Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals
Search the Archive

  Carnivora · Felidae · Leopardus pardalis
   Smithsonian Institution
   Copyright Notice
   Privacy Notice
Leopardus pardalis


Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae

Image of Leopardus pardalis
Click to enlarge. (91 kb)

Conservation Status: Least Concern. The species is very stable in Central and South America but is disappearing from its usual habitats in Texas and much of Mexico.

Ocelots occur in a wide range of habitats, from rain forest to savanna to dry, scrubby terrain, at mid- to low elevations from Texas and Arizona to northern Argentina. They are feed on small mammals, and also frequently include birds, reptiles, amphibians, and insects in their diet. Some also take domestic poultry. Males occupy territories of 4-18 square km that may encompass the territories of one or more females, who use home ranges of 2-11 square km. Ocelots have litters of 1, 2, or occasionally 3 kittens, and raise them in a den. The den can be a bare area in a dense thicket, a hollow tree, or a cave. The young are born fully furred, but with their eyes closed. When they are about a year old, males disperse to lead solitary lives. Young females, who are sexually mature at about 15-22 months of age, often settle on or near their mother's territory. Ocelots are threatened by habitat loss and hunting for the fur trade.

Also known as:
Ocelote, Tigrillo

Average: 1,078 mm males; 1,022 mm females
Range: 950-1,367 mm males; 920-1,209 mm females

Average: 10 kg males; 8.8 kg females
Range: 7-14.5 kg males; 7-10.8 kg females


Linnaeus, C., 1758.  Systema Naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classis, ordines, genera, species cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis, Tenth Edition, Laurentii Salvii, Stockholm, 1:42, 824 pp.


Mammal Species of the World

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account

Distribution of Leopardus pardalis

Image of Leopardus pardalis
Leopardus pardalis (Ocelot), Peru
Click to enlarge. (457kb)

Image of Leopardus pardalis
Leopardus pardalis (Ocelot), Peru
Click to enlarge. (438kb)

Image of Leopardus pardalis
Click to enlarge. (67kb)