Leopardus guttulus

Leopardus guttulus, the southern tiger cat or southern tigrina, is a wild cat species native to Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay.[1]

Southern tiger cat
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Feliformia
Family: Felidae
Subfamily: Felinae
Genus: Leopardus
L. guttulus
Binomial name
Leopardus guttulus
(Hensel, 1872)
Leopardus guttulus range map
Range of Leopardus guttulus


Felis guttula was the scientific name used in 1872 by Hensel when he described a tiger cat from the jungles of the Rio Grande do Sul in southern Brazil.[2]

It was long considered to be a subspecies of the oncilla Leopardus tigrinus.[3] It was recognized as a distinct species in 2013.[4]

It is closely related to Geoffroy's cat L. geoffroyi, with which it reportedly interbreeds in southern Brazil.[5][6]


The small neotropical cat has a yellowish-ocre coat patterned with open black rosettes. Physically, the southern tigrina can be distinguished from the oncilla by its slightly darker background coloring, larger rosette pattern, and slightly shorter tail. However, it is extremely difficult to distinguish between the two species by appearance alone, since more genetic variation tends to occur within each species than between the two species.[4] An adult southern tigrina weighs anywhere between 1.9 and 2.4 kg (4.2 and 5.3 lb).[7]

Distribution and habitat

The southern tigrina occurs from central to southern Brazil in Minas Gerais and Goiás states, in the Atlantic forest, eastern Paraguay and northeastern Argentina below elevations of 2,000 m (6,600 ft). The population is roughly estimated to comprise around 6,000 mature individuals.[1] It inhabits dense tropical and subtropical rainforests, deciduous and mixed pine forests, open savannahs, and beach vegetation.[8]

At the margins of its range, the southern tigrina interbreeds with Geoffroy’s cats, L. geoffroyi, but it does not appear to interbreed with the oncilla population in northeastern Brazil, which in contrast has a history of interbreeding with L. colocolo. Because of habitat differentiation, interbreeding does not occur between oncilla and southern tigrina. In contrast, hybridization and introgression occurs between southern tigrina and Geoffroy’s cat at their contact zone in southern Brazil. Many southern tigrinas and Geoffrey’s cats are thought to be partial hybrids, because of the high level of interbreeding that is occurring.[4]

Behaviour and ecology

The southern tigrina preys mostly on small mammals, birds and lizards. Average prey weighs less than 100 g (0.22 lb), but also includes larger sized prey up to 1 kg (2.2 lb).[9][4]

The southern tigrina often inhabits the same habitat as the ocelot. In areas with a high ocelot concentration, the southern tigrina populations are smaller, due to competition. When ocelots are scarce, it allows for smaller cat species, such as the southern tigrina, to have better opportunities for shelters, food, and territory, which therefore allows for a larger population size and density of southern tigrina. This phenomenon is called the ocelot effect.[10]

In 2015, two juvenile southern tigrinas were recorded for the first time in the Atlantic forest while learning hunting skills and capturing a cavy. The mother plays an important role in teaching her cubs how to hunt and survive in the wild.[11]


During the fur trade, the southern tigrina was heavily exploited. Today, the biggest threats of the southern tigrina include habitat loss and deforestation, hunting from local people, road kills, diseases spread from domestic dogs, and the use of rodent poisoning.[1]


The southern tigrina occurs in protected areas, but probably at low densities. Currently, a push is on to better understand the biodiversity, ecology, evolution, and genetics of the southern tigrina to orchestrate a more effective conservation strategy for the species. In addition, further research is being conducted to better understand the special differences between oncilla and southern tigrina. Hunting is banned in Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay.[1]


A demographic expansion following the last glacial maximum (20,000 years ago) is thought to have led to the allopatric speciation of the southern tigrina.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e de Oliveira, T.; Trigo, T.; Tortato, M.; Paviolo, A; Bianchi, R.; & Leite-Pitman, M. R. P. (2016). "Leopardus guttulus". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2016: e.T54010476A54010576. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-2.RLTS.T54010476A54010576.en. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  2. ^ Hensel, R. (1872). "Beiträge zur Kenntniss der Säugethiere Süd-Brasiliens". Physikalische Abhandlungen der Königlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin (1873): 1−130.
  3. ^ Wozencraft, W.C. (2005). "Species Leopardus tigrinus". 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.
  4. ^ a b c d e Trigo, T. C.; Schneider, A.; de Oliveira, T. G.; Lehugeur, L. M.; Silveira, L.; Freitas, T. R. O.; Eizirik, E. (2013). "Molecular Data Reveal Complex Hybridization and a Cryptic Species of Neotropical Wild Cat". Current Biology. 23: 2528–2533. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2013.10.046. PMID 24291091.
  5. ^ Trigo, T. C.; Tirelli, F. P.; de Freitas, T. R. O. and Eizirik, E. (2014). "Comparative Assessment of Genetic and Morphological Variation at an Extensive Hybrid Zone between Two Wild Cats in Southern Brazil". PLoS One. 9 (9): e108469. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0108469.
  6. ^ Kasper, C. B.; Peters, F. B.; Christoff, A. U. and de Freitas, T. R. O. (2016). "Trophic relationships of sympatric small carnivores in fragmented landscapes of southern Brazil: niche overlap and potential for competition". Mammalia. 80 (2): 143−152.
  7. ^ Rinaldi, A.R.; Rodriguez, F.H.; de Carvalho, A.L.; de Camargo Passos, F. (2015). "Feeding of small Neotropical felids (Felidae: Carnivora) and trophic niche overlap in anthropized mosaic landscape of South Brazil". Biotemas 28 (4): 155−168.
  8. ^ Oliveira, T.G. de, Kasper, C.B., Tortato, M.A., Marques, R.V., Mazim, F.D. and Soares, J.B.G. (2008). "Aspectos ecológicos de Leopardus tigrinus e outros felinos de pequeno-médio porte no Brasil". In T.G. de Oliveira. Plano de ação para conservação de Leopardus tigrinus no Brasil. Atibaia, SP, Brazil: Instituto Pró-Carnívoros, Fundo Nacional do Meio Ambiente. pp. 37−105.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  9. ^ Facure-Giaretta, K.G. (2002). Ecologia alimentar de duas espécies de felinos do gênero Leopardus em uma floresta secundária no sudeste do Brasil. PhD thesis. Universidade Estadual de Campinas.
  10. ^ de Oliveira, T.G., Tortato, M.A., Silveira, L., Kasper, C.B., Mazim, F.D., Lucherini, M., Jácomo, A.T., Soares, J.B.G., Marques, R.V. and Sunquist, M. (2010). "Ocelot ecology and its effect on the small-felid guild in the lowland neotropics". Biology and conservation of wild felids: 559−580.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  11. ^ Bogoni, J. A.; Graipel, M. E.; de Castilho, P. V.; Peroni, N. (2017). "Development of predatory behaviours in young southern tigrinas (Leopardus guttulus)" (PDF). Mammalia. 81 (4): 421−424.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)

External links


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.

IUCN Red List vulnerable species (Animalia)

In August 2018, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species identified 6086 Vulnerable species, subspecies and varieties, stocks and sub-populations in the Animalia kingdom.


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

List of felids

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 or feline. The term "cat" refers both to felids in general and specifically to domestic cats. 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.Felidae comprises two subfamilies, the Pantherinae and the Felinae. The former includes the five Panthera species tiger, lion, jaguar, leopard, and snow leopard, as well as the two Neofelis species clouded leopard and Sunda clouded leopard. The Felinae subfamily includes 12 genera and 34 species, such as the bobcat, caracal, cheetah, cougar, ocelot, and common domestic cat.Traditionally, five subfamilies have been distinguished within the Felidae based on phenotypical features: the Felinae, the Pantherinae, the Acinonychinae (cheetahs), the extinct Machairodontinae, and the extinct Proailurinae. Molecular phylogenetic analysis suggests that living (extant) felids fall into eight lineages (clades). The placement of the cheetah within the Puma lineage invalidates the traditional subfamily Acinonychinae, and recent sources use only two subfamilies for extant genera. The number of accepted species in Felidae has been around 40 since the 18th century, though research, especially modern molecular phylogenetic analysis, has over time adjusted the generally accepted genera as well as the divisions between recognized subspecies, species, and population groups. In addition to the extant species listed here, over 30 fossil genera have been described; these are divided into the Felinae, Pantherinae, Proailurinae, and Machairodontinae subfamilies. This final subfamily includes the Smilodon genus, known as the "saber-toothed tiger", which went extinct around 10,000 years ago. The earliest known felid genus is the Proailurus, part of Proailurinae, which lived approximately 25 million years ago.

