The West African oyan (Poiana leightoni), also known as the West African linsang, is a linsang species native to the Upper Guinean forests in West Africa. It is one of the least known small carnivores in Africa.
|West African oyan|
|Distribution of Leighton's linsang|
The West African oyan’s body is slender and long, with an elongated head and a pointed muzzle. Its fur is yellowish to reddish brown with dark oval shaped spots on the neck, and small spots on the back and legs. Its throat, chest and belly are lighter in colour and without spots. Its tail has 10 to 12 dark rings. Its body is 30–38 cm (12–15 in) long, with a 35–40 cm (14–16 in) long tail.
The West African oyan inhabits the canopy of tropical forests in West Africa. Two known records in the Ivory Coast date to the 1960s and 1970s. In Liberia, it was recorded in ten localities between the 1960s and late 1980s. Its presence in Sierra Leone and Guinea is uncertain.
The West African oyan was first described in 1907 by Reginald Innes Pocock based on a zoological specimen collected in Liberia. Pocock considered it a subspecies of the Central African oyan. Since 1974, it is regarded as a distinct species.
Alexander's kusimanse (Crossarchus alexandri) is a genus of mongoose found in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda.This species has a body length of 30 to 45 centimeters (12 to 18 inches) and weighs between 0.45 and 1.4 kg (0.99 and 3.09 lb). Its tail measures 15 and 25 centimeters (5.9 and 9.8 inches) in length.
It is known to share range with the Angolan kusimanse (Crossarchus ansorgei). It feeds on grubs, small rodents, small reptiles, crabs, and some fruits. It can produce 2 to 3 litters (2 to 4 young per litter) of young each year after a gestation period of 8 weeks. The young wean at 3 weeks old and reach sexual maturity at 9 months old.Angolan kusimanse
The Angolan kusimanse (Crossarchus ansorgei), also known as Ansorge's kusimanse, is a species of small mongoose. There are two recognized subspecies: C. a. ansorgei, found in Angola; and C. a. nigricolor, found in DR Congo, which do not have overlapping ranges. It prefers rainforest type habitat, and avoids regions inhabited by humans. It grows to 12–18 inches in length, with a 6–10 inch long tail, and weighs 1–3 lb. Little is known about this species of kusimanse, and there are no estimates of its wild population numbers or status.
Until 1984, the species was only known from two specimens from Baringa but are now thought to be quite common in some regions. Threats are probably habitat loss and bushmeat hunting. However, this species is protected by Salonga National Park.Arctocephalus
The genus Arctocephalus consists of fur seals. Arctocephalus translates to "bear head."Asiatic linsang
The Asiatic linsang (Prionodon) is a genus comprising two species native to Southeast Asia: the banded linsang (Prionodon linsang) and the spotted linsang (Prionodon pardicolor). Prionodon is considered a sister taxon of the Felidae.Crossarchus
Crossarchus is a genus of mongoose, commonly referred to as kusimanse (often cusimanse), mangue, or dwarf mongoose. Of three subfamilies of Herpestidae (Herpestinae, Mungotinae and Galidiinae), dwarf mongooses belong to Herpestinae or Mungotinae, which are small, highly social mongooses.Euplerinae
Euplerinae, more commonly known as malagasy civets, is a subfamily of carnivorans that includes four species restricted to Madagascar. Together with the subfamily Galidiinae, which also only occurs on Madagascar, it forms the family Eupleridae. Members of this subfamily, which include the fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox), falanoucs (Eupleres goudotii and Eupleres major) and Malagasy civet (Fossa fossana), were placed in families like Felidae and Viverridae before genetic data indicated their consanguinity with other Madagascar carnivorans. Within the subfamily, the falanouc and Malagasy civet are more closely related to each other than to the fossa.Giant forest genet
The giant forest genet (Genetta victoriae), also known as the giant genet, is a genet species endemic to the Congo Basin. As it is considered as widely distributed and common, it is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.Ictonyx
Ictonyx is a genus in the family Mustelidae (weasels). It contains two species :
Saharan striped polecat (Ictonyx libycus)
Striped polecat (Ictonyx striatus)Lontra
Lontra is a genus of otters from the Americas.Lutrogale
Lutrogale is a genus of otters, with only one extant species—the smooth-coated otter.Mustelinae
Mustelinae is a subfamily of family Mustelidae, which includes weasels, ferrets amd minks.It was formerly defined in a paraphyletic manner to also include wolverines, martens, and many other mustelids, to the exclusion of the otters (Lutrinae).Nyctereutes
Nyctereutes is an Old World genus of the family Canidae, consisting of just one living species, the raccoon dog of East Asia. Nyctereutes appeared about 9.0 million years ago (Mya), with all but one species becoming extinct before the Pleistocene.
