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Geoffroy's Cat Leopardus geoffroyi (d'Orbigny/Gervais, 1844)
Near Threatened
Named after the French naturalist Geoffroy St. Hilaire, Geoffroy’s cat is a small, lightly built, spotted cat which is highly variable in coloration. The northern animals are a brilliant ochre, while the southern ones are more silvery grey, known as the silver phase (Law and Boyle 1983).

The round spots may merge to form indistinct stripes. There are often several black streaks on the crown, and two on each cheek.

Ringed towards the tip, the tail is spotted near the base.

O. g. salinarum the Salt Desert cat (or gato de las salinas) of northern Argentina has very faint spots.

Males are heavier than females, in the ratio of about five to three, but they are generally about the same size as a domestic cat. The largest individuals are found near the Rio Gallegos in Patagonia.

The ears are rounded, and the backs are black with a white central spot. The skull is very short, wide and convex, with a minute anterior upper premolar.

All-black or melanistic specimens are quite common; melanism is controlled by a single dominant allele (Brooks 1992).

Long known as a member of the Felis genus it has also been placed with the ocelot as a Leopardus species. Species in the Leopardus and Oncifelis genera have only 36 chromosomes, other cats have 38 (Scheffel and Hemmer 1975). It has also been placed in the same genus (Oncifelis) as the closely related pampas cat and the kodkod (C. Wozencraft. A Taxonomy of the Felidae. Cat News 18, 1993, p. 24).

Principal Dimensions
Overall Males Females
Head and body lengths (cm) - - -
Height at shoulder (cm) - - -
Tail lengths (cm) - - -
Weight (kg) - - -
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