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22 Unique Red And Black Animals (With Photos)

Animals with red and black colors are some of the most stunning in the entire animal kingdom!

Examples of red and black animals include red pandas, scarlet lily beetles, milk snakes, strawberry poison dart frogs, northern cardinals, ladybugs, scarlet mormons, and many others.

Do some of them sound familiar? Let’s jump straight in and see what each of these looks like!

Red And Black Animals

Red Panda

red panda close up
  • Scientific name: Ailurus fulgens
  • Size: 22-25 in
  • Weight: 8-17 lb
  • Found In: Asia

Red pandas are small mammals with thick and soft fur that is rich reddish-brown above and black below.

They also have white-lined pointed ears, white muzzles, and ringed tails. 

Despite the name, these furry and cute-looking animals are more closely related to raccoons than the black and white giant pandas. 

Their babies are born with fur and look even more adorable than their adult counterparts. Red panda offspring will stay with their mothers for a year until they become fully grown. Outside of the mating season, adult red pandas will live alone and rarely interact with others. 

These animals native to the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) since 2015 with an estimated population of fewer than 10,000 individuals.

Mozilla’s browser, Firefox, the one you might be using right now, means “red panda”.

Scarlet Lily Beetle

Scarlet Lily Beetle
  • Scientific name: Lilioceris lilii 
  • Size: 0.23-0.35 in 
  • Weight: /
  • Found In: North America, Africa, Europe, and Asia

Scarlet lily beetles are known under several names, including red lily beetles and lily leaf beetles. 

These pests native to Europe and Asia have been introduced to North America in the 1940s. After being spotted in Montreal around 1943, they spread throughout Canada and were even discovered in Massachusetts in 1992.

Adult scarlet lily beetles are scarlet red above and black below their under their half-inch-long bodies. 

They eat holes in the leaves of lily plants which causes the leaf to drop and weaken the plant. Scarlet lily beetles spend winters in the soil and emerge around spring to feed and mate. 

Milk Snake

Milk Snake
  • Scientific name: Lampropeltis triangulum 
  • Size: 14-72 in 
  • Weight: 0.02-3 lb 
  • Found In: North and Central America

Milk snakes are slender-bodied snakes found from southeastern Canada through the eastern US down to Central America. 

There are 24 subspecies of these reptiles and although their patterns resemble those of venomous snakes, they are not venomous to humans. 

Their color can vary depending on the subspecies; Honduran milk snakes, for example, can be red with distinct black bands. 

North American adults usually range from 1.3 to almost 8 oz but some can reach over 3 pounds! Milk snakes are active during the night but prefer to stay hidden. 

They can climb trees, swim, and if feeling threatened, they will first try to escape. Mostly opportunistic eaters, they will feed on rodents, birds, their eggs, other reptiles, slugs, etc. 

Milk snakes got their name from a false belief that these snakes can suck cow udders and get milk. They are often found around barns, using those cool and dark environments to rest during the day, which only helped reaffirm the milk-drinking fable.

Strawberry Poison Dart Frog

Strawberry Poison Dart Frog
  • Scientific name: Oophaga pumilio 
  • Size: 0.67-0.94 in 
  • Weight: 1 oz
  • Found In: Central America

Strawberry poison-dart frogs are one of the most stunning-looking and dangerous frogs.

Also known as strawberry poison frogs and blue jeans poison frogs, these small animals are common in Central America. They are often found in humid lowlands and premontane forests. 

Strawberry poison frogs are also known for their variation in color, with 15-30 different color morphs – one of those includes bright red skin with a black polka dot pattern. 

These brightly colored and very toxic frogs are most active during the day.

Strawberry poison frogs have an interesting feeding technique where they stick out their tongues to catch ranging numbers of small prey, feeding mostly on ants which is where they get the alkaline toxins for their poisonous skin.

Northern Cardinals

red northern cardinal
  • Scientific name: Cardinalis cardinalis
  • Size: 8.3-9.1 in
  • Weight: 1.2–2.3 oz
  • Found In: North and Central America

Northern cardinals are medium-sized songbirds found in Southeastern Canada, the Eastern USA, Mexico, and parts of Central America. They inhabit woodlands, gardens, shrublands, and wetlands. 

