Flora And Fauna Of Tabasco: Most Representative Species

The flora and fauna of Tabasco is represented by species such as the corozo, the rubber, the pejelagarto and the ocellated turkey, among others. Tabasco is a state of Mexico, which is located in the southeast of the country.

In this region it rains abundantly during most of the year. This favors the existence of the tropical forest, which covers most of this state. Also, in that area there are abundant rivers, wetlands and small lakes.

The relief of Tabasco is flat and low, with the exception of some high areas that are to the south of the territory. The tributaries of the Usumacinta and Grijalva rivers create fertile soils suitable for agriculture.

Flora of Tabasco

Corozo ( Attalea cohune )

This palm, which is part of the Arecaceae family, is located from Mexico to Colombia. In Mexico it is located in the states of Nayarit, Tabasco, Sinaloa, Colima, Michoacán, among others. The corozo thrives on sandy soils, where it has access to groundwater.

The height of this plant ranges between 3 and 15 meters. The stems are dark gray and grow alone. In addition, they measure 30 to 50 centimeters in diameter.

The leaves are dark green, compound and alternate, however, they are grouped at the upper end of the stem. Likewise, they are recurved at the apex and have a length of up to 9 meters. They have long pinnules, regularly distributed along the entire length of the spine.

In relation to the inflorescences, they occur in solitary panicles, with an approximate length of 1.5 meters. They are born initially in an erect position, but later, due to the weight of the fruits, they become pendulous. In these there are a large number of small yellow flowers, with a pedicle bract.

The fruits are ovoid or elliptical in shape. They are rusty in color, but when ripe they turn greenish-brown.

Rubber ( Castilla elastica )

Rubber is a monopod tree that belongs to the Moraceae family. It is originally from Mexico and Central America. It is located in the jungles that are up to 780 meters above sea level.

The height of this species ranges from 20 to 25 meters. The trunk is straight, with an approximate diameter of 60 centimeters. The branches grow horizontally, separated from each other and are S-shaped. Likewise, they are hairy and thick.

The bark, grayish brown in color, is smooth, although it may have some cracks. In addition, it has protruding lenticels, arranged in horizontally oriented lines.

With reference to the leaves, they have a wavy margin, they are thick and simple. The blade is 20 to 45 centimeters long and 10 to 20 centimeters wide. The upper surface is dark green, while the underside is yellowish green.

The male flowers have a large number of stamens and grow in clusters, in groups of 4. The female ones are sessile and are found in solitary clusters. They have a fleshy calyx, are densely pubescent and greenish-yellow in hue.

On the other hand, the fruits are cartilaginous, surrounded by a vermilion or orange perianth.

Miconia ( Miconia calvescens )

Myconia is a small shrub, native to the American rainforests. Currently it is considered one of the most destructive invasive species, because it displaces native plants, threatening them with extinction.

The height of this plant is between 6 and 12 meters, presenting vertical and thin stems. When they are young they have small hairs, they are square in shape and have a greenish tone. However, when ripe, they become rounded and brown.

With respect to the leaves, they are large and opposite, measuring between 60 and 70 centimeters in length. They have an obovate or elliptical shape, with 3 parallel veins that run from the base to the tip. The upper part is a dark green hue, while the lower part is iridescent purple.

The flowers are numerous and small, forming groups at the terminal tips of the branches. They have five white or pink petals and five sepals, measuring between 1 and 3 millimeters. The inflorescence is a panicle, where 1000 to 3000 flowers are exhibited, thus making the myconia an attractive ornamental plant.

Tabasco fauna

Lizard Peje ( Atractosteus tropicus )

This actinopterygian fish is one of the members of the Lepisosteidae family. It is a kind of fresh water, which is distributed in estuaries, rivers, lagoons and wetlands from Mexico to Costa Rica.

