çao, Netherland Antilles: Fauna


Fish circle
Fish circle

Curaçao - fauna

According to Carmabi foundation, there are total of about 11 native mammals found on Curaçao. These are white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus curassavicus, the mouse Baiomys hummelincki, the cotton-tail Silvilagus floridensis nigronuchalis and 7 - 8 species of bats.

christoffel-park-1.jpg This particular cave does not belong to famous Curaçao Hato caves. It is located somewhere in Santa Catharina district.
Shete Boka It is impossible to get to this cave without machete: trees, shrubbery, and cacti guard access to the cave with all sharp weapons at their disposal. Our guide said that we are probably last people who see this cave.
Shete Boka The cave is heavily populated by bats and very dangerous paper wasps. We are not sure about the bat species. According to this website There are seven species of bats on Curaçao, the most abundant being Glossophaga longirostris elongata, with a population of almost 2000 individuals. The other six species are rare and include L. curasoe, a subspecies of Leaf-chinned bats (Mormoops megalophylla intermedia), Funnel-eared bats (Natalis tumidirostris), Little Brown bats (Myotis nesopolus), Leaf-lipped bats (Pteronotus davyi), and Bulldog bats (Noctilio leporinus). If you recognized the bat species, please give Nemose a tweet at
Shete Boka Many bats pollinate cacti while foraging on their nectar at nights. This ancient mutualism allowed both bats and cacti to survive for hundreds of years. Without these cooperating organisms the island would be practically barren because the cacti, the dominating plant form, in their turn, provide shelter and ecological niche for other animals.
Klein Curacao We met 3 species of crabs on Curaçao. This species lives on Klein Curaçao. They favor shallow brine puddles 20-30 feet from the ocean. Another curious species of crabs that is found on Klein Curaçao, especially near the old lighthouse, is hermit crab. Useful site about them is here The Caribbean Terrestrial Hermit Crab Coenobita Clypeatus (herbst, 1791). Unfortunately we did not take a good picture of these charming crabs.
Shete Boka This crab species prefers to hang out on rock edges where ocean water splashes wildy in Shete Boka and Watamula parks.
LimeStone This is the house gecko (Hemidactylus mabouia), also called tropical house gecko, wood slave gecko, African wood slave. In Papiamentu it is called pegapega. These nice animals are very shy. They do important service by eating lots of bugs that bother you in the tropics.
Shete Boka Beautiful blò-blò (male whiptail lizard). They are everywhere but they are difficult to get a good look at because they are very shy. Juveniles and females are brownish.
Shete Boka Not surprisingly, the iguana (yuana) is among the Curaçao most prominent reptile species. Iguana meat and eggs are considered a delicacy and a powerful aphrodisiac. Iguana stew is served in Yani restaurant that is located on the west side of the island. The restaurant is not conventional in many ways. Do not go there if you are in a hurry because it will take you about 2 hours to eat and get free on the road again.
Shete Boka Anolis sp. This is a very common species of lizards on all Caribbean islands and in Florida. They are remarkable in many ways. In Papiamentu they are called "totèki" or "kaku".
Shete Boka Bare-eyed pigeon (Patagioenas corensis) feeding at Yani restaurant. The restaurant's owner keeps a multitude of various bird feeders visited by many local birds. They create cheerful and unique atmosphere by chirping, swinging on ceiling decorations, and sometimes, trying to steal food from eating visitors.
Shete Boka Several sea turtle species, almost all of them endangered, are nesting on the island. The Curaçao Seaquarium is one of the safest places where they can find food and shelter. The Seaquarium is still underdeveloped and, naturally, is focused on local species. It is worth visiting though it was designed to be very interactive - flamingoes and sea stars, sharks and sting rays - you will have an opportunity to pet or feed them. And at the end of you visit, you can choose to be kissed by a charming sea lion.

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