Leopardus

Leopardus is a genus of spotted small cats mostly native to Middle and South America, with a very small range extending into the southern United States. The genus is considered the oldest branch of a lineage of small cats that crossed into the Americas, with the genera Lynx and Puma being later branches of the same group.[2] The largest species in Leopardus is the ocelot (L. pardalis); most of the other species resemble domestic cats in size, with the kodkod (L. guigna) being the smallest cat in the Americas. The margay (L. wiedii) is more highly adapted to arboreal life than any other cat in the Americas.[3]

Despite the name, the leopard is a member of genus Panthera, not Leopardus.

Leopardus[1]
Temporal range: Pleistocene-Recent
~2.5–0 Ma
Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis)-8
Ocelot, Leopardus pardalis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Feliformia
Family: Felidae
Subfamily: Felinae
Genus: Leopardus
Gray 1842
Type species
Leopardus griseus
Gray 1842
Species
Leopardus range map
Leopardus diversity

Taxonomy

There has been some revision of this branch of Felidae in recent years. Leopardus was previously regarded as a subgenus of the genus Felis. The Pantanal and Pampas cats were previously considered subspecies of the colocolo.

Genetic studies indicate the genus Leopardus forms a distinct clade within the feline subfamily, and first evolved in South America around 8 million years ago.[2] Within the genus, two distinct evolutionary lineages appear to exist; one leading to the ocelot, margay, and Andean mountain cat, and the other leading to the remaining species.[4]

Species

The following species are recognised following the taxonomic revision of the Felidae, 2017:[5]

Image Scientific name Common Name Distribution
Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis)-8 L. pardalis
(Linnaeus, 1758)
ocelot Southwestern United States, Mexico, Central and South America
Leopardus tigrinus - Parc des Félins L. tigrinus
(Schreber, 1775)
oncilla, tigrina Central America up to central Brazil
Leopardus guigna.jpeg L. guigna
(Molina, 1782)
kodkod Central and southern Chile and marginally in adjoining areas of Argentina
Leopardus pajeros 20101006 L. colocola
(Molina, 1782)
Pampas cat, colocolo Argentina and Uruguay into the Gran Chaco and Cerrado of Bolivia, Paraguay and Brazil, and north through the Andes mountain chain through Ecuador and possibly marginally into southwestern Colombia
L. colocola braccatus
(Cope, 1889)
Pantanal cat Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay
Margay L. wiedii
(Schinz, 1821)
margay Southern Mexico, through Central America and in northern South America east of the Andes to Uruguay and northern Argentina
Salzkatze L. geoffroyi
(d'Orbigny & Gervais, 1844)
Geoffroy's cat Bolivia to southern Chile
Andean cat 1 Jim Sanderson L. jacobitus
(Cornalia, 1865)
Andean mountain cat Chile, Bolivia, Argentina and central Peru
L. guttulus
(Hensel, 1872)
southern tigrina Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay
L. vorohuensis
(Berta, 1983)
Uquian Vorohué Formation, Argentina

References

  1. ^ Wozencraft, W.C. (2005). "Order Carnivora". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 537–540. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
  2. ^ a b Johnson, W. E.; Eizerik, E.; Pecon-Slattery, J.; Murphy, W. J.; Antunes, A.; Teeling, E.; O'Brien, S. J. (2006). "The Late Miocene radiation of modern Felidae: A genetic assessment". Science. 311 (5757): 73−77. doi:10.1126/science.1122277.
  3. ^ Reid, F. A. (2009). A Field Guide to the Mammals of Central America and Southeast Mexico (2 ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 277. ISBN 978-0-19-534323-6.
  4. ^ Johnson, W. E.; Culver, M.; Iriarte, J. A.; Eizirik, E.; Seymour, K. L.; O'Brien, S. J. (1998). "Tracking the evolution of the elusive Andean mountain cat (Oreailurus jacobitus) from mitochondrial DNA" (PDF). Journal of Heredity. 89 (3): 227–232. doi:10.1093/jhered/89.3.227. PMID 9656464.
  5. ^ Kitchener, A. C.; Breitenmoser-Würsten, C.; Eizirik, E.; Gentry, A.; Werdelin, L.; Wilting, A.; Yamaguchi, N.; Abramov, A. V.; Christiansen, P.; Driscoll, C.; Duckworth, J. W.; Johnson, W.; Luo, S.-J.; Meijaard, E.; O’Donoghue, P.; Sanderson, J.; Seymour, K.; Bruford, M.; Groves, C.; Hoffmann, M.; Nowell, K.; Timmons, Z.; Tobe, S. (2017). "A revised taxonomy of the Felidae: The final report of the Cat Classification Task Force of the IUCN Cat Specialist Group" (PDF). Cat News. Special Issue 11: 46−58.
Acrolophus laticapitana

Acrolophus laticapitana is a moth of the family Acrolophidae. It was described by Walsingham in 1884. It is found in North America, northern California to southern Arizona.The length of the forewings 6.5-9.5 mm. Adults are slender and pale yellow to tan or whitish gray.

African leopard

The African leopard (Panthera pardus pardus) is the leopard nominate subspecies native to many countries in Africa. It is widely distributed in most of sub-Saharan Africa, but the historical range has been fragmented in the course of habitat conversion. Leopards have been recorded in North Africa as well.

Andean mountain cat

The Andean mountain cat (Leopardus jacobita) is a small wild cat native to the high Andes that has been classified as Endangered by IUCN because fewer than 2,500 individuals are thought to exist in the wild.It was first described by Emilio Cornalia who named it in honour of Jacobita Mantegazza. It is one of only two cat species for which no subspecies has been described.

Annachlamys flabellata

Annachlamys flabellata is a species of scallop, a marine bivalve mollusc in the family Pectinidae. It is found in the sublittoral zone of the continental shelf north of Australia.

Blenniella leopardus

Blenniella leopardus, the leopard blenniella , is a species of combtooth blenny found in the eastern Indian Ocean from Sumatra north to the Andaman Islands. It can reach a maximum length of 6 centimetres (2.4 in) SL.

Conus leopardus

Conus leopardus, common name the leopard cone, is a species of a predatory sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Conidae, the cone snails, cone shells or cones.Like all species within the genus Conus, these snails are predatory and venomous. They are capable of "stinging" humans, therefore live ones should be handled carefully or not at all.

Coral trout

The coral trout, leopard coral grouper, or leopard coral trout (Plectropomus leopardus) is a species of fish in the Serranidae family. Native to the western Pacific Ocean, its natural habitat includes open seas and coral reefs. Coral trout are piscivorous; juveniles mostly eat crustaceans, especially prawns, and adults feed upon a variety of reef fish, particularly damselfish.

Coral trout are the favourite target fish for all sectors of the fishery because they are a good food fish and command high market prices locally and overseas. The total commercial catch of coral trout was reported at over 1500 tonnes in 1998.

Felidae

Felidae is a family of mammals in the order Carnivora, colloquially referred to as cats. A member of this family is also called a felid. The term "cat" refers both to felids in general and specifically to the domestic cat (Felis catus).Reginald Innes Pocock divided the extant Felidae into three subfamilies: the Pantherinae, the Felinae and the Acinonychinae, differing from each other by the ossification of the hyoid apparatus and by the cutaneous sheaths which protect their claws.

This concept has been revised following developments in molecular biology and techniques for analysis of morphological data. Today, the living Felidae are divided in two subfamilies, with the Pantherinae including seven Panthera and two Neofelis species. The Felinae include all the non-pantherine cats with 10 genera and 34 species.The first cats emerged during the Oligocene, about 25 million years ago, with the appearance of Proailurus and Pseudaelurus. The latter species complex was ancestral to two main lines of felids: the cats in the extant subfamilies and a third major group of extinct cats of the subfamily Machairodontinae. The machairodonts included the saber-toothed cats such as the Smilodon. The "false sabre toothed cats", the Barbourofelidae and Nimravidae, are not true cats, but are closely related and together with Felidae and other cat-like carnivores (hyaenas, viverrids and mongooses) make up the feliform carnivores.The characteristic features of cats have evolved to support a carnivorous lifestyle, with adaptations for ambush or stalking and short pursuit hunting. They have slender muscular bodies, strong flexible forelimbs and retractable claws for holding prey, dental and cranial adaptations for a strong bite, and often have characteristic striped or spotted coat patterns for camouflage.