The alligator has an elongated and robust body, reaching a length of up to 125 centimeters and a weight of 29 kilograms. The muzzle is long and broad, conical in shape. In the frontal area of ​​this are the nostrils. In each jaw there are large fangs, in the upper one there are two rows of these and in the lower one there is a row.

It has large, flattened gill rakers. Those that form the first branchial arch are intricate at the upper edge. The fins lack spines. The pectoral is in the lower part of the flank, while the pelvics are in the central area of ​​the body.

The caudal fin is fan-shaped and covered with bony scales at the top. The body is lined with large, strong rhomboidal scales. These are joined to each other by a plug-like joint.


As an adult, the gaspar, as the Atractosteus tropicus is also known , is brown or dark brown, with dark spots on the upper part. Along the flanks there is a dark stripe.

When the species is young, it is dark on top and light on the underside. In addition, it has a dark stripe on the flanks and another across the belly, from the operculum to the tail.

Ocellated turkey ( Meleagris ocellata )

The ocellated turkey is a galliform bird that is part of the Phasianidae family. It is an endemic species of the Yucatan peninsula, including the states of Chiapas, Tabasco, Yucatán, Quintana Roo and Campeche. It is also found in Guatemala and Belize.

The length of this animal is between 70 and 90 centimeters. The male can weigh 4 kilograms, while the female reaches 3 kilograms.

In both sexes, the coloration of the feathers is the product of the mixture between iridescent green and bronze. However, females may have more opaque tones, with a greater tendency towards green.

In relation to the tail feathers, they are bluish gray, with a circle similar to an eye, of a grayish blue color. In addition, they have a bronze-blue stain near the tip, ending in bright gold.

The head is blue, with some red or orange warts, much more protruding in males. These have a blue fleshy, crown-shaped, where the nodules that exist on the head are also found.

The legs are of a strong red tone and, in adults, the presence of dewclaws that could measure from 3.8 to 5 centimeters is observed.

Although the bush turkey, as this species is also known, can fly short distances, it prefers to run to escape danger. The male emits a kind of chirping during mating, while the female cackles, with faint sounds.

Striped iguana ( Ctenosaura similis )

This iguanid is the largest species of the genus Ctenosaura. Likewise, it is considered one of the fastest lizards on planet Earth, thus reaching a speed of 35 km / h.

Its distribution extends from Panama to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, located in Mexico. However, it has been introduced to several Caribbean islands and Florida, as well as Colombia.

The striped iguana has a gular sac, which is highly developed. Its limbs are muscular and robust. This species has a length, from the snout to the cloaca, between 27.5 and 35 centimeters. The tail can be up to twice the body length.

The body is covered with scales. Those on the back are small and somewhat overlapping, while those covering the extremities are keeled and larger.

In the dorsal line it has a row of elongated spines, which extend from the head to the caudal area. In males they are larger and more noticeable than in females.

The tail has rings, made up of spiny scales. These are separated by lines of small scales.

Coloring and feeding

In terms of coloration, the hatchlings are greyish brown, with some dark spots. In adult stage, they are light gray or bronze in color, with dark bands running from the dorsal to the caudal region.

On the other hand, the young are insectivores, while the adults can eat stems, leaves and fruits. Also, they could feed on birds, fish and some rodents.


  1. Global Invasive Species Database (2019) Species profile: Miconia calvescens. Recovered from iucngisd.org.
  2. Ramírez Bautista, A. and MC Arizmendi. (2004). Ctenosaura similis. Systematics and natural history of some amphibians and reptiles of Mexico. Iztacala Faculty of Higher Studies, Unit of Biology, Technology and Prototypes (UBIPRO), National Autonomous University of Mexico. Recovered from conabio.gob.mx.
  3. Wikipedia (2019). Tabasbo geography. Recovered from es.wikipedia.org.
  4. Encyclopedia britannica (2019). Tabasco, state, Mexico. Recovered from britannica.com.
  5. Nations encyclopedia (2019). Tabasco. Recovered from nationsencyclopedia.

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