Animals in nature have captivating patterns and markings that showcase the diversity and wonder of the animal kingdom. Among the many different kinds of fascinating designs found in nature, spots have long captured our imagination and curiosity. From the sleek coat of a cheetah to the intricate patterns of a Burmese python, animals that have spots possess a distinct appeal that sets them apart.
This article will explore some of the animals on Earth that have spots on their bodies.
17 Animals that have spots
Spotted animals are found in diverse ecosystems globally, their distinctive patterns ranging from tiny specks to large blotches. These spots can do things like aid in camouflage, confuse predators, communicate aggression or readiness to mate and regulate body heat. Now, let’s delve into some examples of such various animals with spots.
Scientific Name: Coccinella septempunctata
If you’ve ever been in a garden or a yard, you may have observed that a ladybird is one of the animals with spots. Aside from the foul-tasting fluid they secrete from their leg joints, this colorful insect displays a crimson body with black markings that act as a warning, signifying their toxicity to predators.
Scientific Name: Crocuta crocuta
The spotted hyena, which lives in sub-Saharan Africa, is recognized as the largest member of the Hyena family. This animal has a bear-like body, rounded ears, and a spotted coat that makes it unique among other animals.
They’re also very adaptable, which makes them the most common large carnivore in Africa. They use both individual and collective hunting strategies, reaching speeds of up to 60 kilometers per hour, and their problem-solving abilities and cooperative abilities even exceed those of chimpanzees.
Scientific Name: Leopardus pardalis
The Ocelot is a medium-sized spotted wild cat that’s known for its climbing, jumping, and swimming abilities. They’re notable for having body spots, which may be how they earned their name, ocellatus, which is Latin for “having little eyes” or “marked with eye-like spots.” Usually, you’ll find them near water sources with lots of greenery, where they hunt small mammals like armadillos, opossums, and lagomorphs.
Scientific Name: Giraffa camelopardalis
Giraffes, which are beautiful animals known for their incredible height, are also among the animals you’ll see with spots on their bodies. Each of these tall animals has a different pattern on its coat, which is made up of dark blotches or patches surrounded by light hair.
These coats could also be used as a form of camouflage in the woodlands of the savannah. Giraffes are well-adapted to their environment and have a unique technique of lying down with their bodies on folded legs.
5. Whale shark
Scientific Name: Rhincodon typus
As the largest known fish species, the whale shark holds many records for its size and is the largest living nonmammalian vertebrate. Each individual of this species has a unique look due to its broad, flattened head, large mouth, and distinct spot patterns on its dark gray skin.
Despite being massive in size, they don’t pose any threat to humans. These creatures migrate and live in warm seas, specifically in tropical and warm-temperate regions.
6. Spotted deer
Scientific Name: Axis axis
Chital, commonly known as the spotted deer, is one of the most beautiful species you’ll see because of their golden to rufous upper portions covered in white dots. The chital is a medium-sized deer, with males larger than females and antlers up to one meter long.
They’re found in the Indian subcontinent and exhibit unique habits such as creating matriarchal herds and communicating through bellows and alarm barks.
Scientific Name: Panthera onca
Jaguars are the biggest cat species in the Americas and the third largest in the world. When you see these powerful animals, you’ll notice that they have a unique coat with spots that turn into rosettes on their sides.
Some jaguars even have melanistic black fur, earning them the nickname “black panther.” They’re well adapted for survival, showing off exceptional swimming skills and being a skilled lone hunter.
8. Spotted turtle
Scientific Name: Clemmys guttata
Spotted turtles are small semi-aquatic creatures with broad, smooth upper shells that range in color from black to blue-black. What truly sets them apart are the numerous tiny yellow round spots that adorn their shell, extending from their head to their limbs.
The spots on females are more numerous than those on males, and you can typically find these turtles in a variety of shallow freshwater habitats, including flooded forests, marshes, wet meadows, bogs, and woodland streams.
