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Oncilla Leopardus tigrina (Schreber, 1775)
Variously known as the tiger cat, little spotted cat, tigrina or the oncilla, this is one of the smallest Latin American cats. The name oncilla is Central American.

Coloured a light to rich ochre, the oncilla is marked with rows of large dark brown or black spots. These become black bordered blotches on the back. Underparts are lighter, almost white and are less spotted. Ten or eleven rings encircle the black-tipped tail.

The head is small and narrow, and the backs of the ears are black with white central spots. Those individuals which live in mountainous regions tend to be more heavily marked than the lowland animals.

Very similar to the margay, the oncilla is smaller and has a relatively shorter tail which probably reflects its less arboreal nature.

Melanistic individuals have been reported, especially from southeast Brazil.

The anterior upper premolar is minute.

Closely related to the ocelot and margay, the oncilla has only 36 chromosomes. Most of the other cats have 38. These species have all been considered to be members of the Felis genus. Wozencraft (1993) in his latest review of cat taxonomy placed them all in the genus Leopardus.

Principal Dimensions
Overall Males Females
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