Which animals have their origins in Malta?

Travel Destinations

By Kristy Tolley

Animals of Malta

Malta is an archipelago located in the central Mediterranean Sea, and it is well known for its rich history, culture, and stunning landscapes. The islands are also home to a unique variety of flora and fauna, some of which are endemic species that can only be found in Malta and nowhere else in the world. In this article, we will explore some of the animals that have their origins in Malta, and learn more about their characteristics and habitats.

The Maltese Falcon

The Maltese Falcon is a bird of prey that is well known for its speed, agility, and hunting skills. This species is one of the largest falcons in Europe, and it can be found in various habitats throughout the Maltese islands, including cliffs, hills, and valleys. The Maltese Falcon has a distinctive appearance, with slate-grey feathers on its back and wings, and a cream-coloured breast and underbelly. It also has a dark, hooked beak and sharp talons that help it catch its prey, which mainly consists of small birds, rodents, and insects.

The Maltese Shrew

The Maltese Shrew is a small, insect-eating mammal that is endemic to Malta and Gozo. This species is one of the smallest shrews in the world, measuring only 5-7 cm in length. The Maltese Shrew has a brownish-grey fur, a long pointed snout, and small beady eyes. It feeds mainly on insects such as ants, beetles, and spiders, and it is active both during the day and night. The Maltese Shrew is a rare species, and it is classified as endangered due to habitat loss and fragmentation.

The Maltese Freshwater Crab

The Maltese Freshwater Crab is a small crustacean that is endemic to Malta and Gozo. This species can be found in freshwater streams, ponds, and ditches, where it feeds on small aquatic animals and plants. The Maltese Freshwater Crab has a bright red colour, and it is covered with small hairs that help it sense its environment. It also has two large claws that it uses for defence and catching prey. The Maltese Freshwater Crab is a critically endangered species, and it is threatened by habitat destruction, pollution, and invasive species.

The Maltese Wall Lizard

The Maltese Wall Lizard is a reptile that is endemic to Malta and Gozo. This species can be found in various habitats, including rocky areas, walls, and gardens. The Maltese Wall Lizard has a greenish-brown colour, with small white spots on its back. It is a diurnal species, and it feeds on insects, spiders, and other small animals. The Maltese Wall Lizard is a common species, and it is not considered to be endangered.

The Maltese Painted Frog

The Maltese Painted Frog is a small amphibian that is endemic to Malta and Gozo. This species can be found in freshwater ponds, ditches, and streams, where it feeds on small insects and worms. The Maltese Painted Frog has a distinctive appearance, with bright green and black markings on its back and legs. It also has large eyes and webbed toes that help it swim. The Maltese Painted Frog is a critically endangered species, and it is threatened by habitat loss, pollution, and invasive species.

The Maltese Pygmy Hedgehog

The Maltese Pygmy Hedgehog is a small mammal that is endemic to Malta and Gozo. This species can be found in various habitats, including rocky areas, gardens, and fields. The Maltese Pygmy Hedgehog has a brownish-grey colour, with small spines on its back and sides. It is a nocturnal species, and it feeds on insects, snails, and other small animals. The Maltese Pygmy Hedgehog is a rare species, and it is classified as endangered due to habitat loss and fragmentation.

The Maltese Top Shell

The Maltese Top Shell is a small marine snail that is endemic to Malta and Gozo. This species can be found on rocky shores, and it feeds on algae and other small organisms. The Maltese Top Shell has a conical shape, with a spiral shell that is greyish-brown in colour. It is a common species, and it is not considered to be endangered.

The Maltese Bark Spider

The Maltese Bark Spider is a small spider that is endemic to Malta and Gozo. This species can be found on trees and shrubs, where it feeds on small insects and other arthropods. The Maltese Bark Spider has a brownish colour, with long legs and small fangs. It is a common species, and it is not considered to be endangered.

The Maltese Rock Centipede

The Maltese Rock Centipede is a small arthropod that is endemic to Malta and Gozo. This species can be found on rocky areas, where it feeds on small insects and other invertebrates. The Maltese Rock Centipede has a yellow-brown colour, with long antennae and numerous legs. It is a rare species, and it is classified as vulnerable due to habitat loss and fragmentation.

The Maltese Swallowtail Butterfly

The Maltese Swallowtail Butterfly is a large insect that is endemic to Malta and Gozo. This species can be found in various habitats, including fields, gardens, and meadows. The Maltese Swallowtail Butterfly has a distinctive appearance, with bright yellow and black markings on its wings. It is a diurnal species, and it feeds on nectar from flowers. The Maltese Swallowtail Butterfly is a rare species, and it is classified as endangered due to habitat loss and fragmentation.

Conclusion: Malta’s Unique Fauna

In conclusion, Malta is home to a unique variety of flora and fauna, some of which are endemic species that can only be found in Malta and nowhere else in the world. The Maltese Falcon, Maltese Shrew, Maltese Freshwater Crab, Maltese Wall Lizard, Maltese Painted Frog, Maltese Pygmy Hedgehog, Maltese Top Shell, Maltese Bark Spider, Maltese Rock Centipede, and Maltese Swallowtail Butterfly are just some of the fascinating animals that inhabit the Maltese islands. It is important to protect and conserve these species, and their habitats, for future generations to come.

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Kristy Tolley

Kristy Tolley, an accomplished editor at TravelAsker, boasts a rich background in travel content creation. Before TravelAsker, she led editorial efforts at Red Ventures Puerto Rico, shaping content for Platea English. Kristy's extensive two-decade career spans writing and editing travel topics, from destinations to road trips. Her passion for travel and storytelling inspire readers to embark on their own journeys.

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