: Can be found in forests and shrubby areas along the Pacific slope of the Andes
  • Size: About 4.3″-5″ long
  • Diet: Mostly nectar, though they will also eat insects
  • Colorful feature: This pretty bird does have a velvet-like sheen. Its breast is shimmering purple, and males have a bright bluish-purple crown.

Most hummingbirds feed on nectar, and some species glean insects from flowers as well. But the velvet-purple coronet is a particularly aggressive hunter. It hunts insects by hawking, meaning that it sits on a perch and swoops to catch insects in flight.

38. Palawan Purple Crab

Palawan Purple Crab at the edge of the water.
  • Latin name: Insulamon palawanense
  • Habitat: Can be found along the coast of the Philippines
  • Size: About 1″-2.1″ wide
  • Diet: Fruit, small animals, and detritus
  • Colorful feature: Though a few crabs are purple, few are the same brilliant purple as the Palawan purple crab! This creature is mostly a rich, iridescent purple, though its claws are vivid orange.

Lots of crab species are bright, but very few are iridescent! Researchers think that this species’ iridescence might help it to recognize others of its species. However, it’s possible that the iridescence serves no purpose at all.

39. Agathina Emperor

Agathina Emperor on log.
  • Latin name: Doxocopa agathina
  • Habitat: Can be found across the Guyanas, northern Brazil, and the Amazon
  • Size: Wingspan about 2″
  • Diet: Mostly decaying fruit, dung, and carrion
  • Colorful feature: Males and females of this species look very different; only males have the namesake purple sheen. The edges of their wings are outlined in black, while the forewings have a few whitish (and sometimes orange) spots. Notably the proboscis of this butterfly is bright green!

This beautiful butterfly has marked sexual dimorphism, and it’s easy to think the females are a different species. Females have wings that are mostly dark sepia brown, Each forewing and hindwing has a soft orange band. However, the patterns along the edges of the wing are similar to those of male butterflies.

40. Costa’s Hummingbird

Costa's Hummingbird in flight.
  • Latin name: Calypte costae
  • Habitat: Can be found in arid parts of the American Southwest and the Baja Peninsula
  • Size: About 3″-3.5″ long
  • Diet: Primarily flower nectar, though it also may eat smaller insects found on the flowers
  • Colorful feature: Male Costa’s hummingbirds have some of the most noticeable purple coloring on the list. Though most of their bodies are comparatively dull, their heads are a dazzling purple.

Like many other hummingbird species, the Costa’s hummingbird has an interesting way of protecting itself on colder nights. It is able to enter a state of torpor, meaning that it can dramatically slow down its heart rate and respiration rate. This state is similar to that of hibernation in other animals.

41. Splendid Dottyback

Splendid Dottyback coral reef fish in marine aquarium.
  • Latin name: Manonichthys splendens
  • Habitat: Can be found across the Indo-West Pacific region
  • Size: Up to about 5″ long
  • Diet: Various smaller marine organisms
  • Colorful feature: This little fish has a mesmerizing pattern. While its basecolor is lemon yellow, its body has a spotted or web-like pattern of deep purple (sometimes blue). Its tail is very bright yellow, and its face often has a little patch of white.

Last on the list is this appropriately-named reef fish. Many individuals are yellow with purple markings, but some of these fish have markings that are closer to being black or very dark blue. This fish may sometimes be found in the aquarium trade, but compared to other species on the list, it’s relatively rare.

Purple Creatures From Around the World

Hopefully you’ve discovered some purple animals you never knew existed. And whether you see a bright purple fish in an aquarium or a regal purple bird high in a tree, we hope these animals will brighten your day!

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