Welcome to our visual list of things that are TEAL in nature!
Blue and green are both lovely cool colors. But when they come together in just the right proportions, they create a new, distinctly tranquil shade: teal.
This striking bluish green isn’t seen in nature too often. But when you see it, you won’t forget it!
List of Things That Are Teal
Here’s our extensive list of things that are teal in nature:
1. Eurasian Teals
First on the list is the Eurasian teal, a small Eurasian duck that gave the color teal its name. This duck has a chestnut head with a large, teardrop-shaped patch of greenish blue. The patch has a pencil-like white lining that sets it off from the rest of the duck’s head. However, the Eurasian teal isn’t teal all of the time; only the males in breeding season have the signature teal-marked face.
The word “agave” actually refers to a whole genus of plants. These plants have long, pointed, succulent leaves, and they are various shades of green. As you can see in the picture, some species are a rich teal in color, too! Agave is a very useful plant: its flowers and leaves are edible and the plant can be used to make a honey-like syrup. And as you might already know, some species of agave are even used to make tequila!
3. Cobalt Milkweed Beetles
Despite its name, the cobalt milkweed beetle often has a metallic teal exoskeleton. It feeds on wild milkweed plants and can often completely defoliate plants. But in many cases, the plant does not die; it will go dormant until the next year. These beetles will sometimes eat the root structure of a milkweed plant, and if this is the case, the plant will eventually die. Luckily, cobalt milkweed beetles only really target weeds, so they aren’t regarded as being garden pests or otherwise as being problematic.
4. Greater Blue-Eared Starlings
This African bird is easily one of the most beautiful animals on the list. While many animals just have a few teal accents, the greater blue-eared starling has a body that is almost entirely glossy teal. Depending on the subspecies, the color may be a brighter teal or it may be closer to black. And even though it’s especially beautiful, this bird is extremely common in open African woodlands.
5. Green Tree Monitors
Many monitor lizards are dull shades of brown, gray, or black. That’s not the case with the green tree monitor, a large lizard found primarily in forests on the island of New Guinea. This lizard’s name is also a bit misleading; though many individuals are green, some are also teal in color. The bluish teal looks especially striking mottled in with the black patterning across the back. Thanks to its bright coloring, the green tree monitor can frequently be found in zoos and in the pet trade.
6. Puya Flowers
Teal is a very uncommon color in flowers. But you’ll know a puya flower’s vibrant teal coloring when you see it! It takes years for a puya plant to reach maturity. But when it does, it’s known as a sapphire tower. It’s a highly unusual plant, as it grows tall with leafed branches reaching out horizontally, the clusters of flowers stick primarily to the central stalk.
7. Blue-Headed Anoles
The green anole is one of the more common lizards in the pet trade. But the blue-headed anole, its more colorful relative, makes a major statement in the wild or in a terrarium. These smallish lizards are not entirely teal, but their dark blue heads fade to teal, then turquoise, then bright green. The color gradient is especially smooth. But as is the case with many species, the striking coloring is seen in male lizards. Depending on the location, this species may have more or less blue or teal. Females are a dullish green that makes them difficult to distinguish from green anoles.
8. Alpine Black Swallowtail Butterflies
Swallowtail butterflies are among the most beautiful in the world. And like many black butterflies, it has a mesmerizing iridescent sheen. The glimmering greenish-blue coloration is especially prominent on the hindwings, and in some individual butterflies, it is more teal than it is green. But if you looked at the undersides of the wings, you might think you were looking at a different creature altogether! Its deep brown underwings are dotted with very bright red and/or orange spots.
The word “bullfrog” doesn’t refer to a singular species; there are various types of bullfrogs all over the world. But every so often, someone will capture a highly unusual blue-teal bullfrog. In recent years, these pretty, cool-colored frogs have been found in Maine and Ohio. When that happens, the event will often be reported by nature publications and sometimes local news. But what causes it? Teal bullfrogs have a condition called axanthism where they cannot produce yellow pigmentation. Ordinarily, the yellow pigmentation combines with the bluish color makes them appear greenish-brown.
10. Ocean Water
Depending on where you are in the world, the ocean comes in a variety of colors. It’s turquoise in many tropical areas and deep gray in others. But in many cases, it’s a distinctive shade of teal. The reason for this color discrepancy is the presence of different particles in the water. Depending on the types of particles in the water, light refracts differently, resulting in various different colors. Depending on the day, the ocean might appear more blue, more green, or more teal. And of course, these deep colors look especially stunning against the foamy whitecaps atop the waves.
11. Quaker Parrots
These cute, small parrots are one of the more popular parrots in the pet trade. But they originated in the wild in South America. Quaker parrots mostly come either in green or teal. The teal coloration is considered to be a blue mutation. Pet owners looking for something different might be interested in the rare yellow mutation. These birds are bright enough that they look as though they could be a different species! They are more intelligent than many parrots and are capable of speaking many different words.
12. Green Birdmouth Wrasse
The green birdmouth wrasse is one of the more unusual-looking animals on the list. It’s also one of the stranger-looking fish found in the aquarium trade. If you just take one look at it, you can tell where the name comes from; both males and females have long, curved noses that taper to a point. They look a good bit like bird beaks. Only males have the greenish coloration mentioned in the name, but most individuals are closer to teal than they are to green. Females look different, but they still have pretty patterning. Their upperparts are slate gray or slate blue and the underparts are yellowish.
13. Northern Lights
Most of the teal things you can find in nature are animals. A few are plants. But the Northern Lights are one of the more mysterious and beautiful teal sights you’ll run into. This phenomenon is the result of a fairly complex process. Solar wind, or a release of charged particles from the sun, start to disturb the magnetosphere. That also disturbs the earth’s atmosphere, and the chaos of particles causes a beautiful rainbow of light. The Northern Lights, also called aurora borealis, are usually a mixture of teal, and green. In rarer cases, they will appear to be blue, red, and even purple! They are usually seen in the Arctic and surrounding regions, though they can also be seen in Antarctica.
14. One-Spotted Prepona Butterflies
Like most butterflies, this one has a few other names. You might hear it called the banded king shoemaker or the demophon shoemaker. Even though its name suggests it has one spot, it has a few: on the upper parts of the wings, it has a patch of blue to teal. Each wing also has a smaller, epaulet-like patch of the same color. You can find it on the edges of forests in Central America, Mexico, parts of South America, and the West Indies.
15. Stoplight Parrotfish
With a name like “stoplight parrotfish,” you might expect this interesting creature to be a mixture of red, green, and yellow. But the name just comes from a roundish yellow spot on the tail that comes up when the fish is in its final color phase. This colorful fish has a body that is almost entirely a beautiful teal in color. But the contrasting bright pink accents really make it memorable. The scales look as though they are rimmed in pink while the head has several pink markings. The stoplight parrotfish is commonly found in coral reefs, so if you ever go diving, you might just catch a glimpse of one!
Many beautiful gemstones are surprisingly affordable. Aquamarine is one of them, although very deep blue aquamarine can be very expensive. It’s technically a variety of beryl that has a deep blue or blue-green color. As is the case with many natural gems, aquamarine has a color that can vary considerably between stones. Some are a pleasant pale blue, some are deeper blue, and some, like the one in the picture, are a rich turquoise. Thanks to its ocean-like color, aquamarine was believed by the Romans to protect those traveling by sea. In more modern times, it has the honor of being the official birthstone of the month of March.
17. Blue Racer Snakes
Blue and teal are both somewhat rare colors in nature, but the reptile world can always be counted on to deliver vibrant and unusual colors. The blue racer is one of the more common blue or teal-colored reptiles. Individuals can be anywhere from dull gray to brilliant blue, with many individual snakes being closer to greenish teal. If you want to see one in the wild, you’ll probably need to be patient, as the blue racer generally prefers to avoid people and populated areas. Its range appears to be limited to Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana, as well as parts of Ontario.
18. Indigo Buntings
Lots of blue or teal birds are only blue or teal for part of the year. Only male indigo buntings are bluish, and that’s only during the breeding season. In the off-season, both males and females are brown, and they become very difficult to distinguish. From the name alone, you might not think these birds are teal. However, some, like the one in the picture, are much closer to teal than they are to indigo! This bird has a wide range across much of the eastern half of the United States, as well as parts of Canada and South America.
Unless you have an extensive knowledge of emstones, you may not be familiar with larimar, a mineral found only in the Dominican Republic. Larimar is a variant of pectolite, a much more common mineral. And like many blue minerals, it comes in quite a range of colors. It can be white, pale blue, darker blue, or even teal. Its name has quite an interesting backstory. Miguel Méndez, who helped rediscover the mineral in the 1970s, combined the Spanish word for sea (“mar”) with the first part of his daughter Larissa’s name.
20. Oriente Knight Anoles
Though many of us are familiar with green anoles, there are actually almost 400 species of anoles. Oriente knight anoles are among the largest and most colorful. They are covered in greenish-blue or teal scales that often form beautifully intricate patterns. Their contrasting dewlaps make their coloration especially memorable; males have dewlaps that are pink or bright orange. The dewlap plays an important role in both attracting mates and scaring off predators. This anole’s name might make you think it comes from Asia. However, the name “Oriente” comes from the name of its native range in Cuba.