These beautiful birds with orange beaks and stunning head crests are sexually dimorphic. 

Male northern cardinals are bright red with black throats and faces while the females are mostly brown with reddish wings and tails. 

They are also known as redbirds and they get their red color from the food they eat – if there are not enough carotenoids in their food, they become brownish. 

Listen for their 2-3 second song which is a loud string of clear down-slurred or two-parted whistles that sound like “cheer-cheer,” “birdie-birdie,” and “wheet-wheet.” Northern cardinals’ most common call is a loud, metallic chip they use to chase away other males entering their territories. 

They are very territorial and aggressive – northern cardinals will often try to ferociously attack their reflections in the mirrors and windows.

These monogamous songbirds are omnivores that feed on seeds, fruit, and insects. In case you notice male cardinals with baldness problems – it’s a sign they’re in the middle of a late summer molt. 


Seven-spotted ladybug
  • Scientific name: Coccinellidae 
  • Size: 0.03-0.7 in 
  • Weight: / 
  • Found In: Widespread

Ladybugs are a large family of insects consisting of more than 6,000 species. 

The correct name would be ladybird beetles or lady beetles, as they are not classified as true bugs. 

Ladybugs are often conspicuously colored and have round bodies with six short legs and antennae. The most familiar in North America are seven-spotted ladybugs that have shiny red and black bodies. 

Their bright markings and colors are to deter predators from eating them – they learned that the black and red color combination might have a bad taste which is why they avoid eating ladybugs. When threatened, these insects will secrete a foul-tasting fluid from their legs, or even play dead. 

Ladybugs are very useful to farmers as they feed on aphids and other plant-eating pests. They have a big appetite and can often consume up to 75 of these per day! 

The name comes from the European farmers who named them “beetle of Our lady” after they helped them control crop-invading insects. Soon that name was shortened to today’s “lady beetle” or “ladybug”.

The most beloved and respected of insects, many cultures consider them to be a sign of good luck – in Tennessee, Ohio, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Delaware, ladybugs are official state insects. 

Red-necked Woodpecker

red necked woodpecker
Source: Bernard DUPONT from FRANCE, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons (edited)
  • Scientific name: Campephilus rubricollis 
  • Wingspan: /
  • Weight: / 
  • Found In: South America

Red-necked woodpeckers are large woodpeckers primarily found in subtropical or tropical moist lowland and moist montane forests of South America. 

They are common in countries like Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Guyana. 

Red-necked woodpeckers have black wings, black backs, and deep red heads, necks, and underparts. Their beaks are pale grayish-white. 

They are often found in pairs and family groups, at large dead trunks within the forest. 

Red-necked woodpeckers are omnivores that feed on trees, consuming larvae of large beetles and moths, and some fruit.

Read More: List of the most colorful birds in the tropics

Scarlet Mormon

Scarlet Mormon
  • Scientific name: Papilio rumanzovia 
  • Wingspan: 4.7-5.2 in
  • Weight: / 
  • Found In: Asia

Scarlet Mormon butterflies are black with bright red markings and are also known as red Mormons. 

The species are dimorphic (males and females look different) and polymorphic (there is a variation in the looks of females).

They are native to the Philippines to Southeast Asia and were named by German naturalist Johann Friedrich – the species’ scientific name “rumanzovia” is after Nicholas Rumanzow, 19th-century chancellor of the Russian Empire. 

Scarlet Mormons are common around lightly wooded habitats where they feed on the nectar of different flowers.

Scarlet Ibis

scarlet ibis
  • Scientific name: Eudocimus ruber 
  • Size: 22-25 in
  • Weight: 3.1 lb
  • Found In: South and North America

Scarlet ibises are large birds native to South America and parts of the Caribbean Islands.

They can be recognized by their long pink legs and necks, partially webbed feet, and downcurved beaks that are 6-7 inches long.

As the name suggests, scarlet ibises are birds that are bright red (scarlet) colored with dark beaks and some black-tipped feathers. 

Scarlet ibises were introduced to Florida and can now be seen year-round around marshes, swamps, inland wetlands, lawns, and shallow ponds in its southern parts. 

