Crocodilian Species

There are 24 species of crocodilian currently recognised, with the West African Crocodile C. suchus being the most recent addition (Hekkala et al. 2011; Shirley et al. 2014). However, evidence suggests that two West African species warrant being split into 5 species: Osteolaemus tetraspis to O. tetraspis, O. osborni and O. sp. nov.) (Eaton 2010); and, Mecistops cataphractus to M. leptorhynchus (Central Africa) and M. cataphractus (West Africa); Shirley et al. 2014, 2018].

Descriptions for 23 of the 24 species are provided as pdf documents below.


Eaton, M.J. (2010). Dwarf Crocodile Osteolaemus tetraspis. Pp. 127-132 in Crocodiles. Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. Third Edition. Crocodile Specialist Group: Darwin. Download.

Hekkala, E., Shirley, M.H., Amato, G., Austin, J.D., Charter, S., Thorbjarnarson, J., Vliet, K.A., Houck, M.L., Desalle, R. and Blum, M.J. (2011). An ancient icon reveals new mysteries: mummy DNA resurrects a cryptic species within the Nile crocodile. Molecular Ecology 20: 4195-4215. Download.

Shirley, M.H., Vliet, K.A., Carr, A.N. and Austin, J.D. (2014). Rigorous approaches to species delimitation have significant implications for African crocodile systematics and conservation. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 281(1776): 20132483. Download.

Shirley, M.H., Carr, A.N., Nestler, J.H., Vliet, K.A. and Brochu, C.A. (2018). Systemic revision of the living African Slender-snouted crocodiles (Mecistops Gray, 1844). Zootaxa 4504(2): 151-193. Download.

Common Name Species Name Species Description
American Alligator Alligator mississippiensis download pdf
Chinese Alligator
Alligator sinensis
download pdf
Spectacled Caiman
Caiman crocodilus
download pdf
Broad-snouted Caiman
Caiman latirostris
download pdf
Yacare Caiman
Caiman yacare
download pdf
Black Caiman
Melanosuchus niger
download pdf
Cuvier's Dwarf Caiman
Palaeosuchus palpebrosus
download pdf
Schneider's Smooth-fronted Caiman
Palaeosuchus trigonatus
download pdf

American Crocodile
Crocodylus acutus
download pdf
African Slender-snouted Crocodile
Mecistops cataphractus
download pdf
Orinoco Crocodile
Crocodylus intermedius
download pdf
Australian Freshwater Crocodile
Crocodylus johnstoni
download pdf
Philippine Crocodile
Crocodylus mindorensis
download pdf
Morelet's Crocodile
Crocodylus moreletii
download pdf
Nile Crocodile
Crocodylus niloticus
download pdf
West African Crocodile
 Crocodylus suchus
New Guinea Freshwater Crocodile Crocodylus novaeguineae download pdf
Mugger Crocodile
Crocodylus palustris
 download pdf
Saltwater Crocodile Crocodylus porosus download pdf
Cuban Crocodile
Crocodylus rhombifer
download pdf
Siamese Crocodile
Crocodylus siamensis
download pdf
Dwarf Crocodile
Osteolaemus tetraspis
download pdf
Gavialis gangeticus
download pdf
Tomistoma schlegelii
download pdf