The Leopardus genus of small South American spotted cats contains seven species in total. Three of them that are the most difficult to tell apart are the Ocelot, Margay and Oncilla.

Leopardus pardalis
Leopardus wiedii
Leopardus tigrinus
Ocelot-in-jungle-habitat Margay-in-a-treeOncilla-resting-in-a-tree

-colour varies from white to tawny, red or grey
-richly marked with open blotches, streaks and rosettes with russet-brown centres
-spots on the shoulders and back merge to form four or five dark stripes running along the sides
-throat and belly white
-fur is short and close, turns forward on the back of the neck

-colour varies from yellowish brown to clay brown
-pale centered black-ringed rosettes or spots in longitudinal bands
-throat and belly white or buff
-fur is medium length, thick and plush, turns forward on the back of the neck

-colour varies from light brown to rich ochre or grey
-black or dark brown spots; also pale-centered rosettes
-belly fur covered in dark spots
-fur is firm, lies close to the skin and does not turn forward on neck

-medium cat 8-10 kg
-large head with two black cheek stripes on each side surrounding a whitish area
-irises brown or golden
-ears black on the back with white central spots
-short, stout legs with large feet
-relatively short tail is ringed or barred with black on the upper side, whitish underneath and black tipped


-small cat 2-5 kg
-short rounded head with two dark cheek stripes on each side of the face
-irises very large and dark brown
-ears black on the back with white central spots
-long, bushy tail about 70% of head-body length, with 10-12 dark rings and a black tip

-small cat 1.5-3 kg
-narrow head with a white line above the eyes, narrow muzzle
-irises golden or light brown
-large ears black on the back with white central spots
-tail has spots at the root which develop into 7-13 irregular rings and a black tip; about half the length of the body

-wide variety of habitats; evergreen, tropical and subtropical forest, mangroves, savanna, caatinga, chaco
-not seen in completely open areas
-prefers riverine habitats

-forests of all kinds; primary, tropical evergreen, montane cloud, wet swampy savannahs, gallery forests.
-restricted to thick forest and will not cross open areas

-wide variety of habitats; forests, semi-arid thorny scrub, coastal scrub beach vegetation
-inhabits degraded areas near agriculture



Other Names

Ozelot, tigrillo, ocelote, gato onza, tirica, gato onza, cunaguaro, tigrezillo, gato bueno, maracaju-acu, gato mourisco, jaguatirica, gato maracaja, manigordo, yagua-tirica, gato tigre, tigre chico, tigrillo
Other Names

Tigrillo, gato tigre, gato pintado, tigrillito, gato montes, gato de monte, gato maracaja mirim peludo, pichigueta, caucel, burricon, mbaracaya, kuichua, chulul, huamburushu, cunaguaro
Other Names

Little tiger cat, little spotted cat, tigrillo, tirica, gato tigre, gato do mato, chivi, tigrillo peludo, tigre gallinero, tigrillo chico, tigrito
Ocelot Fact SheetMargay Fact SheetOncilla Fact Sheet

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