They can be often spotted wading in shallow waters, probing mud and vegetation with their sensitive beaks in pursuit of food. 

These big birds get their brilliant red color from carotenoids found in the crustaceans they consume. Their diet also includes mollusks, fish, insects, frogs, and small snakes. 

Despite spending most of their time wading and walking on the ground, scarlet ibises are great fliers, highly migratory, and can cross long distances. They can be spotted in groups of 30 and more, flying in a classic V formation. 

Scarlet ibises are the national birds of Trinidad and Tobago.

If you are interested in seeing more long-billed birds found in Florida, check out this article.

Red Ruffed Lemur

Red Ruffed Lemur
  • Scientific name: Varecia rubra 
  • Size: 21-24 in 
  • Weight: 7.3-7.9 lb 
  • Found In: Madagascar

Red ruffed lemur are primate species native only to Madagascar. 

They are found in the northeastern part of the island, in the rainforests of Masoala. 

Red ruffed lemurs are rusty red with black foreheads, stomachs, tails, and the inside of their limbs. 

They are the largest quadrupedal lemurs in Madagascar, measuring around 24 inches in length and having a weight of up to almost 8 pounds.

Entirely vegetarian, they feed on fruit, nectar, seeds, and some leaves. They are considered to be one of the largest pollinators in the world as they move pollen stuck to their fur from tree to tree. 

Red ruffed lemurs have a tooth comb and a claw they use to groom themselves. These primates live in small female-dominated groups of around 2 to 16 individuals. 

Red ruffed lemurs are listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN due to hunting, illegal pet trade, mining, and habitat loss.

Scarlet Tanager

scarlet tanager
  • Scientific name: Piranga olivacea
  • Size: 6.3-7.5 in 
  • Weight: 0.8-1.3 oz
  • Found In: North, Central, and South America

Scarlet tanagers are medium-sized songbirds with fairly large heads, thick, rounded beaks, and short and broad tails. 

They breed in deciduous forests, especially with oaks, in eastern parts of North America. Before departing to winter in South America, they can be seen from April to October.

These stunning red and black birds almost became the state birds of Minnesota back in the 1950s but ultimately common loons were picked. 

Male scarlet tanagers are bright red with black wings and tails; females are lime to yellow-green with white wing linings, and gray flank. 

People often compare scarlet tanagers’ song to one of a robin with a sore throat. Their call is a distinctive “chip-burr.”

Scarlet tanagers forage high in trees and primarily feed on insects and some fruit.

Red-Tailed Black Shark

Red-Tailed Black Shark
Source: Astellar87, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  • Scientific name: Epalzeorhynchos bicolor 
  • Size: 6 in
  • Weight: /
  • Found In: Thailand

Also known as redtail sharks and redtail sharkminnows, these freshwater fish are native to Thailand. 

Red-tailed black sharks are very prized due to their deep black bodies and vivid red tails – if the shark is unhealthy or stressed, the red color will become pale. 

They are critically endangered species that can be only found at a single location in the Chao Phraya basin. They are technically aren’t sharks, despite the similarities in body shape. 

Red-tailed black sharks are rather easy to care for and might make a good choice if you are looking for a red and black pet.

Pesquet’s Parrot

pesquet's parrot
  • Scientific name: Psittrichas fulgidus
  • Size: 18 in 
  • Weight: 24-28 oz
  • Found In: New Guinea

Pesquet’s parrots are large red and black parrots native to the rainforests of New Guinea. 

They measure around 18 inches in length and weigh 24-28 ounces. Pesquet’s parrots have black plumage with bright red bellies, rumps, and wing feathers. 

They also have bare black faces and long and hooked beaks giving them the nickname “vulturine parrots, ” one of their many. 

Pesquet’s parrots are also known as Dracula’s parrots but do not follow Dracula’s diet. Instead, they are frugivores that mainly feed on several species of figs, some flowers, and nectar. 

Pesquet’s parrots are usually seen in pairs or small groups of up to 20 birds. Their stunning plumage makes them very prized among bird watchers; this in combination with habitat loss has placed them on the list of Vulnerable species. 

