|Spotted linsang range|
The spotted linsang (Prionodon pardicolor) is a linsang, a tree-dwelling carnivorous mammal, found throughout much of Southeast Asia. It is widely, though usually sparsely, recorded, and listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.
The spotted linsang resembles the banded linsang in its long, slender body, short limbs, elongated neck and head, and long tail. The ground colour ranges from dusky brown to light buff. Two long stripes extend from behind the ears to the shoulders or beyond, and two shorter stripes run along the neck. Three to four longitudinal rows of spots adorn the back, their size decreasing towards the belly. The fore legs are spotted to the paw, the hind legs to the hock. The cylindrical tail has eight or nine broad dark rings, separated by narrow white rings. The feet have five digits, and the area between the pads is covered with hair. The claws are retractile, claw sheaths are present on the fore paws, but the hind-paws have protective lobes of skin. It weighs about 1 lb (0.45 kg) and measures in length from 14–15 in (36–38 cm), and the tail 12–13 in (30–33 cm). Its height is about 5–5.5 in (13–14 cm), the girth of its chest 5.75 in (14.6 cm), and length of head to the occiput about 3 in (7.6 cm).
Distribution and habitat
The range of the spotted linsang includes eastern Nepal, Sikkim, Assam and Bengal in India, Bhutan, northeastern Myanmar, northern Thailand, Laos, northern Vietnam, and western Sichuan, Yunnan Guizhou and southwestern Guangxi in southern China. It is uncommon to rare throughout this range. It is rarely observed in northern Bengal. It primarily inhabits evergreen forests and shrubland. A large portion of this habitat is not protected, and this may cause the spotted linsang to be threatened with extinction due to habitat loss.
Ecology and behaviour
The spotted linsang is nocturnal and solitary. It uses hollows in trees as resting and denning sites. It hunts on the ground and in trees and feeds on rodents, frogs and snakes. It was also observed feeding on carcass.
The Asiatic linsangs (Prionodon) are not, as was traditionally thought, members of the Viverridae (which does include the African linsangs), and may instead be the closest living relatives of the family Felidae. They have been placed in their own family, the Prionodontidae.
- Duckworth, J.W.; Lau, M.; Choudhury, A.; Chutipong, W.; Timmins, R.J.; Willcox, D.H.A.; Chan, B.; Long, B. & Roberton, S. (2016). "Prionodon pardicolor". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2016: e.T41706A45219917. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-1.RLTS.T41706A45219917.en. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
- Wozencraft, W.C. (2005). "Order Carnivora". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 532–628. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
- Van Rompaey, H. (1995). The Spotted Linsang, Prionodon pardicolor. Small Carnivore Conservation 13: 10–13.
- Hodgson, B. H. (1847). "Observations on the manners and structure of Prionodon pardicolor". Calcutta Journal of Natural History. 8: 40–45.
- Choudhury, A. U. (1999). Conservation of small carnivores (mustelids, viverrids, herpestids and one ailurid) in north Bengal, India. Small Carnivore Conservation 20: 15–17.
- Jennings, A.P. and Veron, G. (2015). "Predicted distributions, niche comparisons, and conservation status of the spotted linsang (Prionodon pardicolor) and banded linsang (Prionodon linsang)". Mammal Research. 60 (2): 107−116.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
- Philippe Gaubert and Geraldine Veron, "Exhaustive sample set among Viverridae reveals the sister-group of felids: the linsangs as a case of extreme morphological convergence within Feliformia", The Royal Society (October 15, 2003).
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