Animals in Iowa

Iowa is an upper midwestern state in the US, bound by rivers on three sides. The Mississippi River forms the eastern boundary, the Des Moines River flows along the southern border, and the Missouri and Big Sioux Rivers form the western boundary. The state offers a diverse climate and habitats for its flora and fauna to prosper.

The most common native wild animals in the state include the white-tailed deer, eastern gray squirrel, bobcat, and gray fox. The state is also home to the iconic black-and-white striped skunk. The Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge and the Maquoketa Caves State Park are where you can experience the wildlife in Iowa.

Animals in Iowa (IA)

List of Different Types of Animals Found in Iowa




  • Five-lined Skink
  • Slender Glass Lizard
  • Common Snapping Turtle
  • Northern Map Turtle
  • Painted Turtle
  • Ornate Box Turtle
  • Western Painted Turtle
  • Spiny Softshell Turtle
  • Eastern Musk Turtle
  • Northern Red-bellied Snake
  • Common Garter Snake
  • Plains Garter Snake
  • Western Fox Snake
  • Eastern Hognose Snake
  • Northern Water Snake
  • Queen Snake
  • Western Ribbon Snake
  • Common Five-lined Skink
  • Prairie Lizard
  • Common Fence Lizard
  • Eastern Collared Lizard
  • Western Ratsnake
  • Smooth Greensnake
  • Common Kingsnake
  • Copperhead 
  • Massasauga Rattlesnakes 
  • Prairie Rattlesnakes
  • Timber Rattlesnakes



  • Bluegill
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Rock Bass
  • White Bass
  • Channel Catfish
  • Flathead Catfish
  • Lake Trout
  • Apache Trout
  • Walleye
  • Alligator Gar
  • American Eel
  • Northern Pike
  • Muskellunge
  • Black Crappie
  • White Crappie
  • Green Sunfish
  • Pumpkinseed
  • Yellow Perch
  • Freshwater Drum
  • Sauger
  • Bowfin
  • Shovelnose Sturgeon
  • Lake Sturgeon
  • Atlantic Sturgeon
  • Arctic Char
  • Tiger Muskellunge
  • Topeka Shiner

Insects And Invertebrates

  • Monarch Butterfly
  • Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly
  • Ladybugs
  • Green June Beetle
  • Japanese Beetle
  • Honey Bee
  • Stag Beetles
  • American Oil Beetles
  • Brown Recluse Spider
  • Black Widow Spider
  • American House Spider
  • Arrowhead Orb Weaver Spiders
  • Ticks
  • Centipedes
  • Cockroaches
  • Carpenter Ants
  • Bald-faced Hornet
  • Yellow Jacket 
  • Bed Bugs
  • Spotted Bird Grasshopper
  • Mosquitoes
  • Fleas


  • Iowa Pleistocene Snail
  • Higgins’ Eye Pearly Mussel

State Animals of Iowa

Iowa has no official state animal, but it does have the American goldfinch as the state bird. 


What are the most dangerous animals in Iowa?

In Iowa, the deadly snakes and spiders like the copperheads, Massasaugas, prairie, and timber rattlesnakes, brown recluses, and black widows are the animals to watch out for. Large animals like coyotes, foxes, and bears can also be dangerous. The deer found in the wild can also turn quite dangerous, especially if threatened.

Are there any endangered animals in Iowa?

Several of the animals in this state are considered threatened or endangered on a state or federal level. Some noteworthy ones include the piping plover, greater prairie chicken, Topeka shiner, Higgins’ eye pearly mussel, and Iowa Pleistocene snail.

What are the most common burrowing animals in Iowa?

Several species of voles, moles, rats, gophers, and ground squirrels call the state their home. Other animals that dog holes in the ground, like raccoons and woodchucks, are also there. Additionally, animals like the nine-banded armadillo have also been recorded to visit from neighboring states. The holes’ shape, size, and nature vary from one animal to another.

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