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15 Animals That Start With the Letter V

There are many different types of wild animals that start with the letter V living in all over the world. The following list though, is of 15 animal species native to North America. Some ani near volcanoes, in tropical forests, or deep seas. Read on to learn more!

15 animals that start with v

Let’s find out how many animals in North America starting with V you already knew about. One of them even has “vampire” in its common name! Find out why.

1. Virginia opossum

Scientific name: Didelphis virginiana

The Virginia opossum is the only marsupial in North America, meaning they have a pouch for their young. Although commonly known to “play dead” when threatened, they will sometimes also flee or stand ground to bare their teeth, hiss, and snap their jaws to appear threatening.

Virginia opossums live in Mexico, British Columbia, and most of the U.S. on the west coast and east of the Rocky Mountains.


2. Vancouver Island marmot

Vancouver island marmot | image by Alina Fisher via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY 4.0

Scientific name: Marmota vancouverensis

Vancouver Island marmots have chocolate brown fur, sharp claws, beaver-like teeth, and leg muscles suitable for digging. They are native to Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada, where they live in alpine and sub-alpine meadows. Their habitat must have deep soil for digging burrows and large boulders as lookout spots for predators.


3. Velvety fruit-eating bat

Velvety fruit-eating bat | image by Edward Bell
via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY 4.0

Scientific name: Enchisthenes hartii

Velvety fruit-eating bats are small dark brown with two buffy paler lines on each side of their face. In North America, they live in Mexico and Arizona, preferring humid forest habitats. These bats are known to fly high among fig trees since their favorite meal is figs.


4. Vaquita

Vaquita | image by SEMARNAT via Flickr

Scientific name: Phocoena sinus

Vaquitas are a chunky, gray porpoise species with a black, round patch around their eyes and black lips that look like they are smiling. They are native to the northern region of the Gulf of California, off Mexico.

The limited habitat range has made them critically endangered, with less than 30 individuals left in the wild. Their preference for shallow waters along the shorelines also makes them vulnerable to fishing nets.


5. Variegated squirrel

Image by Greg Seymour from Pixabay

Scientific name: Sciurus variegatoides

The variegated squirrel is a multi-colored tree squirrel with black, grey, brown, and orange shades. These solitary animals will only come together during the mating season once a year when the female is fertile for only one day.

You can find these squirrels among the forest trees and bushes in Mexico and Central America.


6. Volcano rabbit

Scientific name: Romerolagus diazi

Volcano rabbits have short legs, short ears, and are one of the smallest rabbit species on earth. They grow around 9 to 12.5 inches long and weigh between 13 and 21 ounces.

As their name suggests, these rabbits live near volcanoes with pine and bunchgrass. More specifically, you can find them in four volcanoes to the south and east of Mexico City.


7. Variable ground snake

Variable ground snake | image by Peter Paplanus via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific name: Sonora semiannulata

Variable ground snakes are small nonvenomous snakes with shiny, smooth orange, red, light brown, and/or gray scales. They are known to be gentle and secretive, preferring to hide under flat rocks during the daytime.

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Native to North America, they live in rocky glades and woodlands in southwestern U.S states, including California, Colorado, Missouri, and Texas.


8. Virginia rail

source: USFWS Mountain-Prairie

Scientific name: Rallus limicola

Virginia rails are small, chicken-like waterbirds with a long bill and upturned tail. They are secretive birds that often hide in dense vegetation. However, they make loud grunting noises that will give away their location.

These birds live year-round in the western U.S. states and breed in southern Canada and most northern U.S states. While they prefer freshwater marshes, you can also find them in saltwater marshes, especially during the winter.


9. Violet-crowned hummingbird

Violet-crowned hummingbird | image by: ALAN SCHMIERER

Scientific name: Amazilia violiceps

Violet-crowned hummingbirds get their name from the violet-colored cap on their heads. These medium-sized hummingbirds also have bright red or orange bills and white underparts.

Although native to Mexico, you can also find them in the extreme southern parts of New Mexico and Arizona. They prefer living in riparian canyons, pine-oak woods, and desert scrubs.


10. Vampire squid

juvenile vampire squid | source: National Marine Sanctuaries

Scientific name: Vampyroteuthis infernalis

Vampire squids get their name from their dark color and the skin that connects their multiple arms, which forms a cape-like structure. Although called a squid, they are actually their own unique cephalopod species with two tentacles and eight arms.

These deep-sea animals live at depths of 2,000 to 3,000 feet in tropical and temperate oceans, including around North America.


11. Victoria collared lemming

Scientific name: Dicrostonyx groenlandicus

The Victoria collared lemming is a small rodent well-adapted to cold climates. In North America, they live in the tundra habitats of Alaska and Canada, including the arctic islands.

These lemmings have stumpy bodies and fur that change color from lighter in the summer to darker in the winter.


12. Volcano keyhole limpet

volcano keyhole limpet | image by Jerry Kirkhart via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific name: Fissurella volcano

Volcano keyhole limpets are small to medium sea snails, growing around 0.6 to 1 inch. They are light brown to red with small ridges on their shell and a small hole on top of the shell.

You can find these sea snails in the western Pacific Ocean from California to Baja California. They live in the intertidal zone, typically hanging out on the underside of rocks.


13. Violet goby

Violet goby | image by Cedricguppy – Loury Cédric via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 4.0

Scientific name: Gobioides broussonnetii

The violet goby, also called dragon goby, is a long, slender fish with an eel-like body. Males have a violet or silvery-blue metallic coloring. However, females are shorter and yellower.

These fish are widely distributed near the Atlantic coast, from South Carolina to Mexico and northern Brazil. They have large mouths and are known as scavengers in the wild.


14. Viceroy butterfly

Image by Domianick from Pixabay

Scientific name: Limenitis archippus

Viceroy butterflies are dark orange or yellow with dark veins and are commonly mistaken for monarch butterflies. They are brush-footed butterflies, meaning they have tiny, hairy forelegs that look like brushes.

Native to North America, their range extends throughout the U.S. and in parts of Canada and Mexico. Their favorite flowers to get nectar from are thistles and milkweeds.


15. Veiled chameleon

Veiled chameleon | Image by brasssun from Pixabay

Scientific name: Chamaeleo calyptratus

Veiled chameleons have fancy headgear, which is a bony protrusion on top of their cone-shaped head. Males are brightly colored green, gold, or blue with bands of black, orange, or yellow.

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However, females are duller in color. Although native to the Arabian Peninsula, pets released into the wild of North America have established populations in Florida and Hawaii. They’re known for their ability to change colors.