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What animal has green?

What animal has green?

Many animals display the color green either on their bodies or in their natural habitats. Green is a common color in the animal kingdom and serves important purposes like camouflage, signaling, photosynthesis, and more. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most notable green animals and examine why this verdant hue plays an integral role in their existence.

Green Animals on Land

On land, many reptiles and amphibians exhibit green coloration either for the entirety of their lives or during certain phases. Here are some examples:

Green Sea Turtle

Though it inhabits marine environments, the green sea turtle spends time on land to lay eggs and bask. This large turtle gets its name from the green color of its body fat under the shell. The green hue acts as protective camouflage.

Green Iguana

The green iguana sports a green body and head along with black stripes and orange jowls. Its green offers ideal camouflage in the treetops of its tropical forest habitat. Young iguanas start life with more vivid green but darken as they mature.

Green Anole

This slender lizard from the southeastern United States can rapidly change its color from brown to vivid green. This helps it blend in whether on dark bark or green leaves. However, its most dramatic use of green is to signal aggression toward rivals and establish territory.

Green Tree Frog

Found in Australia and New Guinea, the green tree frog lives up to its name with a bright emerald body. This helps it avoid predators in the rainforest. Its color can even shift between green and brown to better match surroundings.

Green and Black Poison Dart Frog

Inhabiting the tropical forests of Central America, this tiny frog secretes a highly potent neurotoxin through its skin. Its striking green and black markings act as a clear warning that this frog is danger. Predators learn to avoid anything with this vivid color combination.

Green Insects

A wide variety of insects also harness the power of green, including:

Praying Mantis

With leaf-like bodies, praying mantises disappear among foliage while waiting to ambush insect prey. Some species can even shift between green and brown depending on the plant colors around them.

Green Lacewing

This delicate-looking insect has sheer, pale green wings and a metallic green body. This disappears it against leaves as it searches for soft-bodied prey like aphids.

Green Stink Bug

Though called a bug, stink bugs are actually shield-shaped beetles. The green stink bug uses its leafy green hue as camouflage in trees and bushes during its hunt for plant juices.

Emerald Ash Borer

Unfortunately, this metallic green beetle wreaks havoc as an invasive species in North America. Native to Asia, it has damaged and killed millions of ash trees after arriving in the 1990s. Its emerald sheen helps it blend in with ash tree leaves and bark.

Green Birds

Birds also make prolific use of green feathers, including:


Parrots come in a rainbow of colors, and green is one of the most common. Green wings and feathers help parrots blend in with leafy habitats across Central and South America, Africa, and Asia.


The quintessential pet parakeet sports vibrant green and yellow plumage. Budgies hail from the grasslands of Australia where green offers protective camouflage in the treetops. The yellow also creates a type of “disruptive coloration” that helps conceal the bird’s outline.

Green Jay

Found from Mexico down into South America, this bold songbird lives up to its name with deep green and teal plumage, contrasted by a black bib. This tropical color scheme blends into its preferred habitat of rainforests and mangroves.

Green Heron

Despite its name, the green heron exhibits more of a dark blue-green or teal hue with a chestnut body. Nonetheless, its coloration allows it to disappear among reeds and grasses as it wades through shallow water hunting for fish.

Green Fish & Amphibians

While green helps land creatures blend in with trees and plants, it serves a similar purpose underwater by allowing aquatic animals to disappear against plants and algae:

Green Moray Eel

This long, sinuous fish inhabits coral reefs across the globe. Its yellow-green coloring with black splotches provides camouflage among both the reef and sandy bottoms, aiding its ambush of prey.

Green Tree Python

Spending its time coiled among rainforest branches, this python has striking green patterning that mimics light filtering through leaves. Young pythons start life a brilliant lime before gaining yellow and black accents with age.

Green Frog

This small North American frog bears a striking emerald color. However, its shade can shift from bright green to dull olive to better match its surroundings in ponds or among greenery on the forest floor.

Green Salamander

No amphibian lives up to its name quite like the green salamander. Ranging through the eastern U.S., this species sports a uniform vibrant green with zero markings. This singular hue acts as perfect camouflage among green plants and moss-covered rocks.

Green Plants & Algae

Beyond animals, obviously the plant kingdom harnesses green more than any other. The green pigment chlorophyll is crucial for photosynthesis and capturing energy from sunlight. Here are some notable green plants:


From lush green carpets coating the forest floor to blankets of moss clinging to tree trunks, few plants display green as vibrantly as moss. With over 20,000 species, these non-vascular plants thrive in damp, shady environments.


Whether short creeping ferns or tall stately tree ferns, this ancient group of plants heavily utilizes the color green in their abundant fronds and leaves. Rich green pigments allow them to thrive in dense forest understories.


Algae harness chlorophyll for aquatic photosynthesis and appear green in high concentrations, leading to “green tides” and “pond scum.” However, different pigments can also lead to brown, red, or blue-green algae. Green algae specifically help form the base of many marine and freshwater food chains.

Animal Shade of Green Purpose
Green Sea Turtle Dark green Camouflage
Green Iguana Bright green Camouflage
Green Anole Bright green Signaling
Green Tree Frog Emerald green Camouflage
Green & Black Poison Frog Vivid green Warning coloration
Praying Mantis Leaf green Camouflage
Green Lacewing Pale green Camouflage
Green Stink Bug Leaf green Camouflage
Parrots Vivid greens Camouflage
Budgies Bright green Camouflage
Green Jay Deep green Camouflage
Green Heron Blue-green Camouflage
Green Moray Eel Yellow-green Camouflage
Green Tree Python Vivid green Camouflage
Green Frog Bright green Camouflage
Green Salamander Uniform green Camouflage
Moss Vibrant green Photosynthesis
Ferns Rich green Photosynthesis
Green Algae Green Photosynthesis


In summary, green serves many crucial functions across the animal and plant kingdoms. Pigments like chlorophyll allow plants to harness the sun’s energy and set the foundation for nearly all life on Earth. Animals in turn utilize green’s ability to provide camouflage and concealment against leafy or aquatic backdrops. Beyond blending in, some animals leverage bright green hues to communicate with mates or warn predators of toxicity. Across habitats from rainforests to coral reefs, green provides a critical adaptive edge and connects many forms of life.