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Top 30 animals with glowing eyes at night – Red, Yellow, Green and more..

Animals With Glowing Eyes At Night

Do you ever wonder which of an animal’s eyes glows in the dark? Or maybe you wonder how to recognize a set of glowing eyes in the dark?

Let’s look at some common animals with bright glowing eyes at night, as well as some of the more remarkable hunters and nightcrawlers.

These are the most typical animals that reflect light at night. Whether you point a torch at them or appear to have glowing eyes when captured on camera.

What is Tapetum Lucidum?

The tapetum lucidum is the layer of tissue in the eye of many vertebrates. It lies directly behind the retina and is a retroreflector. The tapetum lucidum always reflects visible light back through the retina, increasing the light available to photoreceptors. It contributes to the well-known superior night vision of some animals.

animals eyes at night anatomy


What colours do animals’ eyes glow at night?


When you encounter an animal with glowing eyes at night, the color is usually:

  • Red
  • Yellow
  • Green
  • White
  • Orange


In this amazing post, we will be taking a very close look at all these animals. We will also display them by eye colour according to a series of photos. 

Just remember that you can’t be sure that animals will always have the same coloured glow at different times.

We’ll come back to this at the end of the post – now it’s time to look at some of these amazing creatures with glowing eyes at night!

Which animal’s eye clours are RED at night?

Many animals can have red or orange glowing eyes at night. Their eyeballs have a reflective layer behind them that allows light to be reflected back to whoever looks at them.

That reflective eye colour at night depends on several factors, including the animal’s actual eye colour, the type of light, and how the retina is constructed.



Gator crocodiles have quite large eyeballs compared to their size. They often look red in the dark, making them look even more terrifying than before the night.

glowing crocodile eyes at night



Another animal with wood red or orange eyes in the dark is owls. They usually hunt just before it gets dark, and they have incredibly good hearing. But they also have pretty good eyesight.

Their eyes really stick out in the woods when you see the two fascinating red dots are staring right back at you in the dark.


The Owl bird has special gigantic eyes in the animal kingdom. Their eyes are constructed more like a tunnel shape, which means they have to turn their heads to look around. This is not a problem, however, because owls can turn their heads 270°.

The dark orange eyes are very beautiful, and they are probably why owls symbolize wisdom and knowledge.



Rabbits also have very special eyes. They usually appear to have a light red hue in the dark when you see them on camera or point a light source at them.

rabbit shining eyes

They can sometimes also be orange or even pinkish red.

Moreover, the red colour comes from the light reflected from the backside of their eyes.

They also have a reflective layer behind their eyeballs that reflects the light back to you when you look at it. We will explain this feature in detail at the bottom of this post.


Cats and Kittens


Cats sitting on the bed in the dark


Cats are known to be masters when it comes to eye their colors. Cats can have a wide range of variety of eye colors. Not only at night but also when it comes to their actual eye colors during the day.

However, this very special cat actually has 2 different eye colors. One eye is mostly red, and the other is green.


Which animals have YELLOW eyes at night?

Now let’s shift the focus for a moment to animals with yellow, glowing eyes. This is common among animals, and we find quite a few species with glowing yellow eyes at night.



Bears are an example. During the day, Bears normally have dark brown eyes. But when the light reflects on their eyes at night, they usually look bright yellow.

They will definitely scare a lot of people if you see the eyes of a bear at night.


Like we mentioned above, cats can have all kinds of eye colours. At night time, a cat can stares back at you with illuminating bright yellow colour eyes that could pierce through you.

The eye colours are determined by two pigment colours, melanin and lipochrome.

The mix of pigment (or lack thereof) determines what colour the cat’s eyes will be. But by nightfall, the light can change the eye colours by reflecting only part of the light spectrum.

These two sets of yellow cat eyes can look pretty scary in the dark!

Read Also: Maine Coon Cat



Another animal you’ll usually encounter at night is the deer. They will often look right at you as you drive or walk through a forest.

The deer’s eyes will often glow yellow at night, simply because the light is reflected back to them.



