Flora and Fauna of Andaman Nicobar Islands


Black Baza
Andaman Serpant Eagle
White Bellied Sea Eagle
Narcondam Hornbill
Nicobar Pigeon
Nicobari Megapode
Andaman Treepie
Andaman Hawk Owl
Long tailed Parakeet


Bronze Back, Andaman - Dendrelaphis ahaetulla andamanensis 
Bronze Back, Daudins -Dendrelaphis tristis
Bronze Back, Painted -Dendrelaphis pictus andamenensis 
Bronze Back, Tiwaris -Dendrelaphis humayuni 

Cobra, King -Ophiophagus hannah 
Cobra, Monocellate-Naja naja kaouthia 

Crocodile, Estuarine- Crocodilus porosus 
Gecko-Cosymbotus platyurus 
Gecko-Hemiphyllodactylus typus typus 
Gecko, Andaman Day-Phelsuma andamanense 
Gecko, Curltailed-Cyrtodactylus rubidus 
Gecko, Flapsided-Platyurus sp. 
Gecko, Flying-Ptychozoon kuhli 
Gecko, Forest Day-Cnemaspis kandiana 
Gecko, House-Hemidactylus frenatus 
Gecko, Smiths-Gekko smithi 
Gecko, Spotted-Gehyra mutilata 
Gecko, Stripeheaded-Lepidodactylus lagubris 

Keelback, Sriped-Amphiesma stolata 
Krait, Andaman Banded-Bungarus andamanensis 
Krait, Common-Bungarus caeruleus 
Krait, Many Banded-Bungarus multicinctus 

Kukri, Andaman Banded- Oligodon woodmasoni 

Lizard, Andaman Garden-Calotes andamanensis 
Lizard, Common Garden-Calotes versicolor 
Lizard, Garden-Calotes calotes 
Lizard, Green Forest-Goniocephalus subcristaus 
Lizard, Green Garden-Calotes cristatellus 
Lizard, Spotted Garden-Calotes jubetus 
Lizard, Tiwaris Garden-Calotes danieli 
Lizard, Whitelipped Garden-Calotes mystaceus 

Monitor, Andaman Water-Varanuz salvator andamanensis 

Python, Reticulated-Python reticulatus 

Skink-Mabuya rudis 
Skink, Andaman-Mabuya andamanensis 
Skink, Blackstriped-Rioba bowringi 
Skink, Bronzeback-Sphenomorphus maculatus 
Skink, Brown-Mabuya rugifera 
Skink, Brownbacked-Sphenomorphus maculatum 
Skink, Lesser Brownback-Leiolopisma macrotis 
Skink, Lined-Mabuya multifasciata 
Skink, New Guinea Limbless-Dibamus novae-guineae 
Skink, Nicobar Legless-Typhloscincus nicobaricus 
Skink, Nicobar Tree-Dasia nicobaarensis 
Skink, Peters-Sphenomorphus quadrivittatum 
Skink, Tree-Dasia olivacea 
Skink, Tytlers-Mabuya tytleri 
Skink, Whitestriped-Scincella macrotympanum 

Snake, Amphibious Sea-Laticauda laticauda 
Snake, Andaman Blind- Typhlops andamanensis 
Snake, Andaman Cat- Boiga andamanensis
Snake, Andaman Water-Xenochropis piscator andamanensis 
Snake, (Common) Water-Xenochropis piscator melanzostus
Snake, Banded Swamp-Cantoria violacea 
Snake, Biswass Wolf-Lycodon tiwarii 
Snake, Blackheaded Hill-Sibynophis bistrigatus 
Snake, Boies Cat-Boiga dendrophilus 
Snake, Boies Water-Xenochropis trianguligera 
Snake, Brown Wolf-Lycodon aulicus capucinus 
Snake, Colubrine Amphibious Sea-Laticauda colubrina 
Snake, Common Blind-Indotyphlops braminus
Snake, Common Water- Xenochropis piscator piscator 
Snake, Dogfaced Water-Cerberus rhynchops 
Snake, Elephant Trunk-Acrochordus granulatus 
Snake, Flying-Chrysopelea paradisi 
Snake, Green Tree-Dendrelaphis cyanochloris 
Snake, Indian Rat-Ptyas mucosus 
Snake, Nicobar Stripedneck-Liopeltis nicobariensis 
Snake, Nicobar Water-Xenochrophis nicobarensis 
Snake, Oats Blind-Typhlops oatesi 
Snake, Smiths Cat-Boiga ochracea walli 
Snake, Sunbeam-Xenopeltis unicolor 
Snake, Whitebellied Water-Fordonia leucobalia

Tokay, Asian-Gecko gecko 

Tortoise, Malayan Box-Cuora amboinensis 

Trinket, Green-Elaphe prasina 
Trinket, Redtailed-Elaphe oxycephala 
Trinket, Yellowstriped-Elaphe flavolineata 

Turtle, Green Sea-Chelonia mydas 
Turtle, Hawksbill-Eretmochelys imbricata squamata 
Turtle, Lathery or Leatherback-Dermochelys coriacea 
Turtle, Loggerhead-Caretta caretta 
Turtle, Olive Ridley-Lepidochelys olivacea 
Turtle, Southern Flapshelled-Lissemys punctata granosa


Bat, Andaman Lesser Shortnosed Fruit-Cynopterus brachyotis brchysoma 
Bat, Bentwinged-Miniopterus australis pusillus 
Bat, Blackbeared Tomb-Taphozous melanopogon melanopogon 
Bat, Blyths Clubfooted-Tylonycteris pachypus fulvida 
Bat, Blyths Pouchbearing-Taphozous saccolaimus crassus 
Bat, Dobsons Horseshoe-Rhinolophus affinis andamensis 
Bat, Dobsons Longtongued Fruit-Eonycteris spelaea 
Bat, Fulvus Leafnosed-Hipposideros fulvus fulvus 
Bat, Insular Mouseeared-Myotis dryas 
Bat, Lesser Yellow-Scotophilus kuhli 
Bat, Little Nicobar Leafnosed-Hipposideros ater nicobarulae 
Bat, Nicobar Lesser Shortnosed Fruit-Cynopterus brachyotis scherzeri 
Bat, North Andaman Horseshoe-Rhinolophus cognatus famulus 
Bat, Shortnosed Fruit-Cynoperus sphinx 
Bat, South Andaman Horseshoe-Rhinolophus cognatus cognatus 
Bat, Tickells-Hesperoptenus tickelli

Cat, Jungle-Felis chaus 

Civet, Andaman Masked Palm-Paguma larvata tytleri 

Deer, Barking-Muntiacus muntjak 
(Deer, Spotted) or Chital-Axis axis 
Dolphin, Common-Delphinus delphis 

Dugong- Dugong dugon 

Flying Fox, Andaman-Pteropus melanotus tytleri 
Flying Fox, Car Nicobar-Pteropus faunulus 
Flying Fox, Indian-Pteropus giganteus 
Flying Fox, Malayan Large-Pteropus vampyrus 
Flying Fox, Narcondam Small-Pteropus melanotus satyrus 
Flying Fox, Nicobar-Pteropus melanotus melanotus 

Macaque, Nicobar Crabeating-Macaca fascicularis umbrosa 
Macaque, Pigtailed-Macaca nemestrina leonina 
Mouse, House-Mus musculus castaneus 

Pig, Andaman Wild-Sus scrofa andamanensis 
Pig, Nicobar Wild-Sus scrofa nicobaric 

Pipistrelle, Indian-Pipistrellus coromandra 
Pipistrelle, Nicobar-Pipistrellus camortae 

Rat-Rattus burrescens 
Rat-Rattus burrulus 
Rat-Rattus burrus 
Rat-Rattus palmarum 
Rat-Rattus pulliventer 
Rat-Rattus rogersi 
Rat-Rattus stoicus 
Rat-Rattus taciturnus 
Rat, House-Rattus rattus alexandrinus 
Rat, House-Rattus rattus andamanensis 
Rat, House-Rattus rattus atridorsum 
Rat, House-Rattus rattus flebilis 
Rat, House-Rattus rattus holchu 

Shrew, Andaman Island Spiny-Crocidura hispida 
Shrew, Jenkins Andaman Spiny-Crocidura jenkinsi 
Shrew, Millers Andaman Spiny-Crocidura andamanensis 
Shrew, Nicobar Spiny-Crocidura nicobarica 
Shrew, Nicobar Tree-Tupaia nicobarica nicobarica 
Shrew, Nicobar Tree-Tupaia nicobarica surda 

Squirrel, Northern Palm-Funambulus pennanti 

Vampire, Malay False-Megaderma spasma 

Whale, Blue-Balaenoptera musculus 
(Whale) False Killer- Pseudorca crassidens 
Whale, Sperm-Physeter catodon

The canopied rain forests of the islands harbour 3000 species of plants including mangroves, epiphytes, palms, woody climbers, timbers (teak, mahogany, Andaman Paduack) and a wide variety of tropical fruits and 6451 species of fauna both in marine and territorial habitats. Marine fauna is diverse including a wide variety of tropical fish and coral. Considering the diversity and uniqueness of flora & fauna and the fragile nature of the eco system here 96 sanctuaries spread over 4662.18 Sq.Kms. and 9 National Parks spread over 1153.93 Sq.Kms. have been notified in these islands. There is also a Biosphere Reserve. These Islands are blessed with unique luxuriant evergreen tropical rainforest canopy, sheltering a mixed germ-plasm comprising of Indian, Myanmars, Malaysian and endemic floral strain. The South Andaman forests have a profuse growth of epiphytic vegetation, mostly ferns and orchids. The Middle Andamans harbours mostly moist deciduous forests. The North Andamans is characterized by the wet evergreen type, with plenty of woody climbers. The north Nicobar Islands (including Car Nicobar and Battimalv) are marked by the complete absence of evergreen forests, while such forests form the dominant vegetation in the central and southern islands of the Nicobar group. Grasslands occur only in the Nicobars while deciduous forests are common in the Andamans, they are almost absent in the Nicobars. This atypical forest coverage is made-up of twelve types namely: (1) Giant evergreen forest (2) Andamans tropical evergreen forest (3) Southern hilltop tropical evergreen forest (4) Cane brakes (5) Wet bamboo brakes (6) Andamans semi-evergreen forest (7) Andamans moist deciduous forest (8) Andamans secondary moist deciduous forest (9) Littoral forest (10) Mangrove forest (11) Brackish water mixed forest (12) Submontane hill valley swamp forest.

The present forest coverage is claimed to be 86.2% of the total land area.

TIMBER Andaman Forest abound plethora of timber species numbering with a 200 or more, out of which about 30 varieties are considered to be commercial. Major commercial timber species are Gurjan (Dipterocarpus sp.) and Padauk (Pterocarpus dalbergioides), ornamental wood such as (1) Marble Wood (Diospyros marmorata) (2) Padauk (Pterocarpus dalbergioides), (3) Silver Grey (a special formation of wood in white chuglam), (4) Chooi (Sageraea elliptical and (5) Kokko (Albizzia lebbeck) are noted for their pronounced grain formation. Padauk, being steadier than teak is widely used for furniture making. Burr and the Buttress formation in Andaman Padauk are World famous for their exceptionally unique charm and figuring. Largest piece of Buttress known from Andaman was a dining table of 13'x 7'. The largest piece of Burr was again a dining table to seat eight persons at a time. The holy Rudraksha (Elaeocarps sphaericus) and aromatic Dhoop/Resin trees also germinate here.

FAUNA This tropical rain forest, despite its isolation from adjacent land masses is surprisingly enriched with many animals. About 50 varieties of forest mammals are found to thrive in A&N Islands, most of them are understood to be brought in from outside and are now considered endemic due to their prolonged insular adaptation. Rat is the largest group having 26 species followed by 14 species of bat. Among the larger mammals, there are two endemic varieties of wild pig namely Sus Scrofa Andamaneis from Andaman and S.S.nicobaricus from Nicobar. The spotted deer- Axis, barking-deer and Sambar are found in the Andaman District. The Interview Island in Middle Andaman holds a fairly good stock of feral elephants. These elephants were brought in for forest work. Butterflies and Moths With about 225 species, the A&N Islands house some of the larger and most spectacular butterflies of the world. Ten species are endemic to these Islands. Mount Harriet National Park is one of the richest areas of butterfly and moth diversity in these Islands.

