Madagascar has widely varying climates. The east coast and the east side of the mountain range along the east coast is rain forest area (wherever there is forest left). In the center and western parts of Madagascar it is quite dry. You can find grass lands there like the savannas in Africa. A unique ecosystem is the Spiny Forest. It consists of dry-adapted vegetation like cacti, euphorbias, and several indigenous plants, most of them succulents or plants with thorns. It can grow as a quite impenetrable forest.

Unfortunately Madagascar is loosing its natural resources fast. Only 10% to 15% of the forest cover is left, and more is disappearing at an alarming rate. I visited 3 nature reserves and here are some pictures that I took of the wildlife in Madagascar.

The most impressive animals are the Lemurs. They come in sizes from mouse-size to about 60 cm (24") tall. Some of them are nocturnal, others are diurnal. Some of them are solitary, like the mouse lemurs, others, like the ring-tailed Makis come in groups of 20-30.

Another group of animals that is quite spectacular are the reptiles (chameleons, geckos, and lizards). I saw some quite spectacular examples of those.

And of course the insects are well represented with some strange creatures like the giraffe beetle and walking sticks. Unfortunately mosquitoes are very well represented as well, which makes mosquito repellent and malaria prophylactic important. But this is a small price to pay for the opportunity to see this unique fauna and flora.

If you know the name of any of the animals or plants that are not named in these pages, please let me know so I can add the names to my pictures.

Here are some of the pictures from my trip about nature in Madagascar.

Pictures of birds in Madagascar and other nature pages are separate:

Birds in Madagascar
Madagascar Bird Page
Nature Pages
Other Nature Pages

All pictures are © Dr. Günther Eichhorn, unless otherwise noted.

