What is the difference between the African Leopard (Panthera pardus), the Amur Leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis), the Persian Leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor) and the Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia)?
The African Leopard, Amur Leopard, Persian Leopard, and Snow Leopard are all solitary, elusive, large felines or wild cats. All of the leopards have pale-green or grey eyes.
The African Leopard and the Snow Leopard are separate species, and the Amur Leopard and Persian Leopardare subspecies of the Asian and African Leopards (Panthera pardus).
The Snow Leopard is the smallest, measuring 75-150 centimetres (30-59 inches) long. The Persian Leopard is the largest, measuring 158-168 centimetres (62-66 inches) in length. The African Leopard and the Amur Leopard are similar in size, measuring 100-125 centimetres (39-50 inches) long.
The African Leopard has the shortest tail, measuring 68-80 centimetres (27-32 inches) long. The Amur Leopard’s tail is 82-90 centimetres (32-35 inches) long. The Persian Leopard has a tail measuring about 94 centimetres (37 inches) in length. The tail of the Snow Leopard measures80-105 centimetres (31-41 inches) long.
The African Leopard and the Persian Leopard are nocturnal, active at night. The Amur Leopard is diurnal, active during the day. The Snow Leopard is crepuscular, active at dawn and dusk.
The African Leopard is from Sub-Saharan Africa; the Amur Leopard is from south-eastern Russia and northern China; the Persian Leopard is native to the Caucasus region; and the Snow Leopard is native to Asia (overlapping in some countries with the Amur Leopard and the Persian Leopard).
The African Leopard prefers deserts, rain forests and grasslands, whereas the Persian Leopards likes forests and rocky, mountainous slopes. The Amur and the Snow Leopard likes cold mountainous climates with snow.
|African Leopard||Amur Leopard||Persian Leopard||Snow Leopard|
|Location||Africa||Russia & China||Caucasus||Asia|
|Cold/Snow Mountainous||Temperate-cold Mountainous||Cold/Snow Mountainous|
|Colour||Cream-yellow fur||Pale-cream to orange-brown fur||Light cream fur||Whitish-grey fur|
|Markings||Broken rosettes with yellow-cream centre||Irregular rosettes with an orangish centre||Unbroken rosettes with a yellow-brown centre||Irregular rosettes with dark centre|
|Activity||Nocturnal (night)||Diurnal (day)||Nocturnal (night)||Crepuscular (dawn and dusk)|
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM