animals that start with q

27 Animals That Start With Q: Species, Description, and Fun Facts

This alphabetical list of animals that start with Q will teach you fascinating and less observed species like quolls and quetzals in this often overlooked category. These creatures offer profound insights into the diversity, adaptability, and sheer wonder of life on Earth.

In this article on animals beginning with Q, we'll delve into their distinctive characteristics and behaviors and explore their native habitats and unique diets.

27 Animals Beginning with Q

1. Quokka

quokka
Photo by Holgi on Pixabay

Fun Fact: Did you know that the quokka, the "happiest animal on Earth," is native to a small corner of Western Australia? These cute marsupials are friendly and seem to smile, earning them the nickname "the smiling quokka."

Quokkas are small marsupials found in Western Australia. They have round ears and brown fur, weigh 2.5 to 5 kilograms, and are primarily active at night. Female quokkas have a pouch to carry and feed their young joeys, similar to kangaroos and koalas.

Quokkas are an endangered species with a conversation status of s listed as 'vulnerable' due to habitat loss as a result of agricultural and urban development.

Related Read: Quokka Facts.

2. Quetzal

quetzal
Photo by Aleksandar Popovski on Unsplash

Fun Fact: Did you know that Quetzal is a magnificent bird found in Central America's cloud forests? These animals that start with q come from the Nahuatl word "quetzal," meaning "precious feather." These feathers were highly valued and considered sacred by the indigenous people, often used in ceremonial headdresses and royal regalia.

These colorful birds are the national bird of Guatemala and are found from Mexico down to Central America and South America. With its glorious green and red feathers1, the Quetzal remains one of the most visually stunning birds in the avian world.

However, life isn't all colorful for this bird. Classified as 'Near Threatened' on the IUCN Red List, the Quetzal faces a stiff challenge in the wild due to habitat destruction and the illegal pet trade.

3. Queen Alexandra's Birdwing Butterfly

Queen Alexandra's Birdwing Butterfly
Photo by Katlyn Moncada on Pexels

Fun Fact: Did you know that Queen Alexandra's Birdwing is the largest butterfly in the world? This magnificent butterfly is a sight, with a wingspan reaching up to 11 inches (28 cm).

These giant butterflies live in the lush rainforests of Eastern Papua New Guinea. One of the most striking features of Queen Alexandra's Birdwing is its intricate and vividly colored wings.

Males boast particular green wings adorned with bold accents of black and yellow, while females exhibit more enormous branches with more subdued colors and elegant white stripes. This dimorphism adds to the butterfly's allure, showcasing the diverse beauty found within a single species.

Related Read: Butterfly Facts.

4. Quail

quail
Photo by Elisa Stone on Unsplash

Fun Fact: Quails have a clever way of protecting themselves from predators. When threatened, this small game bird can burst into flight, creating a loud whirring sound with their wings.

Quails, those petite powerhouses of the bird realm, belong to the diverse pheasant family. Their habitat spans the globe, housing over 130 species. Usually solitary, you may sometimes see them socializing in cozy groups called coveys, especially the Bobwhite and California quail—North America's favorites, known for their distinctive topknots and exquisite feathers.

They help balance the ecosystem, controlling insect populations and spreading seeds through their droppings. Still, it's a harsh world for quails. While some species thrive, others are on the brink of extinction, their numbers dwindling due to relentless habitat loss and hunting.

Related Read: Quail Facts, Types of Quail.

5. Queen Snakes

queen snake
Photo by Jody Shugart on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY 4.0 (Cropped from original)

Fun Fact: Did you know that the Queen Snake, scientifically known as Regina septemvittata, is one of the few snake species primarily aquatic? Unlike most snakes that prefer dry land, the Queen Snake thrives in the water.

These snakes are from North America, primarily marking their territory in the eastern and midwestern United States and even making a home in southeastern Canada. They are petite by nature and typically measure 15 to 24 inches. You'll find it donning an earthy ensemble of brown or olive, contrasted by a soft underbelly of pale yellow or cream.

You might be surprised to hear that crayfish, especially the freshly molted kind, make up 90% of the Queen Snake's diet. They are harmless to humans and play a significant role in controlling crayfish populations2.