They have very harsh and rasping calls that people describe as “growling”.

Red Velvet Ant

Red Velvet Ant
  • Scientific name: Dasymutilla occidentalis 
  • Size: 0.75 in 
  • Weight: /
  • Found In: North America

Despite the name and their appearance, red velvet ants are actually wasps. 

Also known as eastern velvet ants, cow ants, and cow killers, these parasitoid insects are native to the eastern parts of the United States. 

They are covered in dense, velvet-like hair, and have an overall black color with red patterns. Male red velvet ants can fly very quickly while the females are wingless – they are best known for their very painful stings, hence the name “cow killers”. 

They are the largest velvet-ant species, measuring about 0.75 inches long. 

Magnificent Frigatebird

Magnificent Frigatebird
  • Scientific name: Fregata magnificens
  • Size: 35-45 in 
  • Weight: 2.4-3.5 lb
  • Found In: North, Central, and South America

With a length of almost 4 feet and a wingspan of up to 8 feet, magnificent frigatebirds are the largest species of frigatebird in the world.

In North America, they are most commonly found in the Gulf of Mexico, around states like Texas and Florida. 

Named magnificent due to their striking appearance and behavior, these large red and black birds are easy to recognize due to their huge size, long pointed wings, and long deeply forked tails

Male magnificent frigatebirds are all-black and have scarlet throat pouches they inflate like balloons during the breeding season. Females are also black but have white breasts and lower neck sides.

They mostly feed on fish taken in flight from the ocean’s surface and their favorite food is flying fish, tuna, and squid. 

Just like the related great frigatebirds, magnificent frigatebirds will also harass and steal fish from other animals. This is known as kleptoparasitism. 

Despite their massive wingspans, these birds can’t land on water as their feathers aren’t waterproof and they would most likely drown.

Mud Snake

Mud Snake
Source: Peter Paplanus, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  • Scientific name: Farancia abacura 
  • Size: 40-54 in
  • Weight: /
  • Found In: North America

These species of semiaquatic and nonvenomous snakes are endemic to the southeastern parts of the USA. 

Typically, mud snakes measure from 40 to 54 inches – the longest recorded specimen was over 80 inches! 

Females are larger than males and have glossy black uppersides with black and red undersides. Commonly found burrowed in the mud around streams and cypress swamps, these snakes only leave the water to hibernate or lay eggs. 

Mud snakes are most active during the night and use their long sharply-pointed tails to poke their prey (hence their nickname “stinging snakes”) before catching and subduing the animal. 

There are 2 subspecies of mud snakes found in the US, the eastern and the western mud snakes.

Bare-necked Umbrellabird

bare necked umbrellabird
Source: MauricioCalderon, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons (edited)
  • Scientific name: Cephalopterus glabricollis
  • Size: 14-16 in 
  • Weight: 11-16 oz
  • Found In: Central America

Bare-necked umbrellabirds are large birds native to the forests of Costa Rica and Panama. 

They are listed as Endangered by the IUCN and scientists estimate a global population of under 2,500 birds.

In person, these birds are unmistakable. Both sexes are with large stocky bodies, hefty beaks, short tails, and wide, long wings. 

Male bare-necked umbrellabirds are black with stunning Mohican-like black crests on their heads and scarlet-colored bare necks and throats. Females are smaller than males and have smaller crests with no bare skin on their throats. 

They also resemble purple-throated fruitcrows a bit. 

Bare-necked umbrellabirds are omnivorous and feed on fruits, berries, and some lizards, frogs, insects, and larvae.

Cinnabar Moth

Cinnabar Moth
  • Scientific name: Tyria jacobaeae 
  • Size: 0.79 in 
  • Weight: /
  • Found In: Europe, Asia, Australia, and North America

Cinnabar moths are unmistakable insects that got their name after the red mineral cinnabar. 

They have red hindwings and red markings on their black forewings. 

The species are native to Europe and Asia but were introduced to North America, Australia, and New Zealand, to control ragwort which is a host plant for their caterpillars that is toxic for livestock. 