Geoffroy's cat

Geoffroy's cat (Leopardus geoffroyi) is a wild cat native to the southern and central regions of South America. It is about the size of a domestic cat. It is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List because it is widespread and abundant over most of its range.

Kodkod

The kodkod (Leopardus guigna) (Spanish pronunciation: [koðˈkoð]), also called güiña, is the smallest cat in the Americas. It lives primarily in central and southern Chile and marginally in adjoining areas of Argentina. Its area of distribution is small compared to the other South American cats. Since 2002, it has been listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List as the total effective population may comprise less than 10,000 mature individuals, and is threatened due to persecution and loss of habitat and prey base.

Leopardus guttulus

Leopardus guttulus, the southern tiger cat or southern tigrina, is a wild cat species native to Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay.

Margay

The margay (Leopardus wiedii) is a small wild cat native to Central and South America. A solitary and nocturnal cat, it lives mainly in primary evergreen and deciduous forest.Until the 1990s, margays were hunted illegally for the wildlife trade, which resulted in a large population decrease. Since 2008, the margay has been listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List because the population is thought to be declining due to loss of habitat following deforestation.In his first description, Schinz named the margay Felis wiedii in honour of Prince Maximilian of Wied-Neuwied who collected specimens in Brazil.

Ocelot

The ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) is a small wild cat native to the southwestern United States, Mexico, Central and South America. It is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List as the population is estimated to comprise more than 40,000 mature individuals and is considered stable. Its fur was once regarded as valuable, and poaching for the illegal trade is still a threat. It is marked with solid black spots, streaks and stripes.

Oncilla

The oncilla (Leopardus tigrinus), also known as the northern tiger cat, little spotted cat, and tigrillo, is a small spotted cat ranging from Central America to central Brazil. It is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List because the population is threatened by deforestation and conversion of habitat to agricultural land.In 2013, it was proposed to assign the population in southern Brazil and Cuyoaco to a new species L. guttulus, after it was found not to be interbreeding with the L. tigrinus population in northeast Brazil.

Pampas cat

The Pampas cat (Leopardus colocola) is a small wild cat native to South America that is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List as habitat conversion and destruction may cause the population to decline in the future.

It is also known as the colocolo or Pantanal cat over parts of its range. It is named after the Pampas, but occurs in grassland, shrubland, and dry forest at elevations up to 5,000 m (16,000 ft).There was a proposal to divide Pampas cat into three distinct species, based primarily on differences in pelage colour/pattern and cranial measurements. Accordingly, three species were recognised in the 2005 edition of Mammal Species of the World: the colocolo (L. colocolo), the Pantanal cat (L. braccatus), and the Pampas cat (L. pajeros) with a more restricted definition. This split at species level was not supported by subsequent genetic work, although some geographical substructure was recognised, and some authorities continued to recognise the Pampas cat as a single species.

In the recent revision of felid taxonomy by the Cat Specialist Group the Pampas cat is recognised as a single species with seven subspecies.Pampas cats have not been studied much in the wild and little is known about their hunting habits. There have been reports of the cat hunting rodents and birds at night, and also hunting domestic poultry near farms.

Pantanal cat

The Pantanal cat (Leopardus colocola braccatus) is a Pampas cat subspecies, a small wild cat native to South America. It is named after the Pantanal wetlands in central South America, where it inhabits mainly grassland, shrubland, savannas and deciduous forests.

Plectropomus

Plectropomus (coral groupers) is a genus of fishes in the Serranidae family. It currently has seven described species.

Small Cat Conservation Alliance

The Small Cat Conservation Alliance (SCCA) was founded in 1996, to address the conservation needs of small wild cats and their habitat worldwide. Small Cat Conservation Alliance seeks out local scientists and volunteers that are working to protect small cats in remote regions worldwide. They collect data that can be used to seek endangered species classification. SCCA operates in Kalimantan (Borneo), Sumatra, Chile, and China; and works with partners in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Cambodia, India, Sarawak, Suriname and Vietnam. The Small Cat Conservation is also partnered with the Wildlife Conservation Network.As at March 2019, on its website (below) the organization calls itself the Small Wild Cat Conservation Foundation.

Synodontis leopardus

Synodontis leopardus is a species of upside-down catfish native to coastal rivers of Tanzania and Somalia. This species grows to a length of 6 centimetres (2.4 in) SL.

Extant Carnivora species

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