Paradoxurus aureus, the golden palm civet, also called golden paradoxurus and golden wet-zone palm civet is a viverrid species native to Sri Lanka where it is known as පැනි කලවැද්දා in Sinhala. It was first described by Frédéric Cuvier in 1822.
The head and body length of the golden palm civet is is 55cm, and its tail measures 40-50cm.
Uniform reddish gold to golden brown upperparts. Adults are red-gold to golden brown, with no special markings. The underside is paler gold. It has moderately soft fur, which can be glossy and densely covered throughout the body and tail. Tail tip can be white or pale brown. As other viverrids, ears are prominent, rounded and edges with hairless. Eyes are larger due to nocturnal habit, and are with vertical pupils.
It is found in forest, the foothills and the areas in between and possibly the cloud forest in the Central Highlands, Namunukula, and the Knuckles Mountain Range (Dumbara). Paradoxurus aureus was formerly considered synonymous with Paradoxurus zeylonensis, but is now considered a distinct species.
Initially, all three endemic civet species in Sri Lanka was considered as a single species. But recent phylogenetic experiments, genetic makeup and morphogenetics, single species Paradoxurus aureus was split into three separate species in th same genus Paradoxurus. The other two endemic species are Paradoxurus montanus and Paradoxurus stenocephalus.
- Groves, C. P., Rajapaksha, C., Mamemandra-Arachchi, K. (2009). "The taxonomy of the endemic golden palm civet of Sri Lanka". Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 155: 238–251. doi:10.1111/j.1096-3642.2008.00451.x.
- Cuvier, F. (1822). Du genre Paradxure et de deux espèces nouvelles qui s’y rapportent. Mémoires du Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle Paris 9: 41–48.
- Cuvier, G., Griffith, E. (1827). The animal kingdom arranged in conformity with its organization with supplementary additions to each order. Volume 2. G.B. Whittaker, London.
- Yapa, A.; Ratnavira, G. (2013). Mammals of Sri Lanka. Colombo: Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka. p. 1012. ISBN 978-955-8576-32-8.