28 Awesome Alligator Tattoo Ideas for Men & Women in 2023
Alligators are terrific animals – not only do they have a unique and intimidating look but also have such complex and compelling symbolic meanings. Do you know that in many cultures, these terrifying reptiles represent patience, fearlessness, intuition and unconsciousness? Very interesting, right? And so, Alligators have been fascinating subjects for tattoo enthusiasts, who take these meanings to another level by creating their own versions of Alligators for their ink pieces.
But before you go and get your own Alligator tattoo, let us help guide you in choosing the perfect piece of ink. Below we’ll show you the most striking, eye-catching, and dazzling Alligator tattoo ideas for 2023. You’ll surely be inspired with the perfect idea of which tattoo style to get, as well as where to get tattooed on your body.
With that said, let’s begin!
Black and Gray Arm Tattoo of Alligator, Anhinga, Dwarf Cypress Tree and Water Lily
The first tattoo on our list is an intricate depiction of the Everglades, a tropical region in Florida, done in the style of black and gray. I really appreciate how the natural scenery stays loyal to the original place of inspiration. The composition of the tattoo also works really well with its chosen position on the back of the arm. Props to the artist for recreating what must have been a meaningful memory into art!
Black and Gray Tattoo of Alligator on Back of Arm
Korean tattoo artist @nero_tattooer does exceptionally well with blackwork and black and gray tattoos, and this one is a great example. I really like how realistic the spikes on the alligator’s back look as well as their neat outlines. The design works well with the “canvas” provided by the back of the arm. Nicely done!
Inner Arm Tattoo of Alligator Head in Black and Gray
Another gorgeous piece done in the style of black and gray, but do you notice how it’s designed with neo-traditional styling? There are clear and clean outlines for every detail, which is going to help the piece hold nicely through time. I personally love the alligator eye in this piece – the shading and highlight just really make it look alive. And the flowers on top of the alligator’s head add such a feminine, graceful touch.
Old School Tattoo of Alligator
There are reasons why old school tattoos never actually get old, such as their vibrant and solid colors, or bold outlines as seen in this example. I’m really drawn to one particular detail, which is the right eye of the alligator. Its peculiar placement on the alligator’s head seems very interesting to me, giving the animal a somewhat demonic look.
Realistic Thigh Tattoo of Alligator and Elephant in Black and Gray Style
Now this one is definitely one of my favorites. I love the subtle element of geometric design here, with a diamond that neatly frames almost all the other elements of the tattoo. The design also incorporates negative space, making the bamboo leaves so interesting to look at. I also love how the body of the alligator turns into tiny blocks of pyramids outside of the frame. An absolutely innovative and magnificent design!
Realistic Arm Tattoo of Baby Alligator in Black and Gray Style
Judging from the size ratio of the alligator’s head and body, we could safely assume this one hasn’t fully matured yet. This is really interesting because this could be a real-size baby alligator tattoo, done in a realistic style! The whole tattoo can’t be seen in this photo, but the artist also shares that the alligator’s tail goes all the way around the client’s arm. How cool is that?
Realistic Tattoo of Alligator Swimming Upstream
This is another tattoo that I absolutely adore. Adopting the realistic style, the design requires intricate techniques and detailed vision, but the tattoo artist really pulls it off. My favorite detail is the use of white ink which gives the alligator a realistic, shiny look. It’s as if rays of sunshine are reflecting onto its skin as it swims upstream!
Neo-Traditional Tattoo of Alligator With a Head in Its Mouth
I really like the concept of this tattoo, although I’m sure there must be a hidden meaning behind this composition, a red-eyed alligator holding onto what seems to me like Helios in Greek mythology. The neo-traditional style suits the design very well, creating a strong impact for the design. For more inspiration for this style, check out the artist’s page @melisehilltattoo!
Black and Gray Forearm Tattoo of Alligator Head with Flowers
The idea of this design is not new: an alligator head with flowers on its ears. But I admire the execution of this one, pulling off the black and gray style so well. The subtle whip shading works nicely both on the flowers and the alligator’s jaw, and the blackout on the leaves adds such an interesting touch to the whole composition. I also like that the tattoo is positioned on the outer forearm, making it easy to be admired.
Old School Forearm Tattoo of Alligator
Here’s another example of an alligator tattoo that’s heavily influenced by old school style. I really like the positioning of this one; in the tattoo artist’s own words, it seems like the alligator is “crawling up the shin”. How interesting? As seen, just the placement of a tattoo can create a sense of motion and significance.
Blackwork Forearm Tattoo of Alligator
Blackwork has such charm for intimidating subjects like an alligator; it’s a perfect match. Tattoo artist Jared from Las Vegas specializes in blackwork tattoos and he surely did a marvelous job. Look at how realistically rough and scabrous the alligator’s body looks! I also like how the style of this alligator tattoo aligns with the existing ones, making it a great addition to the client’s forearm.
Shin Tattoo of Alligator Heads as Scissor Blades in Black and Gray
I find the idea of this tattoo absolutely delightful because the shape of the alligator’s jaw does resemble that of scissor blades! It also flows nicely down this client’s shin and seems to fit in just fine with the existing tattoos, too. What a creative design that’s also so well-executed!
Black and Gray Alligator Head Tattoo on Outer Forearm
This one is another tattoo that features an alligator head with flowers, but the execution and placement still set it apart. I particularly enjoy looking at the stippled shading in this piece, which I think works perfectly with the design. It gives the alligator a rough look, like it would naturally appear! If you like black and gray tattoos and want to find more inspiration, take a look at the artist’s page right here @emersonroachtattoos!
New School Tattoo of Alligator Disguised as Cupcake
New school tattoos always have the zaniest subjects, and this one is no exception. There are so many interesting details packed into this piece. I really like how the alligator is designed like a human trap, dressing like a delicious cupcake but actually consuming anyone innocent enough to get too close. The ax and the red syrup (that also looks like blood) on top of the cupcake foreshadow this danger. I also love the dotwork in this piece and the white ink that effectively adds texture to the alligator’s skin.
Neo-Traditional Tattoo of Alligator, Reeds and Japanese Waves
Right off the bat, this tattoo catches my attention with its strong sense of motion. The alligator is reaching towards a star, and the placement of its limbs as well as tail really adds tension to the composition. I really like the faint stream of red running down from the alligator’s teeth, looking like blood. Another interesting detail is the incorporation of the Japanese-inspired art, as seen in the waves underneath. Awesome work!
Colorful Custom Tattoo of Crawling Alligator with Optical IIlusion
I’d say this one makes the strongest impression on me, for its vivid and colorful appearance. I love the combination of so many bright, eye-catching colors along with the dotwork in this piece. Of course, we can’t forget to mention the interesting optical illusion created by the two black holes that the alligator is crawling through. What an interesting piece of art!
Traditional Blackwork Alligator Tattooof on Front Thigh
Tattoo artist Josh Coburn nails blackwork style in this tattoo pulled from his wonderful collection. My favorite detail in this design has to be the alligator’s eye. It’s unusually long and flat making the alligator look even more intimidating. I also like the mesmerizing patterns on its back. It’s true that you don’t necessarily need color to make an impression!
Black and Gray Tattoo of Alligator Head and Plover Bird on Inner Arm
If you read just a little bit about alligators, you’ll discover the interesting relationship between these reptiles and plover birds. Do you know that these tiny birds could safely stay inside any alligator’s mouth because they pick out and consume the remaining food that’s stuck in its teeth? This tattoo features just that special partnership. I like the circle from which the alligator’s head pokes out – it looks like another optical illusion!
Upper Front Thigh Tattoo of Alligator and Butterfly
This tattoo also has a really lovely idea: a friendly encounter between an alligator and a beautiful butterfly. The line work in this one is really clean and neat, and I like that the alligator is seen in a relaxed, affable pose despite its intimidatingly rough appearance. For more tattoos in the same style, you might want to visit this talented artist’s page @floodtower!
Micro Cartoon Tattoo of Baby Alligator in Teacup
Moving on to the more adorable section of tattoos, let us introduce what’s easily the cutest one on the list. A simple, minimal tattoo in the cartoon style depicts an alligator fitting right in a teacup. You’d think alligators are usually scary, but I’m sure you’d have the urge to pet this one!
New School Tattoo of Alligator and Lavender on Ankle
What a sweet alligator hanging around pretty branches of lavender! The artist behind this piece, Charlotte, excels at colorful new school animal tattoos, and we picked this one from her fabulous page. One small fun fact that I discovered about her work: the animals always look so sweet thanks to the lively sparkles in their eyes! Check out more of her works right here @charlotteannharris.
New School Tattoo of Alligator on Vacation
What did I tell you about the comical effect of so many new school tattoos? It’s delightful! I love the irony of a freshwater animal having to use a surfboard in the sea. The sunglasses, the coconut drink and the shadows of coconut trees from far away, together make for such a fun setting. Props to the artist for this creative and fun piece of art!
Linework Tattoo of Alligator Crossing Over Elbow Crease
I find the placement of this tattoo quite unique, making the alligator look like it’s crawling over the client’s elbow crease. The artist behind this piece has insane skills when it comes to linework, and this one is just one example among many others. If you love looking at neat and satisfying linework tattoos, do check his page out @cedric.vonderdellen.tattoo!
Custom Shoulder Blade Tattoo of Alligator Head and Colorful Flowers
I actually really like the color of the alligator’s skin in this design; the purple-ish gray makes it so interesting to look at and it also fits nicely with the color palette of the flowers. Additionally it nicely contrasts with the alligator’s eye. The tattoo also has a nice composition that works well with its placement with the flowers following the shape of the client’s shoulder blade. What a graceful and gorgeous piece!
Neo-Traditional Tattoo of Alligator Head over Biceps
This typical neo-traditional tattoo features really bold outlines and an overall bold design! I really like how the colors of the alligator’s eye match those on the leaves behind its head. The shading and highlighting are also so skillfully done. This tattoo flows so well over the client’s biceps, but I kind of wish that such a vibrant ink piece would be tattooed somewhere more visible. Still, it’s a pleasure to look at.
Cartoon Style Tattoo of Alligator on Side of Thigh
You can tell anyone who designs this flash has a great sense of humor and fashion! I really like the cartoon style, and how it fits perfectly with the playful depiction of the alligator. Using dots for the reflection of the float is such a creative decision, making the whole piece look so much more trendy and fun. The tattoo artist of this piece has a very unique style, check out her works now @thepeachmoon!
Custom Inner Arm Tattoo of Alligator Head
Are you drawn to more intimidating-looking designs that capture alligators as predators like they are in real life? This one fits right into that category. I really like the menacing look in its eye along with the threatening sharp and uneven teeth. The texture of its skin also has such terrorizing patterns! These interesting patterns can also be found in other pieces from the artist, so if you’re fascinated by them, definitely go through this page @brocolinoir.
Black and Gray Tattoo of Alligator With Lilies
You’ve made it to the final tattoo on the list! This ink piece features a lovely alligator among graceful lilies. I find the usage of white ink in this piece unquestionably delightful. It gives the alligator’s eye and skin such a shiny, sparkly look and it works well on the lily buds, too. One adorable detail catches my attention – can you find the small bugs hidden on the leaves? Nice Detail
We hope you found what you were looking for and had as much fun looking at these tattoos as we had writing about them. Until next time, happy inking!