Texas has an amazing diversity of wildlife, from the well-known white-tailed deer and largemouth bass to the under-appreciated creepy-crawlies that we specialize in. We show some of the major groups of wildlife below, and will add greater detail to each group from time to time. There are many organizations devoted to specific groups of wildlife, such as the Audubon Texas, the Texas Herpetological Society, or the North American Native Fishes Association, and we encourage you to check them out and support them.
Warm-blooded (endothermic) animals that have hair, such as the white-tailed deer, coyote, armadillo, bobcat, raccoon, porcupine, cotton rat, and … you and me!
The other endothermic animal, but of course these have feathers and most species can fly. Our birds include the house finch, screech owl, red-tailed hawk, mockingbird, crow, great blue heron, and lots of others such as the greater roadrunner pictured here.
Cold-blooded (ectothermic) animals with scales, including the American alligator, box turtle (a desert box turtle from west of Marathon is shown at left), snapping turtle, Texas ratsnake, gartersnakes, Texas spiny lizard, spotted whiptail, and others. See our “Reptiles” page for more information.
These are also ectothermic animals, with delicate and sometimes slimy skin, Most of them start life in the water and later change (metamorphose) into air-breathing adults. These include the small-mouthed salamander, bullfrog, leopard frog (shown in the photo), Woodhouse’s toad, and many others. See our “Amphibians” page for more information.
These animals are adapted for their aquatic lives, with fins for swimming and gills for getting oxygen from the water. Our native fish include gar, madtoms and other catfish, sunfish, the mosquitofish, black-striped topminnow, and many others.
Insects & Arachnids
These are animals without backbones, but they have a tough outer covering or “exoskeleton” and jointed legs. Insects include bees, wasps, butterflies, beetles (Wood’s jeweled scarab is pictured here), water boatmen and other aquatic insects, grasshoppers, and many more. Arachnids include such animals as spiders and scorpions.
This group covers everything from earthworms and flatworms to centipedes and millipedes. Also included are crustaceans such as crayfish (shown at left) and mollusks such as freshwater clams and snails.