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Animals That Start With X – The List

In the vast lexicon of the animal kingdom, few letters pose as much of a challenge as the letter ‘X’. While many alphabets teem with creatures, ‘X’ remains a letter less traveled, leading to species that are often overlooked or unfamiliar to many.

But this scarcity makes each discovery all the more exciting. From the arid terrains of Africa to the flowing currents of Brazil’s Xingu River, animals that start with an ‘X’ are as diverse as they are unique.

In this article, we embark on a journey to spotlight these x-traordinary creatures, diving deep into their habitats, behaviors, and the remarkable characteristics that set them apart. Join us as we unravel the mysteries behind these lesser-known wonders of the natural world!

Animals That Start With X – With Pictures & Facts

Here, we are listing all 14 animals starting with X we could find, with pictures and interesting facts. 

X-Ray Tetra

X-Ray Tetra
  • Scientific name: Pristella maxillaris
  • Type of animal: Fish
  • Where found: Amazon and Orinoco River basins in South America

The X-Ray Tetra is a small, transparent freshwater fish popular in aquariums worldwide due to its striking appearance. Its almost transparent body, paired with a silvery stripe, makes its internal organs partially visible, hence the name “X-Ray”.

This feature is not just for show—it helps the fish camouflage among the floating forest roots and vegetation in its natural habitat.

Did you know? The X-Ray Tetra’s transparency is not just a feature of its youth; it retains this see-through quality throughout its life!

Xanthippe’s Shrew

  • Scientific name: Crocidura xantippe
  • Type of animal: Mammal
  • Where found: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Native to the forests of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Xanthippe’s Shrew is a tiny mammal named after Xanthippe, the wife of the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates.

These shrews are adapted to life in the underbrush, using their keen sense of smell and sharp hearing to navigate and find food.

Did you know? The name Xanthippe means “yellow horse” in Greek, though it’s unclear how this name came to be associated with this small mammal.

Xantic Sargo

Xantic SargoSource: Wikimedia Commons
  • Scientific name: Anisotremus davidsonii
  • Type of animal: Fish
  • Where found: Eastern Pacific Ocean, from California to Baja California in Mexico

The Xantic Sargo is a silver-gray fish commonly found swimming in the kelp beds and rocky reefs of the Eastern Pacific. It’s easily recognizable by the yellowish tint on its fins and the two dark bars located behind its head.

Growing up to 14 inches, the Xantic Sargo often travels in schools, feeding primarily on algae, small invertebrates, and occasionally plankton.

Did you know? The Xantic Sargo is an important food fish in many areas and is also popular among recreational anglers for its fighting spirit when hooked.

Xantus’ Hummingbird

Xantus HummingbirdSource: Wikimedia Commons
  • Scientific name: Basilinna xantusii
  • Type of animal: Bird
  • Where found: Baja California peninsula in Mexico, occasional vagrant in the United States

A rare sight for many bird enthusiasts, the Xantus’s Hummingbird is a beautifully colored species with a green dorsal side and a white underside, complemented by a striking red bill with a black tip.

These little wonders are mostly sedentary, choosing to remain within their preferred habitats unless food scarcity pushes them to migrate.

Did you know? While the majority of hummingbirds are not particularly vocal, the Xantus’s Hummingbird is an exception. It has a distinctive series of chirps and songs that it uses to communicate.

Xantus’ Leaf-Toed Gecko

Phyllodactylus xanti
  • Scientific name: Phyllodactylus xanti
  • Type of animal: Reptile
  • Where found: Coastal regions of Baja California and adjacent areas of the mainland in Mexico

This nocturnal gecko is well-suited to its rocky desert habitat. Possessing a broad head and robust body, the Xantus Leaf-Toed Gecko has a unique toe structure that aids in climbing.

Their cryptic coloration aids in blending seamlessly with their environment, making them difficult to spot during their daytime rest.

Did you know? The gecko’s unique toe structure, which looks somewhat like a leaf, is not just for aesthetics – it provides a larger surface area for the gecko to grip onto surfaces.

Xantus’ Murrelet

Xantus murreletSource: Wikimedia Commons
  • Scientific name: Synthliboramphus hypoleucus
  • Type of animal: Bird
  • Where found: Eastern Pacific Ocean, nesting primarily on islands off the coasts of California (USA) and Baja California (Mexico)

The Xantus’s Murrelet is a small, nocturnal seabird known for its swift flight and distinctive calls. Spending most of its life at sea, this bird only comes ashore to nest, often in rocky crevices or under shrubs to hide from predators.

They’re recognized by their black and white plumage, which provides an adaptive camouflage against the backdrop of the open ocean.

Did you know? Unlike many seabirds that have extended parental care, Xantus’s Murrelet chicks leave the nest and head to sea only a couple of days after hatching, relying on their natural instincts to survive.

Xantus’ Swimming Crab

  • Scientific name: Portunus xantusii
  • Type of animal: Arthropod (Crustacean)
  • Where found: Eastern Pacific, primarily from the Gulf of California to Colombia

Characterized by its vibrant coloration, the Xantus Swimming Crab boasts a shell adorned with shades of blue, purple, and white. As a member of the swimming crab family, it’s equipped with specialized rear legs resembling paddles, perfect for propelling through the water.

Often found lurking in sandy or muddy seabeds, this crab is an opportunistic feeder, consuming a diet of small fish and invertebrates.

Did you know? The Xantus Swimming Crab, like many crustaceans, can regenerate lost limbs over successive molts. If it loses a leg or claw, a new one will grow in its place!

