Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis)
Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Global. All rights reserved.
Describer (Date): Linnaeus, 1758
Species: Leopardus pardalis
Subspecies: Leopardus pardalis pardalis
Body Weight: 11-16 kg (24-35 lb)
Body Length: 70-100 cm (27.6-39.4 in)
Tail Length: 27-45 cm (10.6-17.7 in)
Pelage: Short, sleek hair. Background color varies from grayish to buff to cinnamon. Chains of black-bordered spots running along shoulders and back. Tail ringed with black or with black bars on top.
|Distribution & Status||Behavior & Ecology|
Range: Mexico, Central America, to NE Argentina, southern Brazil and Uruguay. A small population (fewer than 100 estimated) in southern Arizona and South Texas.
Habitat: Prefers dense habitat cover; sea level to about 1,200 m (3,937 ft)
IUCN Status: Least Concern; assessed in 2008
CITES Appendix: Appendix I (no commercial trade)
Population in Wild: No global estimates; local estimates available for some parts of the ocelot's range
Locomotion: Slow steady walk when hunting - 0.3 km/hr (0.2 mph); powerful climbers and adept swimmers.
Activity Cycle: Mainly a nocturnal predator but sometimes hunt in day (if prey sought is active in day).
Social Groups: Mainly solitary but independent young may associate with parents. Males and females may associate even when not breeding.
Diet: Highly adaptable generalist predator; consume small and medium-sized prey as available.
Predators: Puma, jaguar, harpy eagle, anaconda, and boa constrictor.
|Reproduction & Development||Species Highlights|
Sexual Maturity: Females can reproduce at 18-22 months; males produce sperm at 2.5 years.
Gestation: 79-85 days
Litter Size: 1-2, rarely 3 or 4
Birth weight: 250 g (8.8 oz)
Age at Weaning: May continue to nurse for 6 months; take solid food at 8 weeks.
Longevity: 7-10 years in managed care; up to 20 years in wild.
Feature Facts: Ