Leopardus tigrinus is found primarily in South America with a small populations also occurring intermittently in Central America. It can be found as far north as. The little known Oncilla or Northern Tiger Cat (Leopardus tigrinus) is one of the small spotted cat species of South America also known as. Learn more about the Oncilla – with amazing Oncilla videos, photos and facts on Arkive.

Author: Grolkis Migul
Country: Germany
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Life
Published (Last): 17 April 2015
Pages: 26
PDF File Size: 12.45 Mb
ePub File Size: 6.67 Mb
ISBN: 910-3-83182-600-6
Downloads: 66917
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Brataur

Leopardus tigrinus is found primarily in South America with a small populations also occurring intermittently in Central America. It can be found as far north as Costa Rica and as far south as the northern tip of Argentina. Its geographic range extends throughout Brazil and the Guianas i. There is also speculation that it may be found in some parts of Nicaragua, and Panama. Oncillas, also known as little spotted cats and little tiger cats, have been recorded in elevations ranging from sea level to m.

They prefer forested habitats and are found in a wide variety of forests ecosystems, including dense tropical forests at elevations ranging from sea level to m. From to m, oncillas can be found in rainforests or humid premontane forests.

At m and above, oncillas can be found in humid montane forests that or cloud forests. Evidence suggests that they are expanding into deciduous forests and subtropical forests, and in Brazil,they have successfully populated savannas and semiarid thorny scrub as well.

Oncillas can also be found in plantations and eucalyptus monocultures. Although they are agile tree climbers, they are primarily terriculous. Oncillas are one of the smallest wild cats in South America. They range in mass from 1. Males are slightly larger than females and can weigh up to 3 kg, whereas females generally weigh between 1. Male head and body length ranges from to mm, with tail length ranging from to mm.

Oncilla – Wikipedia

Females range in length from to mm, with tail length ranging from to mm. Oncillas have short, thick fur that is light brown to grey and is spotted with rosettes that are dark brown with a black outline.

The venter is typically paler than the rest of the body, but is still marked with rosettes. The tail is lined with 7 to 13 dark rings and ends with a dark tip.

Gigrinus limbs are covered in randomly placed black spots, and the back of the ears are black with a white spot near the centre of the pinna. The eyes range from light to dark brown.

Northern tiger cat

Although melanism has been documented in this species, albinism has not. Sunquist and Sunquist, Oncillas are often mistaken for ocelots and margays. Although oncillas are smaller than both of these species, they are otherwise very similar in appearance. Oncillas are more slender with larger ears and have a more narrow muzzle then ocelots or margays.

The eyes are located more laterally than those of margays’, and oncillas have longer tails than do ocelots. In addition, the skulls of oncillas are less robust than those of margays’. The leopradus case is more narrow, the zygomatic arches are less robust, and the auditory bullae are less inflated. The dorsal profile of the average oncilla skull is also less tigrinux than that of a margay skull.


There is no information available regarding the mating tigeinus of Leopardus tigrinus lropardus the wild; however, captive individuals appear to mate with the same partner for life. Little information exists regarding the mating behavior of oncillas, and that which does exist, was recorded from observations of captive breeding pairs. Although oncillas are primarily solitary, occasionally a breeding pair may be documented. In captivity, oncillas appear to mate for life, however, this has not been confirmed for wild populations.

In the wild, males are known to be very aggressive towards females, which may suggest that oncillas are highly solitary.

Female oncillas reach sexual maturity after 2 years of age, whereas males reach sexual maturity after 18 months. Estrous lasts from 3 to 9 days and decreases in duration with age. Mating occurs during early spring and gestation lasts for approximately 75 days.

Males have no further involvement after mating. Oncillas typically give birth to 1 kitten per breeding cycle, but can have up to 3 kittens.

Neonates range in mass from 92 to g and can open their eyes between 7 and 18 days after birth. Kittens begin eating solid food 5 to 7 weeks after birth, and weaning is usually complete by 3 months of age. Teeth begin to emerge after 21 days which is later than most felines; however, teeth typically emerge all together, within a matter of hours.

Most oncillas are full grown by 11 months of age and are completely independent by 4 months of age. Most oncillas are completely weaned by 3 months of age, and young are completely independent 4 months of age. Paternal care is non-existent in this species. No further information exists regarding parental care in oncillas. Oncillas generally live for 10 to 14 years in the wild, and although they have been known to live for up to 23 years in captivity, most captive individuals live for 16 to 20 years.

Oncillas are primarily nocturnal but are occasionally seen during the day. Although they are primarily terriculous, they are well adapted for climbing. They are sometimes seen in pairs during breeding season, but are considered to be highly solitary.

In the wild, males can be extremely aggressive towards females, and it is not uncommon for this species to kill animals larger than itself. Oncilla females have a home range size of 0. Little is known about how oncillas communicate. Young oncilla kittens tend to purr, while grown oncillas have a vocalization described as a “gurgle” which is short and rhythmic. Little information exists on the feeding habits of wild oncillas; however, their primary prey likely includes birds and small mammals such as rodents.

When preying upon birds, oncillas are capable of cleaning their prey free of feathers prior to ingestion. In some regions of their geographic range, they are known to prey upon lizards. Oncillas instantly kill their prey by piercing the back of the skull and severing the the brain stem from the spinal chord. There is no information available regarding potential predators of oncillas. Oncillas are well adapted climbers and likely evade terriculous predators by hiding in the canopy.

In addition, their nocturnal nature and cryptic coloration likely reduces risk of predation as well. Although there is no information on the potential ecosystem roles filled by oncillas, as small terrestrial predators, they may help control rodent pest species.


There is no information available regarding parasites of this species. Oncillas are illegally hunted at localized points throughout their geographic range for their pelt, which is similar to that of ocelots and margays. Oncilla pelts were one of the most heavily traded cat furs between and and is occasionally traded in various domestic markets. They are also sought for illegal trade on the exotic pet market.

Oncillas are known to occasionally attack and kill poultry throughout its geographic range. Their population was significantly decreased during the ‘s and 80’s due to overhunting, and current threats include habitat loss, fragmentation, roads, illegal trade pets and peltsand retaliatory killing by poultry farmers.

From tooncillas were classified as vulnerable by the IUCN. After an 11 year period as a “near threatened” species from tooncillas began declining once again in and were subsequently reclassified as “vulnerable”. The phylogenetics of this species are not well established, and it has been suggested that populations occurring in the northern-most part of their geographic range could be a distinct species.

In birds, naked and helpless after hatching. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a now extinct synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons or periodic condition changes.

The term only applies when the distinct groups can be found in the same area; graded or clinal variation throughout the range of a species e. Polymorphic characteristics may be inherited because the differences have a genetic basis, or they may be the result of environmental influences. We do not consider sexual differences i. Polymorphism in a local population can be an adaptation to prevent density-dependent predation, where predators preferentially prey on the most common leolardus.

Epiphytes and climbing plants are also abundant. Precipitation is typically not limiting, but may be somewhat seasonal. Savannas are grasslands with scattered individual trees that do not form a closed canopy. Extensive savannas are found in parts of subtropical and tropical Africa and South America, and in Australia. A grassland with scattered trees or scattered clumps of trees, a type of community intermediate between grassland lwopardus forest. See also Tropical savanna and grassland biome.

Vegetation is made up mostly of grasses, the height and species diversity of which depend largely on the amount of moisture available.

Leopardus tigrinus

Fire and grazing are important in the long-term maintenance of grasslands. Accessed October 11, at http: Biology, Conservation, and Management. Accessed September 20, at http: Accessed October 02, at http: The mammals of Suriname. Accessed November 11, at http: Size ratios among sympatric neotropical cats. Hand-rearing the little spotted cat or oncilla Felis tigrinus. International Zoo Yearbook Accessed October 09, at http: