Dec 17

In need of something to adorn the top of your freshly decorated Christmas tree?! Here at ARKive, we thought we’d look to the animal kingdom for some inspiration and have come up with our Top Ten Fairies and Angels. Although we’re not sure how most of these critters will take to being perched atop your tinselled creation…..

Angel shark

A shark might be the last thing you expect to be described as angelic, especially as the crafty angel shark buries itself in the mud in order to ambush prey. But not to worry, it feeds mainly on flatfishes, skates, crustaceans and molluscs so your Christmas tree chocolates are safe!

Angel shark image

Fairy pitta

A mythical type of bread that flutters around in children’s stories?! Not quite! But with its colourful plumage the fairy pitta would be a delightful addition to any tree.

Fairy pitta image

Angel’s Madagascar frog

While this species may have an angelic name, its slightly damp appearance may put some people off including it in the Christmas tree line up! However, with its ability to grip onto rocks in fast-flowing water, Angel’s Madagascar frog certainly wouldn’t need any help clinging to the upper boughs of your tree.

Angel’s Madagascar frog image

Fairy shrimp

A beautiful, translucent crustacean, the fairy shrimp would put on a glittering display worthy of any bauble. And with the eggs of this species able to survive periods of drought, it’s definitely a low-maintenance option.

Fairy shrimp image

French angelfish

The juvenile of this particularly angelic species spends time at cleaning stations, where it nips off pesky parasites and bits of skin form other visiting fish. Perhaps if we asked nicely, the French angelfish wouldn’t mind keeping the tinsel on our tree in order?

French angelfish image

Fairy tern

This particular fairy feeds almost entirely on fish, which it hunts for at sea. While this may mean the Christmas turkey is safe, I’m not sure that the smell left from the fairy tern’s prefferred dinner would make it a welcome tree guest.

Fairy tern image

Great egret

While the great egret may not have an angelic name, the elegant plumes of this species certainly give it an ethereal appearance. If the male could be persuaded to perform a courtship dance atop our Christmas tree it certainly would provide a talking point during mulled wine and mince pies!

Great egret image

Fairy slipper orchid

The stunning flowers of the fairy slipper orchid earn this species the title of most beautiful terrestrial orchid in North America. However, with the flowers only making a show in spring, it might be a little late for decorating the tree.

Fairy slipper orchid image

Lesser fairy armadillo

An unusual addition to any tree! The lesser fairy armadillo prefers to spend its time tunnelling underground so may not stick around for the duration of the festive season.

Lesser fairy armadillo image

Fairy prion

Ah now this is more like it! Who wouldn’t want this cute pompom of fluff adorning their tree?! Although as a wanderer of the open seas, this young fairy prion may not be quite as at home in your living room…

Fairy prion image


Spotted any other festive decorative species on ARKive? Let us know!

Becky Moran, ARKive Species Text Author