List of mammals of South America

This is a list of the native wild mammal species recorded in South America. South America's terrestrial mammals fall into three distinct groups: 'old-timers', African immigrants and recent North American immigrants. The marsupials and xenarthrans are 'old-timers', their ancestors having been present on the continent since at least the very early Cenozoic Era. During the early Cenozoic, South America's only land connection was to Antarctica, so it was effectively cut off from most of the world; as the fragments of Gondwana continued to separate, this connection was lost, leaving South America an island continent. Caviomorph rodents and monkeys arrived as 'waif dispersers' by rafting across the Atlantic from Africa in the Eocene epoch, 35 million or more years ago. All the remaining nonflying mammals of South America are recent arrivals, having migrated from North America via Central America during the past seven million years as part of the Great American Interchange; this invasion, which peaked around three million years ago, was made possible when the formation of the volcanic Isthmus of Panama bridged North and South America. The newcomers out-competed and drove to extinction many unique mammals that had evolved during South America's long period of isolation, as well as some species from other classes (e.g., terror birds).South America suffered another major loss of mammal species in the Quaternary extinction event, which started around 12500 cal BP, at roughly the time of arrival of Paleoindians, and may have lasted up to several thousand years. At least 37 genera of mammals were eliminated, including most of the megafauna. While South America currently has no megaherbivore species weighing more than 1000 kg, prior to this event it had a menagerie of about 25 of them (consisting of gomphotheres, camelids, ground sloths, glyptodonts, and toxodontids – 75% of these being 'old-timers'), dwarfing Africa's present and recent total of 6.Anthropogenic climate change and the damage to its ecosystems resulting from the rapid recent growth of the human population pose a further threat to South America's biodiversity.

The list consists of those species found in the nations or overseas territories of continental South America (including their island possessions, such as the Galápagos), as well as in Trinidad and Tobago and the Falkland Islands; Panama is not included. As of May 2012, the list contains 1331 species, 340 genera, 62 families and 15 orders. Of the taxa from nonflying, nonmarine groups (992 species, 230 genera, 40 families and 12 orders), 'old-timers' comprise 14% of species, 15% of genera, 20% of families and 42% of orders; African immigrants make up 38% of species, 30% of genera, 40% of families and 17% of orders; North American invaders constitute 49% of species 55% of genera, 40% of families and 50% of orders. At the order level, the 'old-timers' are overrepresented because of their ancient local origins, while the African immigrants are underrepresented because of their 'sweepstakes' mode of dispersal.

Of the species, 9 are extinct, 29 are critically endangered, 64 are endangered, 111 are vulnerable, 64 are near-threatened, and 255 are data-deficient. Mammal species presumed extinct since AD 1500 (nine or ten cases) are included. Domestic species (e.g., the guinea pig, alpaca, and llama) and introduced species are not listed.

NOTE: this list is inevitably going to be incomplete, since new species are continually being recognized via discovery or reclassification. Places to check for missing species include the Wikipedia missing mammal species list, including recently removed entries, and the species listings in the articles for mammalian genera, especially those of small mammals such as rodents or bats.

The following tags are used to highlight each species' conservation status as assessed by the IUCN; those on the left are used here, those in the second column in some other articles:

The IUCN status of all listed species except bats was last updated during the period from March to June 2009; bats were updated in September 2009.

List of species in order Carnivora

This list contains the species in order Carnivora.

List of threatened mammals of Brazil

There are more than 700 species of mammals in Brazil, and according to Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation and Ministry of the Environment, about 110 species and subspecies are threatened and one is extinct. Brazilian definition of "threatened species" uses the same criteria and categories established by IUCN. Among the 12 mammal orders which occur in Brazil, eleven have threatened species, except Lagomorpha (which has only one species in Brazil, the Brazilian cottontail). Although the rodents have been the most diverse order of mammals, the order with most species on list is Primates (34 species).The actual list of threatened species was published in Diário Oficial da União, on December 17, 2014. Even though some species have been removed from the list, (for instance, the Humpback whale), the number of threatened species has increased in comparison with the former list (which had had 69 species). The Brazilian tapir, the White-lipped peccary, the Short-eared dog and many rodents have been included in the list. Many of them are just regionally threatened. In spite of using the same criteria, ICMBio list often shows a different conservation status than IUCN. That's because both assessments have been done in different moments and by different researchers.Most of Brazilian mammals are vulnerable species. In contrast with the former list, one species is considered extinct (Vespucci's rodent) and two might be extinct in Brazil (Black-shouldered opossum and Candango mouse; "probably extinct" - PEx).


Tigrina is a common name for several felines and may refer to:

Leopardus guttulus, the southern tigrina

Leopardus tigrinus, the tigrina or oncilla

Extant Carnivora species

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