Native to East Asia, the raccoon dog has been intensively bred for fur in Europe and especially in Russia during the twentieth century. Specimens have escaped or have been introduced to increase production and formed populations in Eastern Europe. It is currently expanding rapidly in the rest of Europe, where its presence is undesirable because it is considered to be a harmful and invasive species.Paradoxurus
Paradoxurus is a genus within the viverrid family that was denominated and first described by Frédéric Cuvier in 1822. As of 2005, this genus was defined as comprising three species native to Southeast Asia:
the Asian palm civet (P. hermaphroditus)
the golden palm civet (P. zeylonensis)
the brown palm civet (P. jerdoni)In 2009, it was proposed to also include the golden wet-zone palm civet (P. aureus), the Sri Lankan brown palm civet (P. montanus) and the golden dry-zone palm civet (P. stenocephalus), which are endemic to Sri Lanka.Pardine genet
The pardine genet (Genetta pardina), also known as the West African large spotted genet, is a genet species living in West Africa. As it is widely distributed and common, it is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.Patagonian weasel
The Patagonian weasel (Lyncodon patagonicus) is a small mustelid that is the only member of the genus Lyncodon. Its geographic range is the Pampas of western Argentina and sections of Chile. An early mention of the animal is in the Journal of Syms Covington, who sailed with Charles Darwin on his epic voyage aboard HMS Beagle.Poiana (genus)
The African linsangs also known as oyans are two species classified in the mammalian subfamily Viverrinae, in the family Viverridae. There is one genus, Poiana.
Both linsang genera (Poiana and the Asian Prionodon) were formerly placed in the subfamily Viverrinae (of Viverridae), along with several other genera, but recent research suggests that their actual relationships may be somewhat different. The linsangs are remarkable for their morphological resemblance to cats, family Felidae, which is greater than in the other viverrids. As the relationship between linsangs and cats was thought to be rather distant (the two groups belonging to different families within the superfamily Feliformia), this was considered an example of convergent evolution. However, DNA analysis indicates that while the African linsangs (Poiana) are true viverrids closely related to the genets, the Asiatic linsangs (Prionodon) are not and may instead be the closest living relatives of the family Felidae. The similarities between Asiatic linsangs and cats are thus more likely to be due to common ancestry, while the similarities between the two genera of linsangs must be convergent.
The name linsang is from Javanese linsang or wlinsang, which used to be wrongly translated as "otter" in English dictionaries. Linsangs are nocturnal, generally solitary tree dwellers. They are carnivorous, eating squirrels and other rodents, small birds, lizards and insects. Typical size is a little over 30 cm (1 foot), with a tail that more than doubles that length. Bodies are long, with short legs, giving a low appearance. Both species have yellowish bodies with black markings (stripes, blotches and spots), though the distribution and nature of the markings varies between the two species.
The species of African linsangs are:
Poiana leightoni - West African oyan
Poiana richardsonii - Central African oyanViverridae
Viverridae is a family of small to medium-sized mammals, the viverrids (), comprising 15 genera, which are subdivided into 38 species. This family was named and first described by John Edward Gray in 1821. Members of this family are commonly called civets or genets. Viverrids are found in South and Southeast Asia, across the Wallace Line, all over Africa, and into southern Europe. Their occurrence in Sulawesi and in some of the adjoining islands shows them to be ancient inhabitants of the Old World tropics.Viverrinae
The Viverrinae represent the largest subfamily within the Viverridae comprising five genera, which are subdivided into 22 species native to Africa and Southeast Asia. This subfamily was denominated and first described by John Edward Gray in 1864.
Extant Carnivora species