STATE BIRD, ANIMAL AND TREE Andaman Wood Pigeon : State Bird Andaman Wood Pigeon is an endemic bird, which is found only in Andaman and Nicobar group of islands. This bird is of the size of a domestic pigeon with longer tail. This bird has whitish head with checkerboard pattern on neck. The upper parts are dark slate grey in colour and under parts are pale blue grey metallic. Reddish bill with yellowish tip and purplish red orbital skin are identification characters. The bird lives in dense broadleaved evergreen forest. Dugong (State Animal) Dugong, an endangered, herbivorous, marine mammal, also known as the Sea Cow is the State Animal of the island. It mainly feeds on sea-grass and other aquatic vegetation. Dugong is distributed in shallow tropical waters in Indo-Pacific Region. The animal is about three-meters length and weighs about 400 kg. In India, Dugong is reported from Gulf of Kutch, Gulf of Mannar, Palk Bay and Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Within A&N Islands Dugong has been reported from Ritchieӳ Archipelago, North Reef, Little Andaman and parts of Nicobars. Andaman Padauk דtate Tree Andaman Padauk is a tall deciduous tree found only in Andaman. It grows up to a height of 120 feet. The timber is highly prized for making furniture. Burr and Buttress formations add charm to the tree and used in making unique furniture.

Shells Shells are perhaps the most colorful and fascinating objects known to man other than gems since time immemorial. They served as money, ornaments, and musical instruments, drinking cups and in the making of fine porcelains. They were also the symbols in rituals and religious observances, and the returning pilgrims wore them as a token of divine pardon. These islands are traditionally known for their shell wealth specially Turbo, Trochus, Murex and Nautilus. These shells are used for cottage industries producing a wide range of decorative items and ornaments. Shells such as Giant clam, Green mussel and Oyster support 30 edible shellfishery; a few like Scallop, Clam and Cockle are burnt in kiln to produce lime. The Univalve or one shell group belongs to the class Gastropoda having more than 80,000 species. Sacred Chank belongs to this group. Their body, in the course of development, goes through a complicated process - 'torsion' i.e. the visceral mass is twisted though 90 degree together with the shell that covers it. Under mysterious circumstances many a time this process proceeds in the reverse direction thus creating an abnormal shell which otherwise lives like a normal shell. A classic example is the most wanted left-handed chank. The Bivalve or Pelecypoda has about 20,000 living species. Majority of them burrow in sand or mud such as Pearl Oyster, Wing-oyster, Giantclam etc. A third group, which is comparatively smaller, is called Cephalopoda, which includes Octopus, Squid, and Nautilus etc. The soft body animal, which lives inside the shell, is covered with a thick layer of specialized epithelium cells known as mantle, which in turn secretes a two tier shell material making the shell. The outer layer having a different colour pattern is organic in constitution, technically called 'periostracum'. Calcium ions from the environment are absorbed into the blood and deposited evenly under this layer. The next inner layer is called 'nacre' or 'mother of pearl' responsible for the pearly-luster common to many shells.

CORALS Corals belong to a large group of animals known as Coelenterata (stinging animals) or Cnidaria (thread animals). Corals grow slow. The massive forms may grow up to 2 cm. in diameter and up to 1 cm in height a year, whereas, delicate branching forms grow between 5 to 10 cm. per annum. A true reef building stony coral may be unisexual or bisexual They breed together once in a year at a pre-determined time after dusk. This process, at places is so intense that the water stays pinkish till next morning. A large number of baby corals are released in the open ocean this way. After sometime these baby corals settle over a suitable substratum and start forming new colonies through a sexual reproduction. Their morphological features change with the environment in which they settle. Due to this peculiar character they are often called 'Plastic animals'. Stony corals could be broadly divided into reef builders and non-reef builders, the reef builders are called hermatypic whereas others are known as ahermatypic corals. The reef builders possess hard calcareous skeleton and need sunlight like plants to survive. On the other hand, the non-reef builders are devoid of a true stony framework and can live well without sunlight. A few among them are capable of making protein based solidified skeleton.

FISHES Each life form in the sea is confined to its own particular zone, where pressure, light, temperature and salinity are more or less constant. In this stable environment some creatures have remained unchanged throughout their entire history. The now famous Coelacanth, one of the groups of fishes thought to have been extinct for 60 million years, has remained essentially like its relatives as they appear in fossils. Fishes are the masters of water-world. For more than 360 million years they have inhabited in it. Today we have about 40,000 varieties of fishes known to science. They range in size from 10 mm (Philippine Gobie) to 21m. (Whale shark). Some are flattened, others inflated, many spindle shaped, a few snakelike, still others are compressed depending on the environment in which they live or their particular way of life.

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