Related Read: Snake Facts

6. Quahog (Clam)

quahog
Photo by S. Rae on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY 2.0 (Cropped from original)

Fun Fact: Did you know quahogs, also known as hard clams, have an incredible lifespan? These animals that start with Q can live up to 200 years!

Quahogs thrive in North America's eastern littoral zones. This marine mollusk sports a sturdy shell, shimmering with white, gray, or brown hues. You'll find them from the size of a coin to as big as a man's hand, some reaching an impressive 4 inches in length.

They are filter feeders and primarily eat microscopic animals like plankton. Some Quahogs can live for centuries. And the age of a Quahog can be measured by the growth rings on their shells, akin to counting age lines on a tree.

7. Queensland Grouper

queensland grouper
Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

Fun Fact: Did you know that the Queensland Grouper, also known as the Giant Grouper, is not only one of the largest reef-dwelling fish in the world, but it also can change its sex? These animals that start with q are known for their swallowing behavior and can consume prey like sea turtles and small sharks.

The Queensland Grouper, also known as the Giant Grouper, holds the title of one of the largest bony fish in coral reefs. These creatures inhabit the Indian and Pacific Oceans, particularly in Northern Australia and Queensland. They can grow up to 8.9 feet long, with a weight sometimes hitting a staggering 880 pounds.

Despite their massive size, these fishes are pretty shy. They are protogynous hermaphrodites, which in simpler terms, means they start life as females, with some later transitioning to males. This adaptation is critical to their survival, helping maintain their numbers in unpredictable marine environments.

8. Queen Parrotfish

queen parrotfish
Photo by Adona9 on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 (Cropped from original)

Fun Fact: Did you know that Queen Parrotfish changes gender during its life? It starts as a female and becomes a male as it grows older.

The Queen Parrotfish (Scarus vetula) can be found in the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, and the western Atlantic Ocean. Males display a striking blue-green color, while females are more subdued in reddish-brown or grey. They can grow up to 60cm in length and have unique beak-like teeth arranged in a royal crest pattern, which sets them apart from other fish.

These colorful animals that start with Q play a crucial role in the ecosystem by keeping algal growth in check, which is essential to prevent overgrowth that could harm the coral reefs3. Their waste also contributes to the sand that graces our beaches, as it is composed of pulverized coral.

9. Quillback

Fun Fact: This unique fish gets its name from the sharp, quill-like spines that run along its back. These spines serve as a defense mechanism, protecting the Quillback from predators.

Scientifically known as Carpiodes cyprinus, the Quillback makes its home in the abundant waters of North America. Its olive-brown body can almost disappear among riverbed vegetation, leaving its starkly white belly visible. Their dorsal fins look like quills, which inspired their name.

A large Quillback can reach an impressive 28 inches, although most settle between 12 and 20 inches. They prefer the quiet life - and waters. They usually dwell near the bottom of slow-moving rivers, streams, and reservoirs.

10. Queen Triggerfish

queen triggerfish
Photo by Hwttdz on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 (Cropped from original)

Fun Fact: Did you know that the Queen Triggerfish, also known as the Old Wife, has a unique way of defending itself? When threatened, this colorful fish can lock itself inside small crevices by erecting its first dorsal spine, making it nearly impossible for predators to pull it out.

This brightly colored fish is characterized by vibrant blues and accented by yellow-brown lines across the head. Its dorsal and anal fins are elegantly outlined in yellow. Known for its protective dorsal spine or trigger, it has a unique defense mechanism. It snugly locks itself into crevices when in danger, confounding any predators attempting to dislodge it.

You'd find the Queen Triggerfish scattered across the coral reefs of the Atlantic Ocean: from Canada and Massachusetts to Brazil. Though solitary creatures, these fish are fiercely territorial, unafraid to guard their feeding grounds against intruders.

11. Qinling Panda

qinling panda
Photo by Mélody P on Unsplash

Fun Fact: Did you know the Qinling Panda is one of the world's rarest and most elusive animals? This unique subspecies of the giant panda is found only in the Quinling Mountains of China.

This panda isn't your regular black and white cutie - it's a subspecies of the Giant Panda that sports unique brown and white fur! This unusual color pattern results from a genetic mutation that affects melanin production, the pigment responsible for color in the coat.

These pandas also have smaller skulls, bigger molar teeth, and a handy pseudo-thumb. Bamboo is their go-to meal, making up 99% of their diet.

12. Queensland Tube-nosed Bat

Fun Fact: Did you know that the Queensland Tube-nosed Fruit Bat is an excellent flyer and an exceptional swimmer? Unlike most bats, these species dive into the water and use their wings as paddles to move around.

Queensland Tube-nosed Bat lives in Australia's sprawling rainforests and labyrinthine mangroves. This bat is a mid-sized marvel draped in earthy brown to grey-brown fur. They're fruit lovers with a particular fondness for figs. Most of the time, they're solitary, but nightfall sees them huddling together in small groups, especially during the mating season.

Related Read: Bat Facts.

13. Queen Charlotte Goshawk

Fun Fact: Queen Charlotte Goshawk is named after Queen Charlotte, the wife of King George III of England, who was the monarch during Captain James Cook's voyages. This bird of prey was first scientifically described during Captain Cook's third expedition in the late 18th century.

The Queen Charlotte Goshawk is a stunning raptor found in the dense forests and mountainous regions of the Queen Charlotte Islands in Canada. With their striking dark plumage and distinctive white eyebrow, they are indeed a sight to behold.

These goshawks are formidable predators, preying on various small mammals and birds with their sharp talons and keen eyesight. During the breeding season, they engage in breathtaking aerial displays, showcasing their flips and turns to attract mates.

14. Quetzal Bird

quetzal bird
Photo by Zdeněk Macháček on Unsplash

Fun Fact: Did you know that Quetzals are Guatemala's national bird? Furthermore, the ancient Mayans revered the Quetzal as a symbol of freedom and considered its feathers sacred.

The Quetzal, often regarded as one of the most beautiful birds in the world, can be found in the lush cloud forests of Central America, including regions of Mexico, Guatemala, and Costa Rica. Its prolonged, flowing tail feathers can extend up to three times the length of its body, giving it an almost magical appearance as it soars through the treetops.

15. Quoll

quoll
Photo by pen_ash on Pixabay

Fun Fact: Did you know that quolls are known for their unique dental structure? These small carnivorous marsupials have sharp, pointy teeth specially adapted for their mixed diet of insects, small mammals, birds, reptiles, and even fruits.

One of the notable features of quolls is their spotted coat, which can vary in color and pattern among different species. Their fur may be brown, black, or even reddish, adorned with spots or stripes, providing effective camouflage in their natural habitats. Quolls are carnivores. Their preferred menu comprises insects, birds, frogs, and small mammals.

As marsupials, female quolls have a pouch in which they carry and nurse their underdeveloped young, called joeys, after giving birth. The mother kangaroo carries her joeys in her pouch until they are developed enough to ride on her back and leave.

16. Queensland Lungfish

Fun Fact: Did you know that Queensland Lungfish species are known for their impressive lifespan, with some individuals living for over a century? It has remained relatively unchanged throughout its long evolutionary history, earning it the status of a "living fossil."

These ancient fish live on the river systems of Mary and Burnett in Queensland, Australia. It measures up to 1.5 meters long and tips the scales at a hefty 43 kg. Its most striking feature, from which it gets its name, is its single lung. Unlike most lungfish, it uses this lung to breathe air when its riverine home is low on oxygen. In the face of severe droughts or stagnant waters, it burrows into the mud, encases itself in a cocoon, and waits out the hard times.

17. Quill Shark

Fun Fact: Did you know that Quill Shark, also known as the Quilled Carpetshark, is one of Earth's rarest and most mysterious shark species? Their name came from rows of sharp, quill-like spines running along their back.

The Quill Shark belongs to the family Parascylliidae, known as "collared carpet sharks." They inhabit deep waters of the Pacific Ocean, particularly around New Zealand and Australia. These creatures have giant mouths and rows of sharp, thorn-like teeth, making them formidable predators. They eat a variety of seafood, like bony fishes, crustaceans, and even octopuses.

Due to its deep-sea habitat and elusive nature, much about the Quill Shark remains a mystery, making it a captivating subject for marine biologists and shark enthusiasts.

Related Read: Types of Sharks.

18. Queen Bee

queen bee
Photo by Jonathan Wilkins on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 (Cropped from original)

Fun Fact: Did you know that the Queen Bee is the most essential member of a bee colony? The Queen Bee is the only female bee in the colony capable of laying eggs. Her primary function is to reproduce and ensure the continuation of the colony.

The Queen Bee's development differs significantly from other female worker bees. During her larval stage, they feed her a special diet called royal jelly, which triggers her development into a sexually mature adult capable of reproduction.

A healthy and well-mated Queen Bee can lay many eggs daily. She can lay up to 2,000 eggs per day during the peak of the breeding season, which is essential for the colony's growth and strength. Queen bees are also larger than any other bees in their colony (about 20mm compared to the regular 12-15mm of worker bees).

Related Read: Bee Facts | Types of Bees.

19. Queen Angelfish

queen angelfish
Photo by NOAA on Unsplash

Fun Fact: Queen Angelfish are stunning creatures that change color as they age. Younger ones are blue and yellow with a dark mask around their eyes, while mature ones have a mix of blue, yellow, and green.

Queen Angelfish is a marine angelfish commonly found near reefs in the warmer sections of the western Atlantic Ocean. These angelfish are known for their bold and territorial behavior, defending their preferred feeding and nesting spots from intruders.

However, they also exhibit curious and friendly behavior towards divers, making them a favorite subject of underwater photographers and snorkelers.

20. Queensland Koala

queensland koala
Photo by sandid on Pixabay

Fun Fact: Did you know that the Queensland Koala is not a separate species of koala but a subspecies? It is found exclusively in Queensland, Australia, and is known for its slightly larger size compared to other koalas.

The Queensland Koala, scientifically known as Phascolarctos cinereus adustus, is an iconic marsupial found in the eucalyptus forests and coastal regions of Queensland, Australia. Just like other koalas, they primarily eat eucalyptus leaves.

Contrary to their cuddly appearance, Queensland Koalas prefer their own company. Male koalas are particularly territorial. Observing a mother koala with her joey might melt your heart, but it's a testament to a year-long commitment to imparting critical survival lessons that ensure the joey can thrive in the wild.

Related Read: Koala facts.

21. Queen Butterfly

queen butterfly
Photo by Queerbubbles on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 (Cropped from original)

Fun Fact: Did you know that the Queen Butterfly is a beautiful creature and a master of mimicry? This fascinating butterfly species have evolved to resemble the iconic Monarch Butterfly in appearance and behavior.

The Queen Butterfly is known for its striking appearance, with vibrant orange wings adorned with black and white markings. It combines bright orange, black, and white patterns, creating a beautiful and distinctive appearance. The striking colors warn potential predators, indicating that the butterfly may be unpalatable or toxic due to its mimicry of the toxic Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus).

22. Queensland Fruit Fly

queensland fruit fly
Photo by James Niland on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY 2.0 (Cropped from original)

Fun Fact: Did you know that the Queensland Fruit Fly, despite its name, is not native to Queensland, Australia? This tiny insect is native to eastern Australia, including New South Wales and Victoria.

One of the critical features of the Queensland Fruit Fly (Bactrocera tryoni) is its distinct yellow markings on the body. They usually measure around 7mm long. You can often find them on sprawling commercial orchards to the fruit-laden trees in suburban backyards.

Their fondness for fresh produce havoc with Australia's horticulture industry, worth a sweet $9 billion. Their knack for avoiding insecticides makes these flies even more troublesome, turning pest control into a daunting challenge.

23. Qua Bird

Fun Fact: Did you know that the Qua bird is not only one of the rarest birds in the world but also known for its remarkable ability to mimic sounds? From the calls of other birds to the sounds of insects and even human voices, the Qua bird can mimic them all with astonishing accuracy.

The Qua Bird, also known as the Guineafowl, is a captivating sight in the African landscape. This medium-sized bird (1.3 kg and ranging from 40-71 cm in length) is a ground dweller. It sports a helmet-like crest, a distinctive feature that separates it from other birds.

It feasts on insects, seeds, roots, and berries and even ventures to consume small mammals or reptiles. They form extensive flocks that sometimes include up to 25 birds to protect themselves from predators.

24. Quill Mite

Fun Fact: Quill Mites are so small (0.2 to 0.3 millimeters in length) that they are barely visible to the naked eye.

The Quill Mite is a tiny arachnid belonging to the family Syringophilidae. Their unique flattened body shape allows them to move easily through the barbs and barbules of their hosts- the quills of bird feathers. Once they find their way into the quill, they use their specialized mouthparts to feed on the keratin, a protein in feathers.

25. Queen of Sheba's Gazelle

Fun Fact: The Queen of Sheba's Gazelle, also known as the Heuglin's Gazelle, reigns as one of the world's rarest and most elusive antelope species. It is named after the famed biblical queen, the Queen of Sheba.

The Queen of Sheba's gazelle, also known as the Yemen gazelle (Gazella bilkis), is an extinct species of gazelles. In the past, it was sometimes considered a subspecies of the Arabian gazelle, but this classification is no longer valid.

This gazelle species was native to the mountains and hillsides of Yemen. However, sightings of the Queen of Sheba's gazelle ceased after 1951, when five specimens were collected in the mountains near Ta'izz. At that time, the gazelle was reported to be common in the area. Unfortunately, no further evidence of its existence has been found since then.

26. Queen Snapper

Fun Fact: The Queen Snapper can change colors with its mood and surroundings.

Queen Snapper inhabit deep waters, often found at depths ranging from 300 to 1,000 feet (90 to 300 meters). They prefer rocky or coral reefs, where they can find shelter and hunt for prey. The most noticeable feature of the Queen Snapper is its bright red and pinkish skin. It predominantly lives in the western Atlantic Ocean, which lines the coast of many parts of North and South America.

When calm and relaxed, it dons a rich red hue. However, when agitated or threatened, its colors can shift to vibrant oranges and yellows, serving as a warning to potential predators or intruders. In addition to its impressive color-changing skills, the Queen Snapper is a sought-after delicacy among seafood enthusiasts and fishermen alike. Its tender flesh and sweet flavor make it a prized catch for those lucky enough to encounter it during their fishing expeditions.

27. Quagga

quagga
Photo by Bernard DUPONT on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 (Cropped from original)

Fun Fact: The Quagga is an extinct subspecies of the plains zebra. It features a striking blend of stripes and brown patches only on its front half, while its rear half resembles a solid-colored horse.

Native to the grasslands of South Africa, the Quagga once roamed the plains in large herds, a sight that must have been both awe-inspiring and enigmatic. Unlike its zebra relatives' bold black and white stripes, the Quagga's unique pattern was a captivating mix of bars and solid colors. Its name is even derived from the haunting sound it made, "kwa-ha-ha." Regrettably, the Quagga was driven to extinction. The last known individual died in captivity in the Amsterdam Zoo in 1883.

Conclusion

In conclusion, animals that start with the letter Q may not be the most common or well-known, but they are certainly fascinating creatures. From the quirky quokka to the elusive quetzal, each animal has its own unique characteristics and contributions to the natural world.

As we continue to learn and appreciate these creatures, we can gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the diversity of life on our planet.

Whether you're a wildlife enthusiast or simply curious about the world around you, exploring the world of Q animals is a great way to broaden your horizons and expand your knowledge. So let's continue to celebrate and protect these amazing animals and the many others that share our planet with us.

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Pin Image Portrait 27 Animals That Start With Q: Species, Description, and Fun Facts
1

Reynaud, J. G., Sabillón, M. E. S., & Barahona, A. F. P. (2022). Abundance of the Resplendent Quetzal Pharomachrus mocinno (Trogoniformes, Trogonidae) in the tourist sector of a cloud forest reserve. Neotropical Biology and Conservation, 17(1), 29–38.

2

Jackrel, S. L., & Reinert, H. K. (2011). Behavioral Responses of a Dietary Specialist, the Queen Snake (Regina septemvittata), to Potential Chemoattractants Released by Its Prey. Journal of Herpetology, 45(3), 272–276. 

3

Bruggemann, J. H., Kuyper, M. W. M., & Breeman, A. M. (1994). Comparative analysis of foraging and habitat use by the sympatric Caribbean parrotfish Scarus vetula and Sparisoma viride (Scaridae). Marine Ecology Progress Series, 112(1/2), 51–66. 

Chinny Verana is a degree-qualified marine biologist and researcher passionate about nature and conservation. Her expertise allows her to deeply understand the intricate relationships between marine life and their habitats.

Her unwavering love for the environment fuels her mission to create valuable content for TRVST, ensuring that readers are enlightened about the importance of biodiversity, sustainability, and conservation efforts.

Fact Checked By:
Mike Gomez, BA.

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels
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