Animals in Kentucky

A state in the Upland South in the southern United States, Kentucky, has a diverse geology comprising different habitats for all flora and fauna to grow. The state has parts of the Appalachian and Pennyroyal Plateaus, as well as the Bluegrass Region. However, like most other states, Kentucky has lost most of its wild habitats due to deforestation and urbanization.

Today, most of the state’s forests and savannas are protected. The Mammoth Cave National Park is one of the most famous wildlife-watching points in the state.

Listed below are the most common and best-known animals you are likely to see in the state.

Animals in Kentucky (KY)

List of Different Types of Animals Found in Kentucky




  • Eastern Box Turtle
  • Eastern Painted Turtle
  • Snapping Turtle
  • Eastern Spiny Softshell Turtle
  • Five-lined Skink
  • Northern Fence Lizard
  • Eastern Fence Lizard
  • Broadhead Skink
  • Northern Green Anole
  • Eastern Slender Glass Lizard
  • Eastern Worm Snake
  • Eastern Garter Snake
  • Northern Red-bellied Snake
  • Eastern Milk Snake
  • Northern Copperhead
  • Timber Rattlesnake
  • Eastern Massasauga
  • Pigmy Rattlesnake
  • Eastern Rat Snake
  • Black Rat Snake
  • Western Cottonmouth
  • Eastern Kingsnake
  • Ring-necked Snake
  • Common Water Snake



  • Channel Catfish
  • Blue Catfish
  • Flathead Catfish
  • Common Carp
  • Walleye
  • Bluegill
  • Northern Pike
  • Shovel-nose Sturgeon
  • Kentucky spotted bass
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Yellow Perch
  • Black Crappie
  • White Crappie
  • Longear Sunfish
  • Redear Sunfish
  • Green Sunfish
  • Rock Bass
  • Spotted Gar
  • Longnose Gar
  • Freshwater Drum
  • White Sucker
  • Blue Sucker

Insects And Invertebrates

  • Honeybee
  • Viceroy butterfly
  • Paper Wasp 
  • Assassin Bug
  • Brown Recluse
  • Camel Cricket
  • Cicada Killer Wasp
  • Hercules Beetle
  • Pincher Bug
  • Red Velvet Ant
  • Southern Devil Scorpion
  • Tobacco Hornworm
  • Common Crab Spider
  • Common Buckeye
  • Giant Mayfly
Kentucky State Animals

State Animals of Kentucky

State BirdNorthern Cardinal
State HorseThoroughbred Horse
State Game AnimalEastern Gray Squirrel
State FishKentucky Spotted Bass
State InsectHoneybee
State ButterflyViceroy Butterfly


What are the most dangerous animals in Kentucky?

Deadly venomous snakes like the cottonmouth, copperhead, timber, and pygmy rattlesnakes are considered to be the most dangerous animals in Kentucky. Among larger mammals, black bears, coyotes, and even deer make the list.

What are some of the most endangered animals in Kentucky?

There are several clams and shells found in the state that are considered endangered. Apart from that, birds like the red knot and whooping crane are also considered threatened and endangered respectively, by the IUCN.

What are some invasive animals in Kentucky? 

Asian carp, zebra mussels, and emeral ash borer beetles are some of the most common invasive animals in the state.

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