The US Virgin Islands Best Guide

Plants & Animals in the Virgin Islands

Iguana on Beach

You’ve clicked over to a page on plants and animals in the Virgin Islands, probably motivated by excited curiosity to know what wildlife exists in the Virgin Islands; or out of some level of critter phobia wondering if we have things like snakes and spiders.  So let’s take a look at some of the most popular animals that you might see on your trip; and share some of common fruits and flowers.

If you really were wondering about snakes, yes they are here but they are quite rare. In fact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service list the Virgin Islands Tree Boa as an endangered species. There are also small garden snakes but seeing them is also fairly uncommon. And we do have spiders, tarantula and scorpions. House spiders are fairly common, they build webs in the corners of ceilings; and while hiking you might see orb spiders in the trees. Tarantulas and scorpions generally live in burrows or hide under rocks and logs; and they stay in those hiding places by day, coming out to hunt at night. So it’s not likely you will see either.

Animals you will likely see….

Swift movements, and an appearance that might have you thinking “it’s a squirrel”, “it’s a ferret”; nope it’s a mongoose. The mongoose is native to Eurasia and Africa. They were introduced to the Virgin Islands. Look for mongoose darting in and out of the tree line at park beaches, and along hiking trails.

A large reptile growing up to 6 feet from head to tail these animals have the tendency to make visitors jump back. Yes it’s an Iguana. The startling effect these big lizards have on people is quite likely due to their resemblance to something from Jurassic Park. They do however scare fairly easily; and a loud shout and clap of the hands is usually enough to drive them away. Read More on Animals.


The Virgin Islands are a great place for bird watching for novices, experts and even those that might say they aren’t birdwatchers at all. There are over 160 species of birds in the U.S. Virgin Islands, some are residents and others are migratory. The best months for seeing the largest variety are the winter months, November through February. Check out the Bird section.

Marine Life

To enjoy a peak under the water at all the fabulous marine life from cool puffer fish to colorful parrotfish, you will need to grab a mask and snorkel; or for deeper sea explorations consider scuba diving; you can get certified while on vacation if you aren’t already. Take a look at Marine Life.

Tropical Fruit

While driving around the island you are likely to pass fruit stands with an assortment of delicious fruits and vegetables; including popular fruits like bananas, pineapples and mangos; to perhaps less familiar fruit like genips, sugarapple and starfruit. Be sure to get a coconut and drink the water right from the nut. Learn more about Island Fruits.

Plants and Flowers

One of the most vibrant trees in the Virgin Islands is the Flamboyant. It blooms in the summer months and the gorgeous orange flowers are stunning. Other pretty flowers perfect for vacation photos are hibiscus, frangipani and bougainvillea. View Photos of Flowers

Virgin Islands Books & Maps