Nature is filled with an incredible array of colors, and among them, purple stands out as a vibrant and captivating hue. While purple may not be the most common color in the animal kingdom, there are a few remarkable creatures that proudly display this striking shade. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the coolest purple animals that inhabit our planet.
01. Violet-Backed Starling
The Violet-Backed Starling (Cinnyricinclus leucogaster) is a stunning bird native to sub-Saharan Africa. Its name perfectly describes its appearance, as it boasts a glossy purple plumage on its back, which shimmers brilliantly in the sunlight. The contrast between the rich purple and its white underbelly creates a mesmerizing effect, making the Violet-Backed Starling a true gem of the avian world.
02. Purple Sea Slug
Underneath the ocean’s surface, a tiny yet extraordinary creature can be found. The Purple Sea Slug (Glaucus atlanticus) is a small marine gastropod that captures attention with its vivid hues. Although it starts life with a pale color, as it matures, its body transforms into a striking purple shade adorned with beautiful blue patterns. These unique colors serve as a warning to potential predators, indicating the slug’s toxicity.
03. Purple Leafy Seadragon
The seadragon, a close relative of the seahorse, is already a unique creature, but the purple leafy seadragon takes it to another level. Found in the waters of southern Australia, these mesmerizing creatures are adorned with elaborate leaf-like appendages on their bodies. Their bodies are predominantly purple, with shades ranging from deep violet to lavender. The purple leafy seadragon elegantly floats through the water, blending seamlessly with the kelp and seagrass beds it calls home.
04. Yellowstriped Fairy Basslet
Diving into the tropical waters of the Caribbean, we encounter the mesmerizing Yellowstriped Fairy Basslet (Pseudanthias evansi). While the name might suggest a predominantly yellow appearance, it’s the fish’s brilliant purple hue that truly steals the show. Its deep purple body is adorned with vibrant yellow stripes that accentuate its graceful and delicate form. These fairy-like creatures bring a touch of enchantment to coral reefs.
05. Purple Emperor
The Purple Emperor (Apatura iris) is a majestic butterfly found in parts of Europe and Asia. This species earned its name not from its purple coloration but from its regal and imposing presence. However, when the Purple Emperor spreads its wings, it reveals an intricate pattern of iridescent purple hues. Its wings are a visual marvel, captivating observers with their velvety texture and hints of blue and silver.
06. Indian Purple Frog
The Indian Purple Frog (Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis) is a unique species found in the Western Ghats of India. This frog is a master of camouflage, blending into its surroundings with a striking purple hue that matches the color of the forest floor. Its distinctive purple skin, along with its distinct burrowing behavior, make this frog a fascinating and elusive creature to observe.
07. Purple Gallinule
The Purple Gallinule (Porphyrio martinicus) is a waterbird native to the Americas. This bird is unmistakable, with its vivid purple-blue plumage and distinctive red beak. Its long toes and bright yellow-green legs allow it to walk on floating vegetation in swamps and wetlands, where it feeds on aquatic plants and invertebrates. The Purple Gallinule’s vibrant coloration and unique adaptations make it a remarkable sight for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts.
08. Goniobranchus Kuniei
Goniobranchus kuniei is a colorful sea slug species found in the waters around Indonesia and the Philippines. These stunning creatures have a smooth, flattened body covered in intricate patterns of purple and orange. They are a favorite among underwater photographers and divers for their vibrant colors and distinctive appearance.
09. Sea Urchin
The Purple Sea Urchin (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) is a common species found in the coastal waters of the eastern Pacific Ocean. These spiky creatures are usually purple, but their color can vary from green to reddish-brown depending on their diet and location. Sea urchins play an essential role in marine ecosystems, acting as a keystone species and providing food and habitat for many other animals.
10. Purple Sea Star
The Purple Sea Star (Pisaster ochraceus) is another common species found along the Pacific Coast of North America. These starfish come in a range of colors, but their purple hue is particularly striking. They are important predators in intertidal ecosystems, feeding on mussels and other invertebrates. Their unique appearance and ecological significance make them a fascinating creature to observe in tide pools and other coastal habitats.
11. Purple Jewel Beetle
The world of beetles is known for its astonishing variety of colors, and the purple jewel beetle (Chrysochroa fulminans nishiyamai) is a true gem in this regard. Endemic to Thailand, this species features a stunning metallic purple sheen that radiates a sense of elegance. The iridescent coloration of its exoskeleton is a result of microscopic structures that reflect light, creating a vibrant display. The purple jewel beetle’s remarkable appearance has made it highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts alike.
12. West African Fiddler Crab
The West African Fiddler Crab (Uca tangeri) is a small but fascinating crab species found along the Atlantic coast of West Africa. The males of this species have one enlarged claw that they use to attract females and compete with other males for territory. Their purple and blue coloration adds to their striking appearance, making them a popular sight in coastal areas.
13. Huge Violet Ground Beetle
The Huge Violet Ground Beetle (Prionoplus reticularis) is a large and stunning beetle species found in New Zealand. This beetle’s shiny purple-black exoskeleton, along with its impressive size, make it a fascinating and intimidating creature to encounter. The Huge Violet Ground Beetle is considered an iconic species in New Zealand and is the subject of many myths and legends.
