Classification of Living Crocodilians

There are 26 recognised species of extant crocodilians, divided into three Families - Alligatoridae (8 species; alligators and caimans), Crocodylidae (16 species; “true” crocodiles) and Gavialidae (2 species; Gharial and Tomistoma). Two additional species (Crocodylus halli, Osteolaemus aftezelli) have yet to be formally recognised.

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 ("true" crocodiles)

  West African Slender-snouted Crocodile Mecistops cataphractus
  Central African Slender-snouted Crocodile
 Mecistops leptorhynchus *
  American Crocodile Crocodylus acutus
  Australian Freshwater Crocodile Crocodylus johnstoni
  Cuban Crocodile Crocodylus rhombifer
  Dwarf Crocodile
Osteolaemus tetraspis
   Osborn's Dwarf Crocodile
 Osteolaemus osborni
  Morelet’s Crocodile Crocodylus moreletii
  Mugger Crocodile Crocodylus palustris
  New Guinea Freshwater Crocodile Crocodylus novaeguineae
  Nile Crocodile Crocodylus niloticus
  West African Crocodile
Crocodylus suchus **
  Orinoco Crocodile Crocodylus intermedius
  Philippine Crocodile Crocodylus mindorensis
  Saltwater Crocodile Crocodylus porosus
  Siamese Crocodile Crocodylus siamensis
  Family Gavialidae (Gharial and Tomistoma)

  Gharial Gavialis gangeticus
  Tomistoma Tomistoma schlegelii

 * previously Mecistops cataphractus; ** previously Crocodylus niloticus