Another animal you may have in mind when you notice a yellow array of eyeballs is the raccoon.

Raccoons are also nocturnal animals (Examples of nocturnal animals include bats, skunks, and owls. Nocturnal animals sleep during the day for a variety of reasons. 

Most nocturnal animals sleep during the day and are active at night to avoid active predators during the day.) and therefore, they also have the reflective layer behind their eyes. They usually reflect yellow light onto your back.


Chinchillas are pretty popular as exotic pets.

A Chinchilla vision is blurry and not as good as ours. Although chinchillas can see in color, they probably can’t see as many colors as we can.

Although chinchillas can see what’s going on around them, they can’t see details as we can. … Chinchillas can get away with relatively poor vision because they can hear so well.

Their yellow eyes really light up in the dark and seem very focused on the photographer.


Animals With Glowing Eyes at night



A panther has golden color eyes. Their eyes are golden in color. Males are usually bigger than females.

The last animals we are going to see in the dark with yellow eyes are the Panthers. They are big cats that hunt at night, and their yellow eyes are very intense.

glowing Panthers eyes at night

Most cats (big and small) have yellow eyes even in the dark. But most cats don’t have yellow eyes when the face is lit up.

But the Panthers can have very nice yellow eyes. Although sometimes they can look greener.


Which animals have GREEN eyes at night?

We’ll go on to list some animals with green eyes at night. These are a little rarer ones because most animals reflect red or yellow eyes in the night.




dog sitting on the floor in the dark
Dog sitting on the floor in the dark


Docs can also have green eyes in the dark. This cute little golden retriever puppy sure looks cute with glowing eyes in the dark.

If you see glowing animal eyes in the dark of the night, it will most likely be a dog or a cat. This is simply because these are considered some of the most common animals in areas where people live.


Take Note: You can try hot dog beds for dachshunds to make them more relaxed.




Foxes have amazing eyesight. In fact, they can see just as well as a cat. Their eyes look a lot like a cat’s, thanks to their vertically cut pupils. Foxes are also very fast.

The fox’s eyes are also very intense at night. They usually keep to themselves at night when hunting. But when you encounter them, remember to look for green or yellow eyes in the dark of the night.

This fox mostly has a mix of green and white eyes as it stares at you.



Opossums often leave a green reflection when lit up at night. Here are five opossums in a tree.

Which animals have WHITE eyes at night?

Sometimes animal eyes reflect a white light at night. We’ll finish by looking at a few animals with bright white eyes at night.

These three species were all photographed with a flash on the camera. This allows the light to be reflected back as very white and bright color.



Coyotes do have golden-brown eyes

Coyotes’ eyes are consistently golden-brown, so researchers have been surprised to learn of five California coyotes with piercing baby blues eyes.

Hear that the photographer has captured a coyote with his/her lens. The coyote stops right by the camera, and the eyes are very white.



As we looked at earlier, deer often have yellow eyes in the dark. That is, sometimes the eyes appear with a very bright white color.

This is really true if you are using the flash on your camera. The white light from the flash is reflected off the back of the eyes and gives the photo a pure white color.



This is not the kind of animal you would want to meet at night time. If a tiger with white eyes is staring right at you in the snow. It’s very hard to see in the snow at night, but his glowing eyes give it away.

Other animals with glowing and reflective eyes include:

  • Rats
  • Skunks
  • Ferrets
  • Squirrels
  • Horses
  • Pigs
  • Spiders
  • Lemur
  • Camels
  • Flashlight fish
  • Cows
  • Goats
  • Zander
  • Kangaroos


That being so, most of these animals are nocturnal, but there are also deep-sea animals on the list.

It’s especially important to get a good look at whether there’s a predator in the sea (or if you’re being hunted!). The water can make it difficult to distinguish patterns and movements in the night, so big eyes with retro-reflectors can also help you!


Why does some set of animal eyes glow at night?

We find this characteristic in several vertebrates.

