Similarities and Differences in Tiger Stripes: Amur, Bengal, and Sumatran Tigers

What is the difference in tiger stripes between tiger sub-species: Amur Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris), Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris), and the Sumatran Tiger (Panthera tigris sondaica)? They all belong to the Felidae family and Panthera genus.

As a form of camouflage, tigers have stripes – not to confuse their predators but to hide from their prey. Tigers like to sneak up close to their prey, hide in tall grass and trees, then pounce on their prey.

Their form of camouflage is called disruptive camouflage because the stripes are broken – short, irregular stripes. 

Amur Tiger (left), Bengal Tiger (middle), and Sumatran tiger (right)

Each tiger within each species has a unique pattern of stripes. And each of the six sub-species of tiger look different. 

The Amur Tiger (Panthera tigris tigrisor Panthera tigris altaica) is also known as the Siberian Tiger, the Manchurian Tiger, or the Korean Tiger. It is reddish-rusty brown with narrow black transverse stripes.

The Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris)has a yellow to light orange coat with stripes ranging from dark brown to black.

The Sumatran Tiger (Panthera tigris sondaica) is native to Sumatra, an island of Indonesia. It has rich, shiny orange-brown fur with broad, dark, vertical stripes. The Sumatran Tiger has narrower stripes, and more stripes, than other tigers.

Amur Tiger
Bengal Tiger
Sumatran tiger

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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