Eastern Coast East
The eastern coast and the east side of the coastal mountains is rain forest. (1055k)
Rain Forest Eastern
Rain forest in eastern Madagascar. (990k)
Tree Ferns Grow
Tree ferns grow quite tall in the rain forest. (1280k)
Fern Leaf Spores
Fern leaf with spores. (735k)
Central Part Madagascar
The central part of Madagascar is savanna. (780k)
Drier Areas Carst-like
Some of the drier areas are carst-like with succulent vegetation that can store water. (1028k)
Interesting Rock Formations
There are interesting rock formations in the mountains. This is the Crocodile. (842k)
Acacia Tree Central
Acacia tree in the central savanna area. (895k)
Bamboo Rainier Parts
Bamboo in the rainier parts of Madagascar. (1368k)
Type Vegetation Cover
Another type of vegetation cover is the Spiny Forest. It consists of trees and bushes with thorns and succulents. This is a Madagascar Ocotillo (Alluaudia procera, french: Madagascar ocotillo), a tree, not a Euphorbia. Its wood is used for building houses, etc. The Madagascar Ocotillo is endemic to Madagascar. (1275k)
Spiny Forest Dusk
Spiny Forest at dusk. (564k)
View Spiny Forest
Another view of the Spiny Forest. (1268k)
Closeup Madagascar Ocotillo
A closeup of the Madagascar Ocotillo (Alluaudia procera, french: Madagascar ocotillo). It shows the small leaves, alternating with thorns. (1046k)
Succulent Tree Called
A succulent tree called Kalauchoa (Euphorbia plagiantha), a plant endemic to Madagascar. (1333k)
Small Succulent Plant
A small succulent plant. (1077k)
Plant Spiny Forest
Another plant of the Spiny Forest, sporting thorns on the central rib of the leaves. (948k)
Small Plant Woody
This is a small plant with a woody stem, only about 40 cm (16") high. It is called Elephants Foot (Pachypodium). It looks like a small version of a Baobab. (1078k)
Baobab Adansonia Sp
Baobab (Adansonia sp., german: Affenbrotbäume). These strange looking trees grow in the central parts of Madagascar. (883k)
Baobab Thinner But
Another baobab. This one is much thinner, but much taller. (928k)
Traveler's Palm Ravenala
The Traveler's Palm (Ravenala madagascariensis, german: Baum der Reisenden, french: Arbre du voyageur) is endemic to Madagascar. It is a relative of the Bird-of-Paradise Flower. Its leaves grow in a flat fan shape. (1165k)
Larger Traveler's Palm
A larger Traveler's Palm (Ravenala madagascariensis, german: Baum der Reisenden, french: Arbre du voyageur). (694k)
Christmas Candlestick Leonotis
Christmas Candlestick (Leonotis nepetifolia). The stem of this plant continues growing out of the top of the fruit stands, and keeps growing more fruit stands like pearls on a string. (1005k)
Close-up Fruit Stand
Close-up of the fruit stand of the Christmas Candlestick (Leonotis nepetifolia) with the stem growing out of the top. (622k)
Madagascar Periwinkle Catharanthus
Madagascar Periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus, german: Rosafarbene Catharanthe, french: Pervenche de Madagascar). It is endemic to Madagascar. (1010k)
Fruits Plant Called
The fruits of a plant called Daniella. They have a vibrant blue color. (851k)
Trumpet Flower
Trumpet flower. (754k)
Large Blooming Aloe
A large blooming aloe. (944k)
Water Lily
Water lily. (881k)
Madagascar Pitcher Plant
Madagascar Pitcher Plant (Nepenthes madagascariensis). This is a carnivorous plant. The fly on the inside of the top lid is living dangerously. The inner walls of the pitcher are very smooth and there is a liquid in the bottom of the pitcher. If a fly falls into the pitcher, it will not be able to climb up the wall to get out of the liquid. The liquid contains enzymes that digest the fly. (497k)
Ant Soldier Note
An ant soldier. Note the big head and mandibles. (772k)
Bright Yellow Wasp
A bright yellow wasp. This one was sitting on the strap of my backpack. (832k)
Wasp Nest
Wasp nest. (942k)
Grasshoppers Huge About
Some of the grasshoppers are huge. This one was about 15 cm (6") long. (887k)
Lots Spiders Beautiful
Lots of spiders with beautiful spider webs. (995k)
Crab Spider
This is a crab spider. (615k)
Spider Pair Male
Spider pair. The male is the little one. (636k)
Giraffe Beetle Trachelophorus
The Giraffe Beetle (Trachelophorus giraffa, german: Giraffenhalskäfer, french: Scarabée girafe) is an odd looking beetle. It has a long neck with a kink in it. The head is tiny at the very top of the neck. It is endemic to Madagascar. (751k)
Praying Mantis
Praying mantis. (761k)
Lots Beautiful Butterflies
There were lots of beautiful butterflies. (1175k)
Another butterfly. (1006k)
Also Lots Moths
There were also lots of moths. (631k)
Nicely Colored Moth
Nicely colored moth. (724k)
Moth Very Well
This moth is very well camouflaged. (819k)
Dragonflies Order Odonata
Dragonflies (Order Odonata (german: Libellen, french: ), suborder Anisoptera (german: Großlibellen, french: )) are everywhere there is water. They come in amazing varieties. (877k)
Transparent Wings Black
This one has transparent wings with black stripes at the end. (800k)
Red Dragonfly Order
Red Dragonfly (Order Odonata (german: Libellen, french: ), suborder Anisoptera (german: Großlibellen, french: )). (550k)
Blue-green Dragonfly Order
Blue-green Dragonfly (Order Odonata (german: Libellen, french: ), suborder Anisoptera (german: Großlibellen, french: )). (766k)
Mating Dragonflies Quite
Mating dragonflies. They are quite the contortionists. (882k)
Walking Stick Best
The walking stick has one of the best camouflages that I have ever seen. I have other pictures in which it is almost impossible to identify the insect. (697k)
Emperor Scorpion Pandinus
Emperor Scorpion (Pandinus imperator, german: Kaiserskorpion). (813k)
Radiated Tortoise Astrochelys
Radiated Tortoise (Astrochelys radiata, german: Strahlenschildkröte, french: Tortue rayonnée) in the Spiny Forest. (1352k)
Snake Harmless Poisonous
This snake is harmless. There are no poisonous snakes or insects in Madagascar. (958k)
Geckos Everywhere Beautiful
Geckos are everywhere, some of them in beautiful colors. (940k)
Closeup Colorful Geckos
A closeup of one of the colorful geckos. (870k)
Spent Two Evenings
I spent two evenings watching geckos hunt. It was fascinating. This gecko has just caught a moth. They sit completely motionless for long periods of time near a light. When a moth lands close enough, they position themselves towards the moth and then grab it. They are incredibly fast when they pounce on the moth. (767k)
Chameleons Fascinating Creatures
Chameleons are fascinating creatures. This one was large with a body length of about 30 cm (12"). Its tail fell prey to some predator. (724k)
Small But Colorful
This is a small but colorful chameleon. Its body length was only about 6 cm (2.4"). (822k)
More Colorful Chameleons
Another one of the more colorful chameleons. (901k)
Closeup Chameleons Head
Closeup of a chameleons head. (773k)
Closeup Chameleons Head
Closeup of a chameleons head. (915k)
Madagascar Flying Fox
A Madagascar Flying Fox (Pteropus rufus, german: Roter Flughund, french: Renard volant de Madagascar) in flight. We visited a nesting tree of these bats. They are very large bats with a wingspan of over 1 m (3 ft). It is endemic to Madagascar. (816k)
Streaked Tenrec Hemicentetes
A Streaked Tenrec (Hemicentetes semispinosus, german: Eigentlicher Streifentenrek, french: Tenrec zébré des terres basses), a small animal similar to a hedgehog. This one was a juvenile, only about 12 cm (5") long. (948k)
Ring-tailed Mongoose Galidia
Ring-tailed Mongoose (Galidia elegans, german: Ringelschwanzmungo, french: Mangouste à queue annelée). (894k)
Malagasy Civet Fossa
A Malagasy Civet (Fossa fossana, german: Fanaloka, french: Civette malgache), a cat-sized carnivore. It is endemic to Madagascar. (1175k)
Lemurs Indri Indri
Now to the Lemurs. This is an Indri (Indri indri, french: Babakoto), the largest of the still living lemurs. Lemurs are primitive primates. They are endemic to Madagascar. (753k)
Black-and-white Ruffed Lemur
A Black-and-white Ruffed Lemur (Varecia variegata variegata, german: Schwarzweißer Vari) . It is endemic to Madagascar. (804k)
White-footed Sportive Lemur
A White-footed Sportive Lemur (Lepilemur leucopus, german: Weißfuß-Wieselmaki, french: Lépilémur à pattes blanches). This is a nocturnal lemur. It is endemic to Madagascar. (906k)
Grey Mouse Lemur
A Grey Mouse Lemur (Microcebus murinus, german: Grauer Mausmaki, french: Microcèbe mignon). This is the smallest of the living lemurs. It is about mouse-sized and nocturnal. It is endemic to Madagascar. (1085k)
Lesser Bamboo Lemur
Lesser Bamboo Lemur (Hapalemur griseus, german: Östlicher Bambuslemur, french: Hapalémur gris). It is endemic to Madagascar. (817k)
Closer View Lesser
Closer view of a Lesser Bamboo Lemur (Hapalemur griseus, german: Östlicher Bambuslemur, french: Hapalémur gris). (724k)
Red-bellied Lemur Eulemur
Red-bellied Lemur (Eulemur rubriventer, german: Rotbauchmaki, french: Lémur à ventre roux). It is endemic to Madagascar. (933k)
Red-bellied Lemur Eating
Red-bellied Lemur, eating a banana. (845k)
Brown Lemur Eulemur
Brown Lemur (Eulemur fulvus, german: Brauner Maki, french: Lémur fauve). It is endemic to Madagascar and Mayotte. (791k)
Brown Lemur
Another Brown Lemur. (952k)
Brown Lemur Drinking
A Brown Lemur drinking water (Eulemur fulvus, german: Brauner Maki, french: Lémur fauve). (1023k)
Brown Lemur Head
Brown Lemur head. (750k)
Group Ring-tailed Lemurs
A group of Ring-tailed Lemurs or Makis (Lemur catta, german: Katta, french: Lémur catta). These are the most inquisitive of the lemurs. They go into your hotel room and check out your luggage if you leave the door open. They are endemic to Madagascar. (1363k)
Pair Makis Lemur
A pair of Makis (Lemur catta, german: Katta, french: Lémur catta) relaxing. (708k)
Makis Usually Hold
The Makis usually hold up their tail like this (Lemur catta, german: Katta, french: Lémur catta). (886k)
Ring-tailed Lemur Walking
Ring-tailed lemur walking. (690k)
Ring-tailed Lemur Leaping
A ring-tailed lemur leaping between trees. (740k)
Ring-tailed Lemur Perched
Ring-tailed lemur perched on a treetop. (834k)
Closeup Ring-tailed Lemur
Closeup of a ring-tailed lemur. (624k)
Verreaux's Sifaka Propithecus
A Verreaux's Sifaka (Propithecus verreauxi, german: Larvensifaka, french: Sifaka de Verreaux), another species of lemur. It is endemic to Madagascar. (870k)
Closeup Verreaux's Sifaka
Closeup of a Verreaux's Sifaka (Propithecus verreauxi, german: Larvensifaka, french: Sifaka de Verreaux). (736k)
Verreaux's Sifaka Always
The Verreaux's Sifaka always walk upright (Propithecus verreauxi, german: Larvensifaka, french: Sifaka de Verreaux). (823k)
Hop Skip Jump
They hop, skip, and jump when they are on the ground. (822k)

This page contains 87 pictures with 25 species

Mdg Comp
Main page for Madagascar

Page last updated on Tue Sep 24 18:19:03 2019 (Mountain Standard Time)

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