Bloodstone is also called heliotrope. Its exact composition may vary, but it is usually quartz with hematite mixed in. The quartz in the stone usually occurs as a teal form of jasper. The hematite, as an iron oxide, is bright red in color. The red flecks against the teal of the stone are likely how heliotrope earned the colloquial name “bloodstone.” However, some of its historical uses relate to blood as well. In ancient Rome, soldiers believed that it could slow bleeding in battle. In ancient India, people also believed that the stone could slow bleeding if it was dipped in water before being applied to a wound.
22. Black-Naped Monarch Flycatchers
This pretty bird is native to South Asia and Southeast Asia, both places that are home to an impressive range of colorful animals. As you can see in the photo, males are usually a brighter blue. They are also the only ones with the black nape of the neck the species is named for. Females are duller, but their heads and the top of their backs are often a deep teal in color. That coloration will generally vary somewhat depending on the localized population; birds will differ in terms of both size and color. Thanks in part to the bird’s large range, there are 23 different subspecies!
Bluefish are big, strong, and aggressive fish that can be found in oceans across much of the world. They can weigh as much as 40 pounds, although it’s rare to find one above 20 pounds. Bluefish is a fatty fish that is high in omega-3 fatty acids, although it’s also high in mercury. Despite that fact, it has been overfished so much that it is now classified as being vulnerable to extinction.
24. Western Crowned Pigeons
This unusual and eye-catching bird looks a little like a peacock and a pigeon had a baby! As you can see, the feathers across its body are often teal in color, though they sometimes are closer to being slate gray. The western crowned pigeon’s most distinctive feature is its prominent, lace-like crest. Thanks to its beauty, the western crowned pigeon has earned a place in popular culture. It appears on the coat of arms of the province of West Papua. In a video game called Angry Birds Stella, there’s also a western crowned pigeon named Willow.
25. Mahi-Mahi Fish
Lots of people have eaten mahi-mahi grilled or broiled, but not everyone knows just how colorful this fish can be. Mahi-mahi, also called the common dolphinfish, dorado, or dolphin, is a large fish with a color gradient from blue to yellow. The underparts of this impressive-looking fish are bright yellow. The top is dark blue or green. Down the side, the blue usually blends with the yellow, creating a mixture of colors from teal to darker green to bright green. While it’s a popular food fish, mahi-mahi is also popular with sport fishing enthusiasts thanks to its large size and beauty. Fortunately, the population of mahi-mahi is large enough that it has not been threatened by fishing for food or sport.
26. Green Bottle Blue Tarantulas
Tarantulas aren’t usually known for their bright coloring. But the green bottle blue tarantula, also called the GBB in the tarantula hobby, is especially striking. The back part of the body is chestnut brown, but the front part of the body and the legs are deep teal. If you do choose to keep one, it’s not a great idea to handle it. The green bottle blue has small hairs that secrete a mild venom. It won’t cause substantial harm, but it will cause an uncomfortable and irritating sensation. This is a pretty easy species to care for, so it’s a good choice if you’re new to the hobby.
27. Brazilian Teals
We already saw the Eurasian teal, the duck after which the color teal is named. But the Brazilian teal, another duck, has coloring that looks closer to what most of us think of as teal. To get the full effect, you’ll need to see the duck extend its wing. The flight feathers are a brilliantly iridescent teal that darkens to navy closer to the body. Like other teals, it is a “dabbling duck,” meaning it forages for food at the top of the water instead of diving underwater for it.
28. Green Bottle Flies
The green bottle fly is probably the biggest nuisance on the list! But as you can see in the photo, these flies are quite beautiful if you take a closer look at them. There are many species of green bottle flies; they all belong to the genus Lucilia. Depending on the exact species, the iridescent body may be closer to blue or green. In many cases, the color is closer to being teal.
29. Green Keel-Bellied Lizards
The green keel-bellied lizard is a member of the Lacertidae family, a group of lizards that are usually quite colorful. Despite the name, this lizard is not always completely green: as you can see in the picture, some individuals have teal tails. The green keel-bellied lizard usually has a proportionally long tail, so it looks especially graceful when it’s perched high in a tree.
30. Malabar Parakeets
The pretty Malabar parakeet, unlike some other parrots or parakeets on the list, is not too common in the pet trade. At least when it was traded in India, it was known as the “Bababudan Parrot.” It was once popular, largely because many people incorrectly believed it was an especially good talker. Now, it is illegal to sell it in India. You might sometimes hear this bird called the “bluewing parakeet” thanks to the teal blue color of the wings and back.
