Crocodylus is a genus in the family Crocodylidae. The scientific name was proposed by Josephus Nicolaus Laurenti in 1768.[1]

Temporal range: Late Miocene - Recent
Mugger crocodile (C. palustris)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Crocodilia
Family: Crocodylidae
Subfamily: Crocodylinae
Genus: Crocodylus
Laurenti, 1768

See text

Crocodylus Distribution.png
Worldwide distribution of Crocodylus


Extant speciesEdit

The 13-14 living species are:

Image Scientific name Common name Distribution
  Crocodylus acutus American crocodile Southern Florida and the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of southern Mexico to South America as far south as Peru and Venezuela, Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola and Grand Cayman.
Crocodylus halli[2] Hall's crocodile southern New Guinea
  Crocodylus intermedius Orinoco crocodile Colombia and Venezuela
  Crocodylus johnsoni Freshwater crocodile Northern regions of Australia
  Crocodylus mindorensis Philippine crocodile Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park within the Luzon rainforest, San Mariano, Isabela, Dalupiri island in the Babuyan Islands, Abra (province) in Luzon and the Ligawasan Marsh, Lake Sebu in South Cotabato, Pulangi River in Bukidnon, and possibly in the Agusan Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary in Mindanao
  Crocodylus moreletii Morelet's crocodile or Mexican crocodile Mexico, Belize and Guatemala
  Crocodylus niloticus Nile crocodile or African crocodile, (the subspecies found in Madagascar, C. n. madagascariensis, is sometimes called the black crocodile) Israel and Syria (historically), Somalia, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Egypt, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Gabon, Angola, South Africa, Malawi, Mozambique, Sudan, South Sudan, Botswana, and Cameroon
  Crocodylus novaeguineae New Guinea crocodile northern New Guinea
  Crocodylus palustris Mugger crocodile, marsh crocodile, or Indian crocodile southern Iran, southern Pakistan, southern Nepal, India, Sri Lanka
  Crocodylus porosus Saltwater crocodile or estuarine crocodile Southeast Asia and Northern Australia
  Crocodylus rhombifer Cuban crocodile Cuba
  Crocodylus siamensis Siamese crocodile Indonesia (Borneo and possibly Java), Brunei, East Malaysia, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.
  Crocodylus suchus West African crocodile or desert crocodile Mauritania, Benin, Liberia, Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Senegal, Mali, Guinea, Gambia, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Gabon, Togo, Ivory Coast and Republic of Congo
Crocodylus raninus (Considered to be a synonym of Crocodylus porosus; its status remains unclear.[3]) Borneo crocodile Borneo


Established species also include six extinct species:[4]


The cladogram below follows the topology from a 2011 analysis of mitochondrial DNA sequences by Robert W. Meredith, Evon R. Hekkala, George Amato and John Gatesy.[5]


C. porosus 

C. palustris 

C. siamensis 

C. johnsoni 

C. novaeguineae

C. mindorensis

 Africa+New World 

C. suchus

C. niloticus 

 New World 

C. rhombifer 

C. moreletii

C. acutus 

C. intermedius

The cladogram below follows the topology from a 2012 analysis of morphological traits by Christopher A. Brochu and Glenn W. Storrs. Many extinct species of Crocodylus might represent different genera. C. suchus was not included, because its morphological codings were identical to these of C. niloticus. However, the authors suggested that it could be explained by their specimen sampling, and considered the two species to be distinct.[4]


"Asiatosuchus" germanicus

Prodiplocynodon langi

Asiatosuchus grangeri

"Crocodylus" affinis

"Crocodylus" depressifrons

Brachyuranochampsa eversolei

"Crocodylus" acer


Kentisuchus spenceri

Dollosuchoides densmorei

Megadontosuchus arduini

Gavialosuchus eggenburgensis

Toyotamaphimeia machikanensis

Tomistoma lusitanica

Tomistoma schlegelii 

"Tomistoma" cairense

Thecachampsa antiqua

Thecachampsa americana

Thecachampsa carolinense

Penghusuchus pani

Paratomistoma courti

Maomingosuchus petrolica


"Crocodylus" megarhinus


Kambara implexidens

Australosuchus clarkae

Trilophosuchus rackhami


Brochuchus pigotti

"Crocodylus" gariepensis

Euthecodon arambourgii

Euthecodon brumpti


Rimasuchus lloydi

Voay robustus

Osteolaemus osborni 

Osteolaemus tetraspis

Mecistops cataphractus 


C. checchiai

C. palaeindicus

C. anthropophagus

C. thorbjarnarsoni

C. niloticus  

C. siamensis  

C. palustris  

C. porosus 

C. johnsoni  

C. mindorensis

C. novaeguineae

C. raninus

C. acutus  

C. intermedius

C. rhombifer 

C. moreletii


Crocodylus species originated from an ancestor in the Indo-Pacific region between 9 million years ago and 16 million years ago.[6] They radiated into Africa between 8 million years ago and 12 million years ago. This was followed about 5 to 6 million years ago by a trans-Atlantic migration to the Americas.[7][8]


  1. ^ Laurenti, J. N. (1768). "XV. Crocodylus". Specimen Medicum, Exhibens Synopsin Reptilium Emendatam cum Experimentis circa Venena [Medical Treatise, Exhibiting an Emended Synopsis of Reptiles, with Experiments Concerning Venoms and Antidotes for Austrian Reptiles]. Viennae: Joan. Thomae. pp. 53–55.
  2. ^ Murray, Christopher M.; Russo, Peter; Zorrilla, Alexander; McMahan, Caleb D. (2019). "Divergent Morphology among Populations of the New Guinea Crocodile, Crocodylus novaeguineae (Schmidt, 1928) Diagnosis of An Independent Lineage and Description of A New Species". Copeia. 107 (3): 517–523. doi:10.1643/CG-19-240.
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b Brochu, C. A.; Storrs, G. W. (2012). "A giant crocodile from the Plio-Pleistocene of Kenya, the phylogenetic relationships of Neogene African crocodylines, and the antiquity of Crocodylus in Africa". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 32 (3): 587. doi:10.1080/02724634.2012.652324.
  5. ^ Robert W. Meredith, Evon R. Hekkala, George Amato and John Gatesy (2011). "A phylogenetic hypothesis for Crocodylus (Crocodylia) based on mitochondrial DNA: Evidence for a trans-Atlantic voyage from Africa to the New World". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 60: 183–191. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2011.03.026. PMID 21459152.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  6. ^ Srikulnath, K; Thapana, W; Muangmai, N (2015). "Role of chromosome changes in Crocodylus evolution and diversity". Genomics Inform. 13 (4): 102–111. doi:10.5808/GI.2015.13.4.102. PMC 4742319. PMID 26865840.
  7. ^ Oaks, J.R. (2011). "A time-calibrated species tree of Crocodylia reveals a recent radiation of the true crocodiles". Evolution. 65 (11): 3285–3297. doi:10.1111/j.1558-5646.2011.01373.x.
  8. ^ Pan, T.; Miao, J.-S.; Zhang, H.-B.; Yan, P.; Lee, P.-S.; Jiang, X.-Y.; Ouyang, J.-H.; Deng, Y.-P.; Zhang, B.-W.; Wu, X.-B. (2020). "Near-complete phylogeny of extant Crocodylia (Reptilia) using mitogenome-based data". Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. doi:10.1093/zoolinnean/zlaa074.