Tag Archives: animal

Spanish Nature Names & Animal Talk

Names Of Things In Nature / Nombres De Las Cosas En La Naturaleza

Animals,

Here you will find the names of trees, flowers and animals in Spanish. Some things in Dominican Republic have names that are different than other Spanish speaking countries. Also, how to use animals traits to describe people and the sounds animals make in Spanish.

A very important Dominicanism to remember is the word vaina. If you do not know what something is just point at it and say la vaina / the thing. This can cover up for many unknown words!

Trees | Animals | Using Animal Traits to Describe People | Animal Talk | El viejo Juancho tenía una granja (Old McDonald Had a Farm), the song |

Trees / Árboles

*Almendra – Almond trees. These trees can get quite large and produce a single fruit inside of a flour type bud.

A beautiful Almendra Tree
A beautiful Almendra Tree

*Almacigo – Mastic tree
*Arce – Maple
*Avellano – Hazel
*Caimito – Star apple
*Cajuil – Cashew
*Caoba – Mahogany tree. This tree is the National Tree of Dominican Republic
*Cedro – Cedar
*Cerezo – Cherry tree
*Flamboyant/ Framboyan – Flame Tree or Royal Poinciana. This tree flowers in late spring/ early summer and is very beautiful with its bright red umbrella of flowers.

A beautiful Flamboyant Tree with it's bright red flowers.
A beautiful Flamboyant Tree with it’s bright red flowers.

*Guasábara – Species of cactus that grows in the barren zones of the Dominican Republic
*Higuera – Fig tree

The Grown In Dominican Republic page.

Animals / Animales

(details about many of the Creatures found in Dominican Republic)

*Ardilla – Squirrel
*Cabron – a large male goat
*Cacata – tarantula-type spider (picture and information about the cacata)
*Chinchilín – blackbird
*Chivo – goat
*Cocuyo or Cucuyo – firefly, lightning bug
*Gallina – chicken
*Huron – ferret
*Mono – monkey
*Paloma – Pigeon
*Pavo – turkey
*Peje, Pecao – fish
*Viralata – used to describe a mixed breed dog, and the way they search for food. “Living out of the can”
*Zorrillo – skunk

Using animals traits to describe people

*Burro – (donkey) a gross person
*Conejo – (rabbit) someone whose front teeth are large or missing
*Jirafas – (giraffes) women who excel because of their high stature
*Leon – (lion) a person who always wants to solve a problem by fighting, using fists
*Gallo/ Gallito – (rooster) a person who always wants to solve a problem by fighting, using fists
*Liebre – (hare) a person that cannot be caught when he flees
*Perro – (dog) one that does not have morals and lacks education
*Puerco – (pig) person with bad hygiene
*Pulpo – (squid) type of person that wants everything to be the way he wants it to be, grabs for all of life
*Ratón – (mouse) someone that is of small build
*Rata – (rat) low person without morals or values
*Toro – (bull) person with great force and resistance, bull-headed

How Animals Talk / Cómo los Animales Hablan

Remember the song Old McDonald Had a Farm (The Spanish version is called El Viejo Juancho Tenía Una Granja is on the bottom of this page)? Well, in Spanish the animals make different sounds. Yes, animals living in Spanish speaking countries also speak Spanish. Even though when hearing a Spanish speaking animal make their given noise the sound is the same in my ear, when it hits a Spanish speaking person ear, I guess, the sound is different. The person who’s eardrums are intercepting the sound interprets the animal talk into their own language.

One really never thinks of an animal speaking a different language until you are confronted with it. When in Dominican Republic try calling a cat or dog the way you usually call them. They will ignore you completely (unless you have food that is). They are probably laughing at you inside their little animal heads!

Remember, the little lip popping, kissy sound one makes to call a dog in one country can (and does) mean Attack! in Dominican Republic. A cat will ignore you completely if you call it as you would in English but as soon as you say misu, misu it (may) then pay you attention. I wonder what Doctor Doolittle would do…..

The bees say buzzz in English and Spanish.
The bees say buzzz in English and Spanish.

