In addition to its unique landscape, geology and flora, the Teide National Park hosts a fauna, especially the invertebrate one, of great scientific interest for its exclusivity and biological and ecological characteristics. The vertebrate fauna, despite not being very rich, has representatives from mammals, birds and reptiles that have failed to adapt to the rigour of climate of the high mountain.

INVERTEBRATES

Due to the changing environmental conditions of the park (large temperature fluctuations, irregularity in precipitation, high degrees of aridity and solar exposure during a large part of the year and strong winds), the life cycle of most of the invertebrates is highly seasonal. It is during spring and early summer when there is a blossoming of their populations.

According to recent studies, the invertebrate fauna of the park consists of more than a thousand species, of which 45% are endemic to the Canary Islands, 9.2 % are unique to Tenerife and a 6.8% to the national park. Spring flowering attracts an important part of the entomofauna of the park. The most common are flies and the like, which, sometimes, resemble bees and wasps to confuse their predators. However, among the insects that feed on nectar, perhaps the most striking for the visitor will be the diurnal butterflies the park, being the endemism Cyclyrius webbianus one of the most common. The spectacular flowering of Las Cañadas and, especially, of the retama, attracts, among other insects, the abeja de la miel (Apis mellifera), from which the prized honey of retama is produced. Beekeeping is one of the most important traditional uses of the park.

The flora of Las Cañadas also provides other types of food: bedbugs and aphids (Hemiptera) feed on the sap of plants, while beetles, such as the gorgojo de las margaritas (Cyphocleonus armitagei), feed on stems. Under the vegetation, Pimelia ascendens, an emblematic beetle of the park, feeds on decaying organic matter.

A special mention deserves the fauna "aeroliana", linked to extreme conditions where wind is the main supplier of organic matter. Many of these species are hunters and scavengers. It is the case of the endemic Anataelia canariensis and some inhabitants of Teide's cone: the opilión (Bunochelis spinifera) and the escarabajo (Hegeter lateralis).

The caves represent a very particular habitat by its lack of light, high humidity and thermal stability. Its fauna has acquired special adaptations to live in that environment. Only in the Cueva de los Roques de García, about twenty species troglobites are located (animals that need to live permanently in the interior of caves). One of them is the spider Dysdera gollumi, exclusive to that enclave.

VERTEBRATES

Among the reptiles, the most common and easily observable by the visitor is the lagarto tizón (Gallotia galloti galloti), an endemic species easier to see during spring and summer. It is widely distributed, even living in the crater of Mount Teide. The perenquén (Tarentola delalandii), of nocturnal and insectivore habits, passes more unnoticed. Even rarer is the escurridiza lisa (Chalcides viridanus), of coppery back on black.

The avifauna of the park park consists of about twenty species, but only approximately half of them reproduce in it naturally. One of the most common birds, of easy observation in Las Cañadas is the cernícalo vulgar (Falco tinnunculus canariensis), a small prey that is very abundant in the Canary Islands and perfectly adapted to the high mountain, where it feeds primarily on lizards and insects. Much more limited is the halcón tagarote ( Falco pelegrinoides), which feeds exclusively on birds. One of its major prey is the paloma bravía (Columba livia), which nests in the rocky cliffs of Las Cañadas.

The alcaudón real (Lanius meridionalis koenigi) hunts insects, reptiles and even other birds, which it often threads into thorny bushes as if in a pantry. The rest of passerines are the mosquitero canario (Phylloscopus canariensis), the curruca tomillera (Sylvia conspicillata), the curruca cabecinegra (Sylvia melanocephala), the herrerillo africano (Cyanistes teneriffae) and the canario (Serinus canarius), generally connected to the bushes. The more emblematic bird of the park is the pinzón azul (Fringilla teydea), another endemism that, even prefering forests, it often goes to open places where there are springs or drinking fountains.

To complete the list, we have the vencejo unicolor (Apus unicolor ), which traverse the skies of the park while feeding in the air, and the bisbita caminero (Anthus berthelotii), usually scampering in open spaces. Both species are endemic to Macaronesia, shared with the neighbouring archipelago of Madeira.

Because they are the only indigenous creatures in this territory, bats are the most interesting species of the small group of mammals of the park. The murciélago rabudo (Tadarida tenionitis), the nóctulo pequeño (Nyctalus leisleri), the murciélago montañero (Pipistrellus savii) and the endemic murciélago de Madeira (Pipistrellus maderensis) and orejudo canario (Plecotus teneriffae) can be seen in the park during the night.

The rest of species were introduced and some of them are problematic for the conservation of flora, such as the conejo (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and the muflón(Ovis musimon). Hunting controls of both are carried out in the park for conservation reasons. The mammal fauna is completed with the ratón doméstico (Mus musculus), the rata de campo (Rattus rattus) and the occasional erizo moruno ( Aetechinus algirus).