The family Lythraceae contains the 'shaving brush'-flowered Sonneratia caseolaris . This mangrove can host incredible flashing displays of fireflies after dark

sundarbans-flower(Sundarbans, Bangladesh)
sundarbans-sonneratia(Sundarbans, Bangladesh)

There is a large range of crabs in the tropical Asian mangroves, including Fiddler Crabs, tiny crabs where the males have one extremely enlarged claw. Below is the 'Rose Fiddler Crab' Tubuca rosea.

(Sundarbans, Bangladesh)

Being an intertidal fish that comes out of the water into land, the Mudskippers are the most commonly noticed fish.


Chrysopelea paradisi, 'Paradise Tree Snake', 'Paradise Flying Snake'. Strikingly coloured snake that has been seen jumping and gliding between trees. Widespread throughout tropical Asia, from Bangladesh up to Thailand, and down to Sulawesi.

labuk-paradise-snake(Labuk Bay, Malaysia)

The muddy areas in and around mangroves are good for various waders.

bundala-godwit'Godwit Sandpiper', (Bundala, Sri Lanka)
sundarbans-redshankTringa totanus, 'Redshank', (Sundarbans, Bangladesh)

Among the tallest birds of the Asian mangroves are the 'storks' of the family Ciconiidae. Below is Leptoptilos javanicus, 'Lesser Ajutant Stork'.

sundarbans-stork(Sundarbans, Bangladesh)

The family Ardeidae contains all of the Herons and Egrets. This is an obvious and diverse group in the mangroves.  

egret-great-sundarbans'Great Egret', (Sundarbans, Bangladesh).
sundarbans-egret-little'Little Egret', (Sundarbans, Bangladesh).

sundarbans-indian-heron'Indian Pond Heron', (Sundarbans, Bangladesh).

Birds of prey typically seen around the mangroves include:

rinca-eaglejuvenile 'White-bellied Sea-eagle'(Rinca, Indonesia).
rinca-brahminy'Brahminy Kite', (Rinca, Indonesia)

The family Alcedinidae of the Kingfishers include some stunning species in the tropical Asian mangroves.

sundarbans-kingifhsre-common'Common/Eurasian Kingfisher', (Sundarbans, Bangladesh)
sundarbans-collarred-kingfisher'Collared Kingfisher', (Sundarbans, Bangladesh)

sundarbans-kingfisher-black-capped'Black-capped Kingfisher', (Sundarbans, Bangladesh)
kingfisher-brown-winged-sundarbans'Brown-winged Kingfisher', (Sundarbans, Bangladesh)

Primates extend from the adjacent rainforest into the mangroves. One species is considered more adapted to this habitat than others: Macaca fascicularis, the 'Long-tailed/Crab-eating Macaque'.

rinca-monkey(Rinca, Indonesia)

The family Cervidae contain the Deer, mammals usually found in open forest and woodlands, however one species can be found trapsing through mangroves in India, the widespread  Axis axis, 'Chital', 'Spotted Deer'.

sundarbans-deer-in-mud-young(Sundarbans, Bangladesh)

Of the mammalian order Carnivora, members of the family Mustelidae are occasionally seen, including: Aonyx cinereus, 'Asian/Oriental Small-clawed Otter'.

sundarbans-otter-wild(Sundarbans, Bangladesh)

The 'Smooth-coated Otter' Lutrogale perspicillata, are trained by local fisherman to chase fish into nets.


 The largest predator, the rarely seen Tiger, lives in mangroves: but only in the Sundarbans where they are infamous for eating local people.

sundarbans-tiger-pawTiger track, (Sundarbans, Bangladesh)

Places to experience Asian mangroves

include: Labuk Bay in Malaysia, Rinca in Indonesia, and the largest area of mangroves, the Sundarbans in Bangladesh & India.

Fishing with otters in the Sundarbans, Bangladesh (image by Damon Ramsey)Otter fisherman, (Sundarbans, Bangladesh)

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