French Guiana Political System, Famous People, Animals and Plants

By | January 15, 2023

French Guiana: Political System

According to topschoolsintheusa, French Guiana is part of the French state and has two seats in Parliament and the Senate. France is a presidential republic. At the head of the state is a president who is directly elected by the people. All citizens aged 18 and over have the right to vote. For details see France.

At the municipal level, French Guiana has been divided into two arrondissements since 1982, one around Cayenne and the other with the sub-prefecture of Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni. All French laws also apply in Guiana. However, Article 73 of the French Constitution stipulates that local peculiarities can be taken into account. French Guiana is both a department and a region of France. “Guayana” is divided into 19 cantons and 22 municipalities. The Conseil général with its 19 members is elected every six years for the department and the Conseil régional for the region.

The official name of the country is:

Guyanne region

National anthem

Based on flag descriptions by, the national anthem of French Guiana is that of France. The national anthem of France is the Marseillaise, the national anthem of the French Republic. This march was originally composed by Rouget de Lisle on the night of April 25th to 26th, 1792, during the declaration of war on Austria in Strasbourg, Alsace. It was dedicated to the Commander-in-Chief and Governor of Strasbourg Count Luckner. It was called “Chant de guerre pour l’armée du Rhin”, the war song of the Rhine Army, and on July 30, 1792, when entering Paris, the song was sung by the republican soldiers from Marseille. That is why it was named Marseillaise. Declared the French national anthem on July 14, 1795, the Marseillaise was banned after 1815 and only reintroduced as the national anthem of the Third Republic after the Revolution of 1870. Article 2 of the French Constitution of 1958 names the march the hymn of the republic.

  • Check top-mba-universities for public holidays, sports events, UNESCO world heritage sites and major places to visit in French Guiana.

The text in French

Come children of the Fatherland,the day of glory has arrived

Against us of tyranny

The bloody standard is raised,

The bloody standard is raised!

Can you hear in the countryside

Howling these ferocious soldiers!

They come to your arms To

slit the throats of your sons and your companions. Refrain:

To arms citizens,

Form your battalions.

Let’s walk! Let’s walk! May

impure blood

Water our furrows

What does this horde of slaves Want

, traitors, conjured kings?

For whom these ignoble fetters

These irons long prepared

These irons long prepared

French, for us, Ah what an outrage

What transport he must excite!

We dare to meditate on

returning to ancient slavery


What! Foreign cohorts

Would rule our homes!

What! These mercenary phalanxes Would

slay our proud warriors.

Would defeat our proud warriors.

Good Lord! By chained hands

Our foreheads, under the yoke, would bow.

Vile despots would become the

masters of our destinies


Tremble tyrants, and you treacherous

The opprobe of all parties.

Tremble, your parricidal projects will

finally receive their prize!

Will finally receive their prize!

Everything is a soldier to fight you.

If our young heroes fall,

The earth produces new ones

Against you, all ready to fight


French as Magnanimous Warriors Land

or hold back your blows.

Spare these sad victims

A regrets arming themselves against us!

Regrets arming themselves against us!

But this bloodthirsty despot

But Bouillé’s accomplices

All the tigers who mercilessly

Tear their mother’s breast!

Sacred Love of the Fatherland

Lead, support our brave avengers.

Liberty, cherished liberty

Fight with your defenders

Fight with your defenders

Under our flags, may victory

Hurry to your male accents

May your dying enemies See

your triumph and we, our glory


We will enter the quarry

When our elders are no longer

there We will find their dust

And the trace of their virtues!

And the trace of their virtues!

Much less jealous of surviving them

Than of sharing their coffin.

We will have the sublime pride

To avenge them or to follow them


The English translation can be found under France.


There is also a version of the Marseillaise with a text for the residents of the former colonies, the “La Marseillaise des Citoyens des Couleurs”.

French Guiana: animals


Some of the native predators of French Guiana include the jaguar, ocelot, and puma. The ocelot is a nocturnal predator from the real cat family and grows up to 160 cm. Although it is also excellent at climbing, the ocelot moves mostly on the ground. Its diet consists of small deer, monkeys, snakes, small rodents and reptiles. It lives mainly in the humid jungle, in the mountain forest, in the mangrove forests and in thorn bush savannas. Because of its yellowish-brown fur with black spots, the ocelot is still hunted today and is therefore on the red list of endangered species.

You also occasionally come across anteaters, giant armadillos, sloths, the tapir and the collared peccary. The latter bears a certain resemblance to the domestic pig, but is characterized by a yellow band that runs over the neck and shoulders.

It is an omnivore, from fruits, seeds and roots to insects, larvae and lizards, almost everything is on the menu of collar peccaries. Not infrequently they devastate farmers’ fields, which is why they are not very popular.

The greatest threat to the populations is still the destruction of their habitat. Common monkey species are tamarins, capuchin and squirrel monkeys, spider monkeys are much less common.


The agoutis (Dasyprocta) are a genus of rodents from the family of the agoutis and acouchis (Dasyproctidae). They have slender bodies and a thick and coarse coat that is usually dark orange or brownish in color.

They live in forests, dense bushland and savannahs, but also in fields and plantations. They are usually diurnal.

Their underside is white or yellowish. The animals reach a head-trunk length of 40 to 65 cm – with a weight between 1.5 to 4 kg.

As pure herbivores, agoutis feed on fruits, nuts and leaves. Stems or roots. In the Amazon region, they are almost the only animals that can open hard Brazil nuts with their teeth.

There is a total of eleven species of agoutis, of which the following species occurs in French Guiana:

– Crested agouti (Dasyprocta cristata)

Howler monkeys

The howler monkeys owe their name to the roaring concerts that they hold at any time of the day. The monkeys are between 50 and 70 cm tall, the males are larger than the females, and use their 60 cm long tail as a “fifth hand”.

In this way they are able to move extremely nimble between the trees. These diurnal tree dwellers are very skilled climbers.

Due to the deforestation of the rainforest, some of the populations are severely threatened.

Reptiles without poisonous snakes

The largest living turtle, the leatherback turtle, up to two meters long, is one of the many turtle species in French Guiana. Unlike other turtles, their shell is covered with a rubbery skin.

The sea turtle makes its nests in sandy coasts. There are such nests on the Atlantic coast in North America, in the coasts of the Caribbean and Central America, as well as in South America, Africa and the coasts of the Indian Ocean. However, the stock is endangered by fishing as the animals get caught in the nets. The eggs are coveted as a delicacy and are taken directly from the nests on the beach, which endangers the populations.

Other species are the green turtle, the coalfish, the hybrid turtle, the hawksbill turtle and the loggerhead turtle.

The black caiman belongs to the alligators, but is only rarely seen. In addition to French Guiana, he also lives in the Amazon basin and in Amapa. With a length of more than 6 m, it is the largest South American predator.

While the juveniles still feed on invertebrates and piebalds, the menu of the adult black caimans includes fish, mammals, reptiles and even other caiman species.

A slightly smaller species living in French Guiana is the brow-smooth-forehead caiman. This reaches a body length of 100-140 cm.

Idol snake

The idol snake (Boa constrictor) reaches sizes between 3 and 4 m and feeds on smaller and larger mammals as well as on birds and reptiles.

The prey is embraced and strangled by contracting the muscles.

The snake can be found in Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil (Amapá, Pará, Rondonia, Bahia, Sergipe, Amazonas, Pará, Pernambuco, Federal District, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Paraná, Piauí, Mato Grosso, Goiás, S Ceará, Rio Grande do Norte)

in Costa Rica, El Salvador, French Guyana, Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia (Valle del Cauca).

Also in Mexico (Yucatan, Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosí, Quéretaro, Veracruz, Puebla, Jalisco, Morelos and Hidalgo), in Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay.

The snake is also at home in Peru (Pasco), Suriname and Venezuela (Merida, Isla Margarita), as well as in Florida/USA – where it was released. They can also be found in Trinidad, Tobago, Martinique, Aruba and Antigua.

There are six subspecies of the snake.

