Fauna of the Libyan Desert

Species list

Arthropoda (arthropods)

Arachnida (spiders, scorpions, solifugids & ticks)

Arachnids are represented by relatively few observed species in the Libyan desert. Contrary to popular belief, they are seen very rarely, during ten years of observation only a handful of individuals of each species were noted. This is attributable to their nocturnal activity, in daylight they remain hidden under rocks or the interior of plants.

Eusparassus laevatus
Galeodes species
Leirus quinquestriatus
Ornithodoros savignyi
Stegodyphus lineatus

Insecta (insects)

Insects are the most abundant species, appearing even in those areas of the desert where no other life forms exist.

Anax ephippiger
Anax parthenope
Camponotus species
Cataglyphis bicolor
Cenroclisis species
Delta dimidiatipenne
Eremiaphila species
Gryllus bimaculatus
Heterogamodes ursina
Hyles livornica
Julodis fimbriata
Mesostena angustata
Musca domestica
Nocturidae species (1)
Nocturidae species (2)
Nocturidae species (3)
Nocturidae species (4)
Oestrus ovis
Pseudosphingonotus savignyi
Rhinotermitidae species
Sarcophaga carnaria
Schistocerca gregaria
Sympetrum fonscolombii
Trachyderma hispida
Unidentified caterpillar (1)
Unidentified caterpillar (2)
Utetheisa pulchella
Vanessa cardui

Vertebrata (vertebrates)

Reptilia (reptiles)

Reptiles are relatively scarce, only four species were noted. Their range is wide, some have been noted in areas with no vegetation.

Acanthodactylus scutellatus
Cerastes cerastes
Platyceps saharicus
Psammophis schokari
Tarentola annularis
Trapelus mutabilis

Aves (birds)

Birds are commonly seen throughout the Libyan Desert, however only a few species are resident, the majority migratory, as attested by the numerous mummified remains.

Ardea cinerea
Bubo ascalaphus
Bucantes githagineus
Buteo rufinus
Ciconia ciconia
Falco biarmicus
Hirundo rustica
Motacilla alba
Motacilla flava
Oenanthe isabellina
Oenanthe leucopyga
Oriolus oriolus
Passer hispaniolensis
Phoenicurus phoenicurus

Mammalia (mammals)

Mammals are very scarce, and represented by a handful of species. The range of the large herbivores is restricted to the large massifs of the central Libyan Desert, which support permanent vegetation, and their population is under extreme pressure from indiscriminate hunting.

Addax nasomaculatus
Ammotragus lervia
Gazella dorcas
Gerbillus gerbillus
Gerbillus pyramidum
Procavia capensis
Vulpes rueppeli