Home / Guinean forests / Characteristics / The biodiversity / Animals / Other animal groups

Other animal groups

Many other invertebrates live in the Guinean forests.

There are many freshwater crabs, some of which are only known from a few localities. They are very sensitive to water quality and are therefore very good indicators of ecosystem health.

A freshwater crab in a low-lying river in the East Nimba Nature Reserve, Liberia © M. Languy

Another very diverse group is represented by spiders.

A tarantula of the Stromatopelma genus (probably S. calceatum) in the undergrowth of Tiwai Island, Sierra Leone. Although not fatal, its bite is very painful for several days. © M. Languy
A spider of the genus Argiope, Diecke Forest, Guinea. © M. Languy
Gasteracantha curvispina, a small spider common in the tropical forests of Africa. Lake Piso, Liberia. © M. Languy

Numerous Diplopods (millipedes, centipedes and others) roam the soil of the Guinean forests.

A member of the Chelodesmidae family. © M. Languy
Another centipede, Sapo National Park.

Freshwater molluscs are not generally considered charismatic and so rarely attract the attention of mainstream media. However, they play a crucial role in maintaining wetland ecosystems, controlling water quality and nutrient balance. They are relatively well known in much of West Africa, because some species act as intermediate hosts for parasitic flatworms.

A very rare relict species that should be considered a research and conservation priority is Pleiodon ovatus. This bivalve mollusc has probably become confined to a single river (Gbangbaia River in Sierra Leone) due to its extinction in other parts of West Africa.