14. Spanish Shawl
The Spanish Shawl (Flabellina iodinea) is a species of sea slug found along the Pacific Coast of North America. This striking creature is covered in bright purple cerata, which are used for both defense and respiration. Its purple coloration is also used for warning predators of its toxic nature. The Spanish Shawl’s unique appearance and ecological significance make it a favorite among underwater photographers and divers.
15. Purple Shore Crab
The Purple Shore Crab (Leptograpsus variegatus) is a crab species found along the southern coast of South America. This crab’s purple and brown coloration provides excellent camouflage in the rocky intertidal zones where it lives. The Purple Shore Crab is an important predator, feeding on a variety of small invertebrates and algae, and is also preyed upon by larger predators such as birds and fish.
16. Purple Glossy Starling
The Purple Glossy Starling (Lamprotornis purpureus) is a striking bird found in sub-Saharan Africa. Its glossy plumage showcases a beautiful blend of purple, green, and blue, which seems to change in different lighting conditions. This starling’s captivating appearance, combined with its melodious songs, make it a popular sight for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts.
17. Twospined Angelfish
The Twospined Angelfish (Centropyge bispinosa) is a small but dazzling fish species found in the Indo-Pacific region. Its body displays a vibrant purple coloration, complemented by striking orange accents on its face and fins. This angelfish’s exquisite appearance, combined with its peaceful nature, makes it a sought-after addition to saltwater aquariums.
18. Purple-Lined Wrasse
The Purple-Lined Wrasse (Halichoeres cyanocephalus) is a lively and colorful fish commonly found in the tropical waters of the Indian Ocean. This wrasse exhibits a stunning purple color on its body, adorned with vibrant blue lines that run horizontally across its scales. With its energetic behavior and eye-catching coloration, the Purple-Lined Wrasse adds a vibrant touch to coral reefs.
19. Felimare Picta
Felimare picta, commonly known as the Painted Dorid, is a species of sea slug found in the Mediterranean Sea and the eastern Atlantic Ocean. This magnificent creature showcases a purple body adorned with striking yellow or orange markings, creating a beautiful contrast. The Felimare picta is a favorite subject among underwater photographers, thanks to its vibrant colors and intriguing patterns.
20. Purple Firefish
The Purple Firefish (Nemateleotris decora) is a small and enchanting fish found in the Indo-Pacific region. It boasts a vibrant purple body with delicate, elongated fins that resemble flickering flames. This fish is known for its timid nature, darting into crevices and holes for safety. Its stunning coloration adds a touch of elegance to reef aquariums and coral reefs in the wild.
21. Varied Bunting
The Varied Bunting (Passerina versicolor) is a beautiful songbird found in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. The male Varied Bunting showcases a stunning mix of vibrant colors, including purple, blue, and red. Its plumage consists of a deep purple-blue head and back, with splashes of red on its underparts. This bunting’s striking appearance and melodious song make it a delight for birdwatchers.
22. Pteraeolidia Ianthina
Pteraeolidia ianthina, commonly known as the Blue Dragon or the Purple Nudibranch, is a species of sea slug found in warm waters across the world’s oceans. While its common name suggests blue, it actually exhibits a range of colors, including shades of purple, blue, and orange. This magnificent creature features a feathery appearance and is known for its ability to feed on other venomous organisms, storing their toxins for self-defense.
23. Violet-Crowned Woodnymph
The Violet-Crowned Woodnymph (Thalurania colombica) is a stunning hummingbird found in Central and South America. This dazzling bird has a brilliant purple crown that contrasts with its emerald green body. As it flits through tropical forests and gardens, the iridescent purple crown shimmers in the sunlight, catching the eye of anyone lucky enough to spot it.
24. Orchid Dottyback
The Orchid Dottyback is a stunning fish that can be found in the Indo-Pacific region, specifically around the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia. They are known for their deep purple coloration, which is complemented by black and white stripes along their body. This fish is relatively small, growing up to 3 inches in length, but its bright coloration makes it stand out among other fish in the reef.
25. Violet Sabrewing
The Violet Sabrewing is a large hummingbird that can be found in the cloud forests of Central and South America. As its name suggests, it has a striking violet coloration on its head, throat, and chest, which is contrasted by its green back and wings. The males have a longer bill than the females, which they use to feed on the nectar of flowers. This bird is a beauty to behold, and it is no wonder that it is a favorite among birdwatchers.
These cool purple animals showcase the amazing diversity of life on our planet, from insects to crabs, beetles to sea slugs. The striking purple coloration of these animals is often used for communication, camouflage, and warning predators of their toxic nature. The unique adaptations and behaviors of these species make them fascinating and captivating creatures to observe in their respective environments. These remarkable animals remind us of the wonders that exist in the natural world and the beauty that can be found in even the smallest corners of our planet. So next time you’re out exploring nature, keep an eye out for these unique and captivating creatures that showcase the beauty of the color purple.