Some animals have glowing eyes at night due to a thin reflective layer behind their eyes (behind the iris). It is called “Tapetum lucidum.” This layer reflects light back to you when you look at the animal in the dark. This phenomenon is also called “eyeshine.”

This means that light travels through the retina twice and is reflected back to you in a wide range of colors or a variety of colors.

This can also mean that the light you see is just the reflection of the light source pointed at them. This is usually coming from a flashlight or a camera flash. When certain light is reflected back, it can be red, yellow, green, or white colors.

The light is reflected directly back in the direction of the light source to give the retina a clearer and more vivid image to analyze. For cats, the reflective effect increases vision by over 40%, giving cats incredible night vision.


Animals With Glowing Eyes at night

It is genius for animals to add more light to their retina. Set of Animals without this feature (and humans) will only allow light to pass through the retina once. 

But the reflection will add more light and detail to the retina, so the animal can see better in the dark.

This allows our nocturnal friends to see better and farther in the dark. It’s an advantage for both predators and prey, and it’s a good reason to stay indoors if you live near wild animals. They will likely have much better night vision than you!

These are also the animals that can see very well in the dark, and they are called the nocturnal animals. When light is reflected a second time by the retina, the animal has a better chance of feeling and seeing in the dark.


Recognizing animals by eye color at night

So does this mean you can recognize animals by their eye color at night?

No, not really.

The reason is that you cannot be sure that an animal will always reflect the same color back to you. It can differ greatly depending on numerous factors that we will look at below.

Sometimes the color can be yellow and sometimes be white or even green.

As we looked at statements above, it all depends on different factors:


  1. The color of the light is directed at the animal (LED, moonlight, flashlight, etc.)
  2. The color of the animals’ eyes (which can vary greatly even in the same species)
  3. The size and construction of the retina
  4. The distance between you and the animal
  5. The angle from which you are looking


So you can’t be sure that a particular species will always reflect the same eye color. If you look at how the eyes glow at night, you will notice above that we have, for example, deer and cats with both yellow and green eyes.

You will most likely need to know more facts about the animals to recognize them at night. It is much better to look at the behavior, speed, size, etc. Of the animal.

If you can only see the animal’s eyes, you should try your best to ascertain the amount of space between the eyes and how far they are from the ground. If it is a large animal with large eyeballs, you should keep a safe distance. But remember that even small animals can be dangerous at night.

So if you don’t know what you’re dealing with, you should keep your distance and make sure you don’t stare directly at the animal, as it can trigger aggression in some species.


Why do animals have better night vision?

As we stated above, some animals have a reflective layer on the back of the eye that allows them to see better in the dark. But that’s not the only reason they have better night vision.

Another reason is that they can see a wider spectrum of colors.


  • They can see UV and infrared light.
  • Many nocturnal animals can see both UV light and infrared light. For example, bees can see some UV light.
  • They have bigger eyes.
  • Some animals have larger eyes that allow them to let in more light. This means they can sense more movements and shapes in the dark and see more detail when it is nighttime.
  • They have more light-sensors
  • Some animals have more light-sensors in their eyes, called “Rhodopsins,” and they let in more light. 
  • Nevertheless, there is a downside to this advantage. These animals are usually relatively colorblind because they do not have other types of sensors that pick up light colors.


What kind of colors do human eyes reflect at night?

The Normal human eyes are said to automatically reflect a red color at all times. This is because we lack the reflective layer behind the retina (tapetum lucidum). Therefore, light is not being reflected back to the photographer or viewer.

So when you actually see a series of human eyeballs illuminate in the dark, it is usually because they are being photographed. These will appear red because of the blood vessels in the retina in the eyes.

The light from the flash enters through the very center of the eye, the pupil (the small black part), and its size is controlled by the iris muscle. 

If the pupil is small, there will not be enough light to illuminate the blood in the eye.

This is why red-eye reduction software makes the camera flash for an extra time just before the picture is taken, to make the eye reflect the light from the flash instead of letting it into the eye.


Read Also: How Do Jellyfish Eat Food?, What do They Eat? + How they digest food


Reference: Wikipedia

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