Christmas Island is a territory of Australia and is part of the Christmas and Cocos Islands tropical forests ecoregion (EoE). An overview of the natural history of the island is given in the "Christmas Island National Park Management Plan 2014-2024" (environment.gov.au).
found nowhere else but Christmas Island include the Christmas
Island Shrew (WNS
Museum) and two extinct rats: Maclear’s Rat (Wikipedia)
and the Bulldog Rat (Sixth
Extinction). The now extinct Christmas Island
is sometimes recognized as a species distinct from the
widespread Least Pipistrelle Pipistrellus
tenuis and the Christmas Island Flying Fox Pteropus natalis (flickr)
is sometimes recognized as distinct from the Black-eared Flying Fox Pteropus melanotus.
Landbirds unique to Christmas Island include the Christmas Island Imperial-pigeon (ARKive), the Christmas Island Hawk-owl (Owl Pages), and the Christmas Island White-eye (Christmas Island Wildlife). The Christmas Island Goshawk Accipiter natalis (Eaglehawk Rehabilitation Centre) is sometimes considered a species distinct from the widespread Brown Goshawk Accipiter fasciatus. Two seabirds breed exclusively on the island: Abbott’s Booby (EDGE) and the Christmas Island Frigatebird (EDGE).
Reptiles endemic to Christmas Island include the Christmas Island Blind Snake Ramphotyphlops exocoeti (WA Museum pdf file), Lister’s Gecko Lepidodactylus listeri (Parks Australia), the Blue-tailed Snake-eyed Skink Cryptoblepharus egeriae (Reptile Database), Sadleir's Bow-fingered Gecko Cyrtodactylus sadleiri (AROD), and the Christmas Island Whiptail Skink Emoia nativitatis (AROD).
Marine fish known only from Christmas Island include a sole Aseraggodes crypticus (WA Museum pdf file), the Green Dottyback Pseudochromis viridis (Fishes of Australia), a coralbrotula Paradiancistrus christmasensis (FishBase), the Christmas Blenny Praealticus natalis (fig. 4 at BHL), a cuskeel Microbrotula andersoni (FishBase), and the Christmas Dwarfgoby Eviota natalis (flickr).
The island's most famous endemic is the Christmas Island Red Crab Gecarcoidea natalis (ARKive) noted for its remarkable annual breeding migration of millions of individuals. There are at least a dozen unique species of cave-dwelling animals including a crab Christmaplax mirabilis (Species New to Science), a ground beetle Lymnastis brooksi (WA Museum pdf file), a cockroach Metanocticola christmasensis (Google Books), a scorpion Liocheles polisorum (p. 11 of NUS pdf file), the shrimps Macrobrachium xmas (Species New to Science) and Procaris noelensis (iPhylo), the crabs Orcovita orchardorum (Sciency Thoughts) and Discoplax celeste (ResearchGate), a whipscorpion Charon gervaisi (p. 9 of American Arachnology pdf file), and the ostracods Humphreysella baltanasi (WA Museum) and Microceratina martensi (Prof. Dr. Danielopol pdf file).
The Christmas Emperor Polyura andrewsi (ABC) is the sole endemic species of butterfly. A drosophilid fly Lissocephala powelli (Bishop Museum pdf file) lives on red crabs and robber crabs. Other insects unique to the island include the Christmas Island Stick-insect Ramulus stilpnoides (Google Books), a darkling beetle Bradymerus seminitidus (Southeast Asian Beetles), the planthoppers Oliarus trispiralis (dpi.nsw.gov.au) and Distiana andrewsi (dpi.nsw.gov.au), a stink bug Plautia grossepunctata (fig. 2 at BHL), and a bush cricket Psyrana pomona (OSF).
endemic invertebrates include Garfunkel's
Bright-eyed Crab Chiromantes
New To Science), Jackson's Crab Karstarma jacksoni (WoRMS),
the Blue Crab Discoplax celeste (sci-news.com),
huntsman spider Heteropoda
listeri (fig. 4 at Internet
Archive), a brushed trapdoor
xmas (p. 10 of AMNH
pdf file), a centipede Cryptops
and several snails: Assiminea
(fig. 23 at Internet
proscripta (fig. 1 at Internet
Archive), and Succinea
solitaria (figs. 10 & 11 at Internet
Archive). Endemic marine molluscs include Rissoina isolata (WoRMS),
(WoRMS), and Peristernia venusta
Christmas Island is the exclusive home of 17 species of vascular plants (environment.gov.au). These include the Christmas Island Palm Arenga listeri (PACSOA), the Christmas Island Spleenwort Asplenium listeri (WNS Stamps), Abutilon listeri (WNS Stamps), Colubrina pedunculata (WNS Stamps), Hoya aldrichii (Wikipedia), Zehneria alba (Flora of Australia Online), the screwpines Pandanus christmatensis (flickr) and Pandanus elatus (iNaturalist), Asystasia alba (JSTOR), a grass Ischaemum nativitatis (Kew), a pepper Peperomia rossii (Kew), Grewia insularis (JSTOR), Dicliptera maclearii (JSTOR), the recently rediscovered Ridley's Ground Orchid Zeuxine exilis (BioStor), and several other orchids: Brachypeza archytas (IOPSE), Phreatia listeri (IOPSE), and Flickingeria nativitatis (colnect).