Cinnabar moths are common in open grassy habitats that include gardens, waste grounds, grasslands, etc. They contain very high histamine levels (700 µg/g) which is a substance often associated with poison glands in invertebrates.

Red-breasted Meadowlark

red-breasted meadowlark
  • Scientific name: Sturnella militaris
  • Size: 7.5 in 
  • Weight: 1.4-1.7 oz
  • Found In: South America

Red-breasted meadowlarks are small songbirds native to Costa Rica. 

They inhabit the open country, moist grasslands, pastures, and cultivation areas, especially if there is a bush or fence post for males to perch. 

Male red-breasted meadowlarks are black with crimson red throats, breasts, upper bellies, and shoulders. Females are brown mottled and streaked. 

Listen for several metallic chips followed by a dissonant buzz to identify red-breasted meadowlarks in nature, As part of their courtship ritual, males will sing a wheezing song that sounds like “ti-ti-pee-pee-KWAAAAAA“.

These gregarious birds make flocks of up to 100 individuals and forage on the ground; their diet mainly consists of insects and seeds.

Southern Ground Hornbill

southern ground hornbill
  • Scientific name: Bucorvus leadbeateri
  • Size: 35.4-50.8 in 
  • Weight: 4.9-13.7 lb
  • Found In: Africa

Southern ground hornbills are the largest hornbill species in the world.

These unique-looking animals have distinctively large, down-curved beaks they use to catch small animals found in the grasses and shrubs. 

Adult southern ground hornbill males are completely black with vivid red patches of bare skin on their faces and throats; females have bluish throats. 

They are commonly found in Southern Africa and inhabit both woodlands and savannas.

As the name suggests, southern ground hornbills will stay most of their time on the ground. 

They can fly but some studies discovered that they spend around 70% of their day walking.

Southern ground hornbills are apex predators that hunt reptiles, frogs, snails, insects, and hare-sized mammals.

In the early morning, the song of these red-necked birds can be heard from miles away, with pairs singing in a duet with deep-bass booming “oooh-oooh-ooh-oh” sounds. 

Southern ground hornbills are long-lived species that can live up to 70 years in captivity!


orangutan huge forehead
  • Scientific name: Pongo
  • Size: 45 in
  • Weight: 165 lb
  • Found In: Asia

Orangutans are great apes that are found in the rainforests of Indonesia and Malaysia.

The heaviest of the tree-dwelling animals, orangutans have exceptionally long arms, short legs, and incredibly large foreheads

They also have a reddish-brown color on their coat and gray-black skin.

Males can develop thick cheekpads that make their heads stand out. After that, they become very aggressive towards other males that come close to them or their females. 

They are also our closest relatives – we share almost 97% of the same DNA with them. 

The word orangutan comes from the Malay words “orang” and “hutan“, meaning “human of the forest“.

There are 3 species of orangutans: the Bornean orangutan (P. pygmaeus), the Sumatran orangutan (P. abelii), and Tapanuli orangutan (P. tapanuliensis) – all of them are considered critically endangered.

Due to poaching, habitat loss, deforestation, and the illegal pet trade, their populations have severely declined.

Crimson-collared Tanager

crimson-collared tanager
  • Scientific name: Ramphocelus sanguinolentus
  • Size: 7.5–8 in
  • Weight: 1.4 oz
  • Found In: North and Central America

Crimson-collared tanagers are small songbirds found in Mexico and Central America. 

Their preferred habitats include edges of humid evergreen forests and verdant second growth. These tiny black and red birds measure around 7.7 inches in length and weigh around 1.4 ounces. 

Part of their scientific name “sanguinolentus” is a Latin word meaning “bloodied” and refers to their red color. 

Male crimson-collared tanagers are black with red napes, necks, breasts, and tail coverts. Females resemble males but are slightly duller. 

They are vocal birds whose song consists of 2-4 notes that sound like “tuee-teew, chu-chee-wee-chu“. They also have a “ssii-p” call that is emitted during flight or when perched. 

Crimson-collared tanagers forage typically in pairs and consume fruit and arthropods.


This concludes our list of red and black animals. 

Examples include several species of primates, birds, snakes, butterflies, moths, frogs, wasps, etc.

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