*Bee – English = bzzzz / Las abejas hacen en español (the bees say in Spanish) = bzzz
*Bird – English = tweet tweet / Los pájaros trinan hacen en español de españa (Spain) = pío pío, Argentina Spanish = pi pi
*Cat – English = meow / El Gato ladra hace español = miau
*Chick – USA English = peep peep / British English=cheep cheep / Español = pío pío
*Cow – English = moo / Las vacas mugen hacen en español = muuu
*Crow – English = caw / Español = cruaaac, cruaaac
*Dog – English = bow wow, arf, woof, ruff ruff / El perro ladra hace español = guau guau or wow wow
*Donkey – English = hee-haw / Costa Rica Spanish = iii-aah, iii-aah
*Dove, pigeon – English = coo / La paloma hace en español = cu-curru-cu-cú
*Duck – English = quack quack / Los Patos hacen en español de españa (Spain) = cuá cuá / Argentina Spanish=cuac cuac
*Frog – English = ribbit / Spain Spanish = La rana croa hace encruá-cruá / Argentina Spanish = berp / Peru Spanish = croac, croac
*Goat – English = baaah / El chivo hace en español = bee bee
*Hen – English = cackle and cluck / Español = coc co co coc
*Horse – English = neigh or whinny / El caballo relincha hace / Colombia Spanish = iiiiou / Paraguay Spanish = ioohoho / Peru Spanish = iiiiii / Spain Spanish = híiiiiiiiii
*Owl – English = hoo / El búho hace en español = uu uu
*Pig – English = oink oink / El cerdo hace en español = oink-oink
*Rooster – English = cock-a-doodle-doo / El gallo canta hace / Spain Spanish = kikirikí / Argentina Spanish = ki-kiri-ki

The chickens in the tree say ki-kiri-ki
The chickens in the tree say ki-kiri-ki

*Sheep – English = baaah / Las ovejas balan; hacen / Spain Spanish = bee / Argentina Spanish = meeee
*Tiger – English = grrrrrr / El tigre hace Spain Spanish = grgrgrgr / Venezuela Spanish = gggrrrrrrr

(my little joke – Tiger – Dominican person speaking in English “Hey BABY”! IE: definition of a tigre in Dominican Spanish is a person who is a womanizer)

El viejo Juancho tenía una granja (Old McDonald Had a Farm)

translated by Paola Ferate-Soto

El viejo Juancho tenía una granja, iai, iai, oo.
Y en su granja tenía un marrano, iai, iai, oo.
Con su oink, oink aquí, con su oink, oink allí,
Aquí oink, allí oink, en todos lados oink, oink.
El viejo Juancho tenía una granja, iai, iai, oo.

The rest of the verses continue:
Vaca: mu, mu
Pollito: pío, pío
Caballo: neigh, neigh
Oveja: bee, bee
Perro: guau, guau
Gato: miau, miau
Pato: cuac, cuac

Creatures Of Dominican Republic 2

Creatures of The Dominican Republic – More

Miscellaneous creatures found in Dominican Republic.

Manatee | Jaragua Sphaero | Heteropoda Venatoria/ Huntsman Spider | Noseeums (biting insects) | Hispaniola Boa/ Boa de la Hispaniola

Manatee (Trichechus Manatus)

A Manatee mother milks her young calf in the waters of Republíca Dominicana
A Manatee mother milks her young calf in the waters of Republíca Dominicana

Manatees range in color from gray to brown. Their 2 small front flippers and their flat, horizontal tails are used to move them along the sea and river bottoms. They have very small eyes and no outer ears yet they are thought to see and hear quite good. The average adult can weigh from 1,500 to 1,800 pounds and can measure ten to 12 feet in length. They can live from 50 to 60 years in the wild and much longer in captivity. They are vegetarians and are quite gentle and slow moving.

The Antillean Manatee (pictured above), a Dominican Republic native, is one precarious survivor from an insane killing from the old Spanish colonizers who believed that Manatee meat was an aphrodisiac and had the taste of seven different kinds of meats. Still in peril from the actual population, the Haitians poachers are still a major threat or this endangered species. It is a rare experience to have a close encounter with these elusive creatures, but it can happen while diving within the sanctuary.

Interesting fact: Did you know the word Manati came from the language of the original inhabitants of the island, the Taino Indians? They gave this marine animal its name. it was considered to be sacred. It is also thought that when people saw mermaids, known in Spanish as Sirens, they were really the manatee. More Taino words used today.

The Jaragua Sphaero

The adult Jaragua Sphaero on a dime
The adult Jaragua Sphaero on a dime

The Jaragua Sphaero also known as the Dwarf Gecko scientific name: Sphaerodactylus ariasae. This little lizard was discovered in 2001 by a Penn State University scientists. This little creature fits on a Dominican Peso that is about the same size as a U.S. quarter. The Jaragua Sphaero measuring 16 to 18 mm, about ¾ of an inch, from the snout to the base of the tail, is one of the world’s two smallest known reptiles. It is found in Jaragua National Park on the remote island of Beata. It feeds on insects and fruits.