31. Blue Topaz
You might think that blue topaz is, well, blue. But as is the case with many natural gemstones, it varies somewhat in color. As you can see in the picture, some blue topaz gems are more teal in color. Blue topaz (or really any color of topaz) is not quite as expensive as many other gemstones. However, it is an extremely hard stone. That makes it a great choice for making jewelry, especially rings or other pieces frequently subjected to a lot of knocks and general stress.
32. Grand Cayman Blue Iguanas
If you’re familiar with iguanas, you know that these lizards come in a range of color morphs, especially in captivity. The Grand Cayman blue iguana is especially striking, as it’s one of nature’s relatively rare blue animals. Individual iguanas vary in color: some are teal like the one in the picture, some are brighter blue, and some are more blue-gray. These striking lizards are among the largest in the world, as they often reach 5 feet from nose to tail! Unfortunately, they are now classified by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as an endangered species.
33. Australian Tree Snakes
The slender, whiplike Australian tree snake comes in a variety of colors. Its underparts are usually bright yellow, but the upperparts can be green, olive, brown, teal, or blue. The contrast between the cool shade of teal and the vibrant shade of yellow makes its coloration especially memorable. Though its long, slender body might look intimidating, the Australian tree snake is generally harmless. It tends to try to flee rather than attack when threatened. It’s capable of releasing a terrible smell from the cloaca in order to scare off predators, but it will also bite if absolutely necessary.
There are lots of blue-green stones whose colors come from copper, and dioptase is one of them. Despite its intensely beautiful coloring, it isn’t used too often as a gemstone. However, it’s fairly popular with people who like to collect minerals. It also can be ground up and used as a pigment. Its use as a pigment for painting goes very far back in time; it was used on statues built in Amman, Jordan, in 7200 B.C.!
35. Green Peafowl
This type of peafowl isn’t quite as well-known as the Indian peafowl, the bird most people mean when they talk about peacocks. And though the name might make you think that it’s bright green, many individuals have heads and necks that are brilliant, iridescent teal. This type of peafowl can be found in tropical forests across Southeast Asia. Unfortunately, it is classified by the IUCN as an endangered species.
36. Indochinese Rollers
You might hear this pretty, colorful bird referred to as the Burmese roller as well. It’s part of a family of very colorful birds, too: the other birds known as “rollers” also are usually bright and multicolored. This one is mostly various shades of blue. As you can see in the picture, parts of the wings and underparts are teal. The bird also has accents of turquoise, slate, royal blue, and slate gray.
37. Green Violet-Ear Hummingbirds
This little bird, also called the Mexican violetear, is commonly described as being metallic green. However, some birds are closer to being metallic teal. Even though the name suggests that the bird has purple patches over the ears, these patches are often closer to being deep blue or even blue-violet. Interestingly enough, this bird and other hummingbirds have extremely weak legs. Walking is often difficult or impossible, so they spend much of their time flying.
Arowanas are large, shiny fish that are sometimes kept by serious aquarium enthusiasts. They have especially large scales that often appear to be rimmed by different colors. In captivity, breeders have developed many color varieties of these fish. Though many of the more valuable strains are silver or white, you may see some like this one that have hints of soft metallic teal. In Asia, arowanas are a status symbol for the wealthy. Because the fish are so valuable, the farms that breed them often need to be surrounded by high-security fencing.
Kyanite is often medium to intense blue in color. But since its coloration largely comes from different impurities, there’s quite a range of colors, including teal. High-quality kyanite can be used as a gemstone. Some high-quality stones exhibit chatoyancy, an optical effect that makes a gem look like a cat’s eye. This mineral is more commonly used in ceramics, electronics, industrial abrasives, and electrical insulators.
40. Southern Green Shield Bugs
The southern green shield bug is a member of an insect group that is sometimes known as stink bugs. Like others in the family, it has special glands that can produce a terrible-smelling liquid to deter predators. There are more shield bugs in the world than most people realize; in total, there are over 7000 species that are classified under this umbrella term!
41. Tree Swallows
Like many teal birds, tree swallows have feathers with a stunning blue-green sheen. That sheen tends to look more teal or less teal depending on the precise angle of the light. Tree swallows have beautifully contrasting white underparts, making them very easy to identify. Interestingly enough, scientists have done so much research on tree swallows that the scientific community sometimes considers them to be model organisms.