Xavier’s Greenbul

  • Scientific name: Phyllastrephus xavieri
  • Type of animal: Bird
  • Where found: West-central Africa, primarily in countries like Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Gabon

With a subtle yet elegant olive-green plumage, Xavier’s Greenbul is a sight to behold in the dense forests of west-central Africa. This little songbird, primarily insectivorous, forages in the undergrowth and lower canopy, constantly on the lookout for its next meal. Its song, a series of melodious notes, adds a delightful soundtrack to its habitat.

Did you know? Greenbuls are aptly named for their predominant green coloration, but there’s no historical figure named Xavier associated with this bird. The name is believed to be an honorary designation.

Xeme (Sabine’s Gull)

XemeSource: Wikimedia Commons
  • Scientific name: Xema sabini
  • Type of animal: Bird
  • Where found: Arctic regions for breeding and then migrates to southern oceans in winter

The Xeme, more commonly known as Sabine’s Gull, is notable for its triangular wings and distinctive black, white, and gray color pattern.

While it breeds in the chilly Arctic regions, come winter, this gull embarks on an impressive migration, often traveling as far south as the Antarctic waters. It predominantly feeds on small fish and aquatic insects.

Did you know? Sabine’s Gull has one of the most extended migration routes of any gull species, covering thousands of miles from the Arctic to the Antarctic!


  • Scientific name: Xenops spp.
  • Type of animal: Bird
  • Where found: Neotropical regions, from southern Mexico to Argentina

The Xenops, with its slender, down-curved bill, is a small bird native to the Neotropics. This quirky-looking bird is adept at foraging on tree trunks and branches, hunting for insects hidden in the crevices of the bark.

With a series of rapid movements, it can move up, down, and around branches, much like a nuthatch.

Did you know? Despite its unique foraging behavior, Xenops are not closely related to nuthatches. Instead, they’re a classic example of convergent evolution, where unrelated species develop similar adaptations due to similar environmental pressures.


  • Scientific name: Xerus spp.
  • Type of animal: Mammal
  • Where found: Dry regions of Africa

Xerus refers to a particular genus of African ground squirrels, characterized by their long bushy tails and elongated body. These squirrels are uniquely adapted to the arid regions of Africa, boasting a diet of roots, seeds, fruits, and occasionally insects.

Living in burrow systems, they utilize these underground chambers to escape the scorching midday heat and potential predators.

Did you know? Unlike tree-dwelling squirrels, the Xerus has shorter legs and strong claws, perfect for digging and burrowing in their sandy habitats.

Xinjiang Ground Jay

Xinjiang Ground Jay
  • Scientific name: Podoces biddulphi
  • Type of animal: Bird
  • Where found: Desert areas of Xinjiang, China

The Xinjiang Ground Jay, also known as Biddulph’s ground jay, is a species of ground jay endemic to the deserts of Xinjiang.

Adapted to a ground-dwelling lifestyle, this bird primarily forages on the ground, seeking out insects, seeds, and small vertebrates. Its cryptic coloration allows it to blend seamlessly into its desert environment, making it a challenge for predators to spot.

Did you know? The Xinjiang Ground Jay is one of the few bird species that has evolved to thrive in desert ecosystems, a testament to the adaptability of nature.

Xingu Corydoras

  • Scientific name: Corydoras xinguensis
  • Type of animal: Fish
  • Where found: Xingu River in Brazil

The Xingu Corydoras is a small, freshwater catfish native to the Xingu River in Brazil. As with other members of the Corydoras genus, it possesses a gentle demeanor and an armored body, making it a favorite amongst aquarium enthusiasts.

They are often found grazing the riverbed, sifting through sand and sediment to feed on tiny invertebrates and organic detritus.

Did you know? Corydoras possess a unique ability among fish to breathe atmospheric air. When in oxygen-deprived waters, they rise to the surface and gulp air, absorbing it through a specialized part of their digestive tract!

Xingu River Ray

Xingu River Ray
  • Scientific name: Potamotrygon leopoldi
  • Type of animal: Fish
  • Where found: Xingu River in Brazil

Another gem from the Xingu River, the Xingu River Ray is a species of freshwater stingray known for its striking black and white coloration.

With a flattened body and a whip-like tail, these rays gracefully navigate the riverbed, often burying themselves in the sand as camouflage. Their diet primarily consists of small fish, crustaceans, and other aquatic invertebrates.

Did you know? While these rays are often sought after in the aquarium trade for their beauty, they can deliver a painful sting with their tail spine. In their natural habitat, this serves as a defense mechanism against potential predators.

Animals that Start With X: The Full List

Since there are very few animals that start with X, this is the same list as above but sorted by types of animals. 

Mammals Starting With X

  • Xanthippe’s Shrew
  • Xerus (African Ground Squirrel)

→ Learn more about Mammals

Birds Starting With X

  • Xantus’s Hummingbird
  • Xantus’s Murrelet
  • Xavier’s Greenbul
  • Xeme (Sabine’s Gull)
  • Xenops
  • Xinjiang Ground Jay

→ Learn more about Birds

Fish Starting With X

  • Xantic Sargo
  • Xingu Corydoras
  • Xingu River Ray
  • X-Ray Tetra

→ Learn more about Fish

Reptiles Starting With X

  • Xantus Leaf-Toed Gecko

→ Learn more about Reptiles

Arthropods Starting With X

  • Xantus’ Swimming Crab

→ Learn more about Arachnids, Crustaceans and Myriapods

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