Picture of an adult female Jaragua lizard from Beata Island on a U.S. dime.
Photo credit: Copyright S. Blair Hedges at http://science.psu.edu/news-and-events/2001-news/Hedges11-2001.htm

Heteropoda Venatoria, the common name is Huntsman Spider.

Also known as the Giant Crab Spider, Housekeeping Spider and Banana Spider.

A Huntsman Spider in my room in Dominican Republic. The glowing thing in its mouth is either a firefly or an egg sack. The one pictured is a female, a Huntswoman. It let me take a few pictures then ran off into the cabinet.
A Huntsman Spider in my room in Dominican Republic. The glowing thing in its mouth is either a firefly or an egg sack. The one pictured is a female, a Huntswoman. It let me take a few pictures then ran off into the cabinet.

This is a very common spider found in tropical and sub tropical areas throughout the world. Its leg span can reach 5 inches. I love the mask it is wearing that gives it a very fierce look. They can move very fast which also makes them a bit frightening but they are pretty much harmless, usually running away when a human approaches. They normally eat all types of insects, especially cockroaches, crickets and moths. For this reason many people do not mind this spider setting up home in their barns and sheds. They hunt on the go, usually at night, and do not spin webs attacking their prey before they even realize what happened. They can fit into tiny places because of their flat bodies.

A Huntsman Spider enjoying the beach at Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic
A Huntsman Spider enjoying the beach at Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic

If this spider does bite it is a little painful but not deadly or dangerous and many reports say that when they are disturbed they play dead. Some say it is bad luck to kill this spider as it helps us humans by eating all those nasty insects.

Thank you Tony for the information. There are some great spider pictures and information on the Dominican Spiders Blog.

Noseeums (No-see-ums)

in Dominican Spanish: Mayes (may-gee’s) (found near the sea) and Gegenes (found in the hills). No matter what you call them these nasty little creatures are true bloodsuckers. They are known as Punkies, Midges, Black Gnats, and Black Sandflies. (In Spanish: Moscas de Arena, Chaquistíes, Zancudos Negros). These loathsome flies come from the family Ceratopogonidae. They are teeny, tiny, biting, persistent little buggers that are, in my opinion, worse than mosquitoes. Less than ¼ inch long and can get through a normal window screen with no problem. No problem for them but big problems for their unawares meal that just may have your name on it!

Picture of a nosseum. (Sorry, what did you expect with a name like noseeums)
Picture of a nosseum. (Sorry, what did you expect with a name like noseeums)

Since the noseeum cannot be seen (maybe this is why they have this nickname??) and the immediate bite can’t be felt, they can make your blood a feast before you really know what’s happening. Walking along ever so innocently one can easily stir up a swarm without knowing. If you’re lucky they will swarm. In a swarm they can be seen, a dark foreboding mass. The only problem with this swarm is they can enter any open body cavity (i.e. the mouth and nose). If you happen to find yourself in a swarm I strongly suggest that you close these openings. That is unless you want to be choking on their little, bitter tasting carcasses (yes, I know the taste well). If you have been swarmed move along quickly and get out of their territory, as they don’t like to travel very far from their home. So, I say, when you see a black cloud of flying bugs coming toward you..RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!

These blood sucking mini vampires usually live in shrubs and ground cover. Along the water, marshlands, beaches and areas where it is damp. But they can be found just about anyplace. Even in the soil around your home or in your favorite potted plant. They are unlike mosquitoes as they do not need water to produce their offspring. Moisture will do just fine for them and their offspring.

The female, the only gender of these vicious little buggers that sucks blood, will get you before you know what is happening. She needs the protein in your blood for her to be able to procreate and be mommy to the next generation of these relentless creatures. She will find you by smell. As with any persistent woman out for blood, it is not easy to hide. This unrelenting female will suck the blood of anything that has this red substance flowing through their veins.

After taking the blood, of course, they need to leave you a little gift so you remember them. Left behind is a little red blotch that is extremely itchy that shows itself a few hours after the attack. The skin is usually raised and there is a small center red dot where they stuck you. Try not to scratch these red spots as they will just get itchier and could get infected.

The red spots can plague you for a few hours up to a week or more. Usually, there are many blotches and you can look like you have some sort of disease before they turn from bright red to a light fading pink. Rest assured the blotches will disappear in time. All that will be left behind is the memory of what these minuscule, almost invisible vampire-ettes can do to reek havoc on your nerves and flesh. You will for sure remember to watch out for them in the future, even if you can’t see them.