Scientific Name: Canis lupus familiaris
Dalmatians, a breed of dog recognized for their distinctive coat with black or brown spots, have a long history as hunting and carriage dogs. The dog breed is also known for being muscular and having great endurance and stamina.
Dalmatian pups are born with plain white coats, and after ten days, their spots begin to show. These patterns, which are usually black or liver (brown) on a white background, continue to develop until the dog is about 18 months old. Sometimes, they can have other colors like blue, brindle, orange, or lemon, which makes their appearance more diverse.
Scientific Name: Acinonyx jubatus
Aside from being the fastest land animal, cheetahs are also very appealing. Their body is covered in uniformly spaced, solid black dots, and their coat is a stunning combination of tawny to creamy white or pale buff.
Each cheetah has a unique pattern of spots, and thanks to their long, thin legs, skinny bodies, and long tails, they can run at astonishing speeds of 80 to 98 kilometers per hour. They can adapt to different environments but prefer open areas with good visibility and lots of prey.
11. Burmese python
Scientific Name: Python bivittatus
Burmese python, one of the largest snake species, is a dark-colored non-venomous snake that features striking brown blotches bordered by black along its back. These pythons can grow up to 5 meters long in the wild, and there are some reports of even longer ones, however, they haven’t been confirmed.
Females are heavier and bulkier than males, although they’re slightly longer. Burmese pythons usually don’t grow longer than 5 meters, but the longest one ever recorded was 5.74 meters.
12. Spotted moray
Scientific Name: Gymnothorax moringa
The spotted moray is a type of eel with a unique look. It has a long, snake-like body that’s white or pale yellow, and it’s covered in small reddish-brown to dark-brown spots.
You can usually find them in the western part of the Atlantic Ocean, from North Carolina and Bermuda to Brazil. Watch out for these solitary creatures because their bite can be dangerous to humans. They have a pull-back effect and may contain toxins.
13. Spotted salamander
Scientific Name: Ambystoma maculatum
The spotted salamander, recognized by its distinct physical features, showcases a sleek, ebony body embellished with vibrant yellow spots. These conspicuous patterns are not just for aesthetics but also serve as a fascinating tool for species identification. What sets these amphibians apart is their remarkable behavior.
14. Spotted eagle ray
Scientific Name: Aetobatus narinari
The spotted eagle ray, an oceanic wonder, exhibits a remarkable appearance with its flat, disc-shaped body adorned by an intricate pattern of white spots set against a dark background. These distinctive spots create a captivating visual contrast, making the ray easily distinguishable in the underwater realm.
What truly distinguishes this elegant creature is its aerial prowess; spotted eagle rays are renowned for their ability to leap out of the water, often reaching impressive heights, showcasing their agility and grace.
15. Dalmatian dog
Scientific Name: Canis lupus familiaris
The Dalmatian dog, instantly recognizable by its distinctive coat adorned with black spots on a crisp white canvas, is a breed as striking as it is iconic. These spots are not just skin deep; they extend to their charming personalities. Dalmatians are known for their boundless energy, making them excellent companions for active families.
Fun fact: Dalmatian puppies are born completely white and develop their spots over time.
16. Snow leopard
Scientific Name: Panthera uncia
The snow leopard, a creature of high mountains, is known for its appearance—furry, with spots like rosettes, aiding its camouflage. These solitary cats are adapted for steep terrain with their long tails and thick fur. Snow leopards are elusive and keep to themselves, making them one of the most mysterious big cats.
17. Appaloosa Horse
Scientific Name: Equus ferus caballus
Appaloosa horses are easily recognizable due to their distinctive physical traits, such as their colorful coats adorned with eye-catching spots or “leopard complex” patterns. These spots come in various shapes and sizes and can appear on a white or solid-colored background. They excel in various equestrian disciplines, from racing to rodeo events.
Their strong, adaptable nature has earned them the nickname “America’s Horse.” With their unique coats and exceptional abilities, Appaloosa horses hold a special place in the world of equines, captivating riders and enthusiasts alike.