42. Blue Mud Wasps
You might wonder why these glimmering creatures are called “mud wasps” or “mud daubers.” The name comes from their nest-building habits: they build nests out of mud! The blue mud wasp will sometimes take over the abandoned mud homes of other mud wasps. The organ pipe mud dauber’s nest is a beautiful example of a sturdy mud nest. This species builds a line of cylinders that look like a collection of organ pipes or a pan flute.
If you have any familiarity with the gemstone world, chances are good that you’ve heard of tourmaline. This stone can come in a huge range of colors. Individual stones can also be bicolored or even tricolored. You can find them in red, orange, brown, green, yellow, violet, blue, pink, or any colors in between, including teal. In many cases, tourmaline is a beautiful yet inexpensive gemstone, but some rare colors tend to be more expensive.
44. Discus Fish
Discus fish are native to the Amazon river basin. However, their colorful patterns and ease of care make them very popular aquarium pets. The popularity of the discus fish surpasses that of almost any other aquarium pet. Discus enthusiasts have created an industry with international discus fish shows and reputed breeders of high-quality discus. The hype around them makes sense, as they come in seemingly endless colors and patterns, including teal like the fish in the picture. An aquarium full of discus fish is an aquarium you won’t soon forget.
45. Anatolian Rock Lizards
The Anatolian rock lizard is one of the smaller lizards on our list, as it will usually grow to about 3″ long. Its markings vary widely from individual to individual. It usually is a dull olivish green, but as you can see in the photo, some individuals have striking blue tails that fade slowly to teal. Not surprisingly, you can find this lizard in rocky areas and also in forests. Its population is not considered to be vulnerable to extinction, but wildfires pose a threat to its numbers.
46. Gouldian Finches
Australia is home to many of the world’s most colorful birds, and the Gouldian finch is a great example. This small, very bright bird has highly unusual coloring: its feathering appears to be divided into definite squares or rectangles. The exact color of these patches isn’t always the same. But on birds with an overall cooler color palette (like the one in the picture), seeing teal wings isn’t uncommon.
If you enjoy collecting or reading about different gemstones, you may have heard of the relatively rare grandidierite. This stone is blue-green or teal. But the more iron a stone has, the more blue it will appear. It can be a little hard to tell grandidierite’s true color, as it can show three separate colors depending on what angle you’re viewing it from. This remarkable stone can appear colorless or light yellow, dark green, or dark blue-green.
48. Blue Green Chromis Fish
This fish can also sometimes be called green chromis. Along with other species in the Chromis genus, this fish can tolerate poor water conditions. That, its small size, and its relatively low cost make it a great aquarium pet. However, if you’re planning on adding some to your aquarium, make sure that you don’t house them with predatory fish like eels, groupers, or lionfish.
49. Blue Morpho Butterflies
As the name suggests, many blue morpho butterflies are bright blue in color. But there’s enough color variation within the genus that some individuals like the one in the picture have some shades of teal mixed in. The blue morpho is very easy to identify thanks to the thick black outlining along the wings, though the black lining is thicker in some species than in others. Many species of blue morpho have dull undersides of their wings with various eyespots for camouflage.
50. Sunda Island Pit Vipers
This striking snake is among the most beautiful of pit vipers. Most of the population is either bright grass green or a more muted teal. However, depending on the exact population, some individual snakes may be yellow. Be careful if you happen to see one, as this snake is venomous and is sometimes more inclined to fight than it is to flee.
51. Cuckoo Wasps
The cuckoo wasp is among the shiniest of the glossy teal bugs on the list. Its name refers to its method of laying eggs; it tends to lay eggs in the nests of other species. This is the same method used by the cuckoo bird, a bird that lays its eggs in the nests of other species as well. But in the case of the bird, the larger cuckoo chicks will often outcompete the host bird’s hatchlings for food!
52. European Bee-Eaters
This beautiful bird is definitely one of the most distinctive on the list! Its underparts are usually a deep teal separated from its yellow head by a thin black line. As is the case with many other birds on the list, the European bee-eater is much more colorful when in breeding plumage. It catches bees in flight and will eat up to 250 per day! But in order to avoid getting stung, it will hold the bee in its beak and swing it forcefully down into a hard surface before eating it.
Many of us think of glaciers as being white. But many of them appear to be either turquoise or teal. That’s largely due to the presence of “rock flour,” or particles from rocks worn down by the glacier. When the sunlight hits these particles, the glacier refracts light in a way that makes us perceive turquoise or teal.
Things That Are Teal in Nature
Teal may not be the most common color in nature. But as you can see, there are plenty of brilliantly colored teal things, including birds, lizards, insects, rocks, and even flowers. Next time you go for a walk, keep an eye out for all of the teal wonders of the world!