A detailed description of the snake can be found at Goruma here >>>

Large anaconda

The large anaconda (Eunectes) can in rare cases be over 9 m long and is therefore the largest snake in the world alongside the reticulated python. Your prey is entwined and strangled or crushed by the contraction of the muscles.

It can also be life-threatening for humans. The Great Anakondo can be found here in French Guyana, in northern Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Guyana, Colombia, eastern Paraguay, northeast Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and in Venezuela.

A detailed description of the local Great Anaconda can be found at Goruma here >>>

There are four types of the genus Anaconda:

– Eunectes beniensis (Beni anaconda)

– Eunectes deschauenseei (De-Schauensee-Anaconda)

– Eunectes murinus (Large anaconda)

– Eunectes notaeus (Yellow anaconda)

You can find a description of the snake here >>>

Red rainbow boa

The red rainbow boa (Epicrates cenchria) is found in Argentina (Córdoba, San Luis, La Rioja, Corrientes, Formosa, Chaco, Salta), Bolivia, Brazil (Amapá, Amazonas, Bahia, Acre, Pará, Rio de Janeiro), French Guyana, Guyana, Colombia, in Peru as well as in Suriname and Venezuela (Mérida).

Black-spotted anaconda

The black-spotted anaconda (Eunectes deschauenseei) can be found in the northeast of Brazil and in French Guyana

Venomous snakes – coral snakes

This usually very pretty snake of the genus Micrurus (coral snake, coral otter) with its black and white or yellow and red rings occurs in a total of 79 species with various subspecies.

They can be found in the southern states of the USA via Mexico, Central America and almost all of South America – with the exception of Chile. Often, however, not nationwide but only in parts of the country or even in smaller regions.

They live mainly in moist, warm habitats and are between 60 to 150 cm long. Their head is barely wider than the trunk and their tail is short.

The nocturnal snakes live mostly hidden in holes in the ground, between dense vegetation or under stones and feed on small reptiles – more rarely on small mammals, amphibians, and young birds.

Bites are extremely rare in humans. They have a very effective neurotoxin, which interrupts the connection between nerves and between nerves and muscles (synapses).

In addition, numerous species of snake have poisonous parts that destroy muscle tissue (myotoxins or proteases). Without an antiserum, paralysis and even fatal respiratory arrest can be expected. Guyana black-backed coral snake The Guyana black-backed coral snake (Micrurus collaris) is found in French Guyana, Guyana, Brazil (Roraima, Amapa) as well as in Suriname and in the east of Venezuela in Bolivar. There are two subspecies of the snake.

Hemprich’s coral snake

Hemprich’s coral snake (Micrurus hemprichii) is found in Bolivia, Brazil (Para, Rondonia), Ecuador, French Guyana, Guyana, Colombia, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela.

There are two subspecies of the snake:

Caribbean coral snake

The Caribbean coral snake (Vipera psyches) can be found in northern Brazil, in French Guyana, in Guyana, in southern Colombia, in Suriname, on Trinidad and in the south and east of Venezuela

South American coral snake

With a length of up to 1.30 m, the South American coral snake (Micrurus lemniscatus) belongs to the large coral snakes. They can be found in Argentina, northern Bolivia, Brazil (Amazonas, Goias, Rio Grande do Sul Rio de Janeiro), in the east of Ecuador, in French Guyana, Guyana, Colombia, Paraguay, in the east of Peru, in Suriname, Trinidad as well as in Venezuela. The snake has five subspecies.

Water coral snake

The water coral snake (Micrurus surinamensis) is also known as the surimam coral snake.

The 1.3 m long snake feeds mainly on eels that live in the local waters.

The snake can be found in Brazil (Mato Grosso, Pará), Bolivia, Ecuador, French Guyana, Guyana, in the Amazon region of Colombia and in Peru

Venomous snakes – lance vipers

The genus of lance vipers (Bothrops) belongs to the subfamily of pit vipers (Ctotalinae) and to the family of vipers (Viperidae).

The genus of the lance viper comprises 45 species of snakes, some of which in turn have subspecies.

The smallest species or subspecies reach a length between 50 to 70 cm and the largest can be over 2 m long.

Their poison has tissue-destroying parts (proteases), blood-damaging and kidney-damaging parts.

It is worth mentioning that the enzyme reptilase in the venom of Bothrops atrox and Bothrops jararaca is used in diagnostics to determine coagulation disorders and as a therapeutic agent for anticoagulation.

The animals are viviparous. They get their name from their triangular head shape, which is reminiscent of a lance tip.

Brazilian lance viper (Bothrops brazil)

The snake is found in Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, French Guyana, Guyana, Colombia, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela. There are no subspecies of the snake

Speckled Wood Lance Viper

The Speckled Wood Lance Viper (Bothrops taeniatus) occurs in Bolivia, Brazil (Amazon, Rondonia, Mato Grosso, Goiás, Roraima, Maranhão, Pará and Acre), Ecuador, French Guyana, Guyana, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela.

There are two subspecies of the snake.

Common lance viper

The common lance viper (Bothrops atrox) occurs in Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, French Guyana, Guyana, Colombia, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela.

Also on Trinidad, an island that belongs to the Lesser Antilles.

There are no subspecies of the snake

Green Jararaca Lance Viper

The Green Jararaca Lance Viper (Bothrops bilineatus) occurs in Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, French Guyana, Guyana, Colombia, Suriname and Venezuela.

There are two subspecies of the snake.

More venomous snakes

South American Bushmaster

The South American Bushmaster (Lachesis muta) occurs in the following countries:

Northern Bolivia, Brazil (Minas Gerais, Acre, Amapéa, Amazonas, Pará, Rondonia, Mato Grosso, Goiás, Alagoas, Ceará, Pernambuco, Paraíba, Bahia, Espírito Santo, Rio de Janeiro), in the east of Ecuador, French Guyana, Guyana, in the northeast and east of Peru, in Suriname

as well as in Trinidad and Venezuela.

There are no subspecies of the snake.

Tropical rattlesnake

The tropical rattlesnake (Crotalus durissus) is found in Argentina (Mendoza, La Pampa, San Juan, San Luis, Santa Fe, Córdoba, La Rioja, Catamarca, Santiago del Estero, Tucumán, Chaco, Formosa, Corrientes, Entre Rios, Misiones).

On the Caribbean island of Aruba, in Brazil (including in Rio Grande do Sul, Roraima, Amapá, Roraima, Goias, Bahia, Rio de Janeiro), in Guyana and French Guyana.

Also in Bolivia, Colombia, Paraguay, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela (Cojedes).

There are no subspecies of the snake.

More poisonous animals

Giant tarantula

The giant tarantula is widespread along the entire northeast coast of South America. With a body length of around 10 cm and a leg span of around 28 cm, it is considered the largest tarantula in the world. It lives on rivers and near the sea, where it lives in deep caves. The food of the brown to deep black spider includes large insects, rodents, birds and smaller lizards, which it hunts at night. In the event of an attack, hair of the abdomen is stripped off with the hind legs and the victim is “shot”. In humans, the poison contained in the hair causes irritation of the mucous membranes in the mouth and throat.


Among the numerous and colorful species are hummingbirds, toucans, weaver birds, macaws, the hoazin and also the harpy, which belongs to the buzzard-like species. Their natural distribution is South and Central America. With a wingspan of 190-240 cm and a length of 80-100 cm, it is considered the most powerful bird of prey in the world and is now threatened with extinction. Their distinguishing feature is a broad head of feathers on the back of the head, which lies smoothly in normal condition, but struggles when excited. She hunts along the woods and along river banks. Their diet consists of large vertebrates such as monkeys, sloths, possums, coatis, snakes, and iguanas. The bird of prey got its name from a mythical creature in Greek mythology. First storm demons and later ugly giant birds with female heads were called harpies.

The hummingbird is one of the smallest warm-blooded animals and not only can it stand in the air, but it is the only bird that can fly backwards. Its low weight and the very fast flapping of the wings (approx. 80 beats/sec.) Contribute to these flying skills. Hummingbirds mainly feed on nectar to provide the energy they need for strenuous flying. What is striking is their very long beak, which is a perfect adaptation to their diet, as the nectar required is usually deep in the calyx of the flower.

Insects, spiders

You have to protect yourself from mosquitoes as they transmit malaria. But ants can also become uncomfortable when they bite. Wasps and termites are also numerous. The giant grasshopper is native, the females of which are up to 9 cm long.

The nocturnal ghost crabs, which belong to the spider crab, are common. They feed on smaller crab species, but also eat small animals and carrion – such as dead fish or mussels.

Insects, spiders

You have to protect yourself from mosquitoes as they transmit malaria. But ants can also become uncomfortable when they bite. Wasps, bees, butterflies and termites are also numerous.

The giant grasshopper is native, the females of which are up to 9 cm long.

The nocturnal ghost crabs, which belong to the spider crab, are common. They feed on smaller crab species, but also eat small animals and carrion – such as dead fish or mussels.

Underwater world

The Lamantin, a small manatee, is very rarely seen.

The antenna catfish is represented more often. You can recognize it by the antler-like growths in the adult male. It is mostly nocturnal and can be found near the ground.

Furthermore, sharks live in the waters off the coast of the country – including the peaceful whale shark up to 18 m long – smaller whales and dolphins. And of course a large number of often colorful fish that are particularly popular with divers.

French Guiana: plants


The first thing you can see from the sea are the mangroves, with the white and red mangroves predominating. The natural beach vegetation is rather poor in species, but the coconut palm can be seen almost everywhere.

The highlands are the area of the rainforest where the strangler fig also grows. It is a hemiepiphyte, which means that the rhizome (rhizome) of this plant rises up on tree trunks, but roots in the ground. By being anchored in the ground, the plant is supplied with nutrients and the aerial roots become thicker and lignified. When the roots touch, they fuse, creating a dense network around the host tree. In this way, its main vessels are pinched off and it dies. Therefore the trunk of the strangler fig is hollow inside.

Some tree species are particularly endangered by cutting down. These include the Angélique, the Amaranth and Wacapou. All three are commercial timbers, with amaranth threatened with extinction.

The poisonous Arbol del diablo, which is also known as the ochoo, dynamite tree or sandbox tree, is very famous. Its most striking feature is the trunk covered with short, black thorns.

In the coastal mainland there are also pure palm forests, whereby the Pinot palm is predominant.

Cloud forests are located at a height of over 500 m, but they are hardly accessible to tourists.

As a result of human intervention in the natural vegetation, secondary vegetation was created. These include the cannonball tree, the plug tree, the awara palm and the false banana.

The most important rubber-producing plant is the para rubber tree that grows in French Guiana.


The para rubber tree from the milkweed family is the most important plant producing rubber. The tree is between 20 and 30 m tall and contains a milky sap in the trunk, from which 90% of the total global production of natural rubber is made. The wood of the tree is used for the manufacture of furniture, doors and parquet.

Medicinal plants

The leaves of the sand box tree are used in folk medicine for skin eczema.

Poisonous plants

The sandbox tree from the Wolfsmich family grows up to 40 m. Its milky sap and seeds are poisonous, with the natives using the milky sap as an arrow poison.

More plants

In the northwest of French Guiana, you can occasionally see giant cacti on the beaches. Sea lilies and water hyacinths are typical of marsh savannahs and swamps. In the so-called dry savannas, on the other hand, you will find plants like the parrot heliconia, a colorful plant that can grow to be 0.5 to 1.5 m tall and is related to the banana. The orange flowers are tubular and have purple shades at the base. The initially yellowish fruits turn blue as they ripen.

The rock savannahs, where orchids and clusiaceae grow between the crevices, are rarely entered.

Mimosa can be found in large numbers on the roadsides. With every touch, no matter how small, the leaves of this plant immediately collapse, but also recover after a while. Knife grass also grows here, but you should be a little more careful when touching this plant, as it does not bear its name for nothing.

The para rubber tree originally comes from the Amazon basin and is now planted in many areas.

French Guiana Politics