Classification of Living Crocodilians

There are 23 recognised species of extant crocodilians, divided into three Families - Alligatoridae (8 species; alligators and caimans), Crocodylidae (14 species; “true” crocodiles and Tomistoma) and Gavialidae (1 species; Gharial).

Class Reptilia


Order Crocodilia


Family Alligatoridae (alligators, caimans)

 American AlligatorAlligator mississippiensis
  Chinese Alligator Alligator sinensis
  Black Caiman Melanosuchus niger
  Broad-snouted Caiman Caiman latirostris
  Spectacled Caiman Caiman crocodilus
  Yacare Caiman Caiman yacare
  Cuvier’s Dwarf Caiman Paleosuchus palpebrosus
  Schneider’s Smooth-fronted Caiman Paleosuchus trigonatus

Family Crocodylidae

  Subfamily Crocodylinae (“True” crocodiles)
  African Slender-snouted Crocodile Crocodylus cataphractus *
  American Crocodile Crocodylus acutus
  Australian Freshwater Crocodile Crocodylus johnstoni
  Cuban Crocodile Crocodylus rhombifer
   Dwarf Crocodile
 Osteolaemus tetraspis
  Morelet’s Crocodile Crocodylus moreletii
  Mugger Crocodile Crocodylus palustris
  New Guinea Freshwater Crocodile Crocodylus novaeguineae
  Nile Crocodile Crocodylus niloticus
  Orinoco Crocodile Crocodylus intermedius
  Philippine Crocodile Crocodylus mindorensis
  Saltwater Crocodile Crocodylus porosus
  Siamese Crocodile Crocodylus siamensis
  Subfamily Tomistominae
  Tomistoma Tomistoma schlegelii
  Family Gavialidae (Gharial)
  Gharial Gavialis gangeticus

 * Also known as Mecistops cataphractus

G. Webb and C. Manolis (1989): “Crocodiles of Australia” (Reed Books: Sydney);
K. Richardson, G. Webb and C. Manolis (2000): “Crocodiles: Inside and Out” (Surrey Beatty and Sons: Sydney).