Be sure to use some type of insect repellant. Something with DEET is best. It is said that if you do not want to put those chemicals on your body that you can use Catnip, lavender, cedar, or even patchouli oils. Don’t wear light colored clothing as this attracts bugs. They say (do you know who they are?) that eating too many bananas can attract biting bugs. If you eat garlic or eat lots of hot peppers (bugs and humans alike won’t come near), take vitamin B or brewers yeast, this is supposed to help also. To ease the itch rub parsley, lemon balm, or the inside of a banana peel on the spot. (*NOTE-these are all things I have read and some I have tried myself. Use what is best for you. These natural remedies are not tested and may not work for you. I just like learning of the natural ways to rid myself of bugs and their after effects. This is probably why I always have bites on my body)

Interesting note – these tiny insects are found in abundance in amber. Seemingly attracted to the color of the fluid. The DMS extracted from these pesky creatures has been very helpful.

A little more info at http://extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/insects/biting-flies-5-582/

The Hispaniola Boa / Boa de la Hispaniola (Epicrates striatus)

This boa is a native to this island and can be found mostly on the Dominican Republic part of Hispaniola. The Boa de la Hispaniola also known here as the Culebra Jabá has been seen on other Caribbean islands as well. This snake, like all snakes, plays an important roll in the environment by controlling pests such as rodents and birds that are bad for agriculture. This snake is the largest snake found in Dominican Republic measuring up to 4 meters in length. They are nocturnal and like to hang out in tall grasses near water, in caves and hollow trees. Sometimes, if you are lucky you may see one sunning itself in tree branches, on a rock or maybe on a dirt road but spotting one is not easy. They are also good swimmers. Their colors vary from shades of black, brown, gray and even red. As with all constrictors, the mother gives birth to live young. She carries her eggs inside for between 192 to 218 days and she can carry about 25 babies at a time.

Dominicans are afraid of snakes, like many people the world over. The government and environmental people are trying to make the people aware that the snake is not poisonous. It is a good thing for the environment. They are trying to deter the killing of this much-needed creature.

The Dominican Zoo, Parque Zoológico Nacional Arq. Manuel Valverde Podestá República Dominicana, in Santo Domingo (ZOODOM) has this and other reptiles on display in their completely remodeled snake house.

Continue learning about The Creatures of Dominican Republic – Page 3 Winged

El Galipote

El Galipote – El Gualipote/ Dog-like Creature & El Lugaru – El Zangano/ Flying Creatures

Interpretation of El Lugaru by Artist-Illustrator Ray Wu

Both of these legendary magical creatures are said to be men who can become animals and become men again. Galipote can also become inanimate objects, like tree trunks and stones. He can transfer his desires to animals and in this way can make the animal do his wishes. According to the belief, galipotes are cruel and violent. They are very strong. Bullets do not hurt these creatures. It is said they like to cause havoc by frightening people traveling in the night. They do not permit the person to pass and also can help people to get hopelessly lost.

It is difficult not to find a Galipote when traveling in the country so it is good to carry a protective amulet and to cross yourself often to protect yourself from these beings. Galipote can become a dog. This dog-galipote is called a Lugaru from the French word that means Man-Wolf. It can also fly like a bird. These high-flying, nocturnal birds are called zangano or zancu. It is said that this legendary being sucks the blood of the children during the nights and will also have sexual activities with infants. It can also become invisible.

The only way to kill one of these beings is to get a branch and make a palo de cruz/ wooden cross. This wood can only be cut on Good Friday. Some say you must use a knife or machete that has been blessed with water and salt.

There still are Galipotes (also spelled Gualipotes) in existence according to some of the residents of San Juan de la Maguana located in the southern part of the country. Families tell stories of how relatives were known Galipotes. To become a Galipote one must make a pact with the devil himself, selling their soul for the ability to change one’s self into another form. A witch doctor is also able to help transform a human into this evil creature.

There are recent stories coming from the Palma Sola Massacres of 1962 that says the survivors of this massacre were Galipotes. They were able to change themselves into elements of the environment such as rocks, trees, or animals. In this way the soldiers were not able to see them to eradicate them and thus came about their survival.

Parents to this day scare their children with tales of these people that can change their shape at will. “If you be bad and don’t listen a Galipote will get you!”

So, when you are roaming in the campo at night, be sure to carry your wooden cross with you at all times. Better yet, just don’t be traveling in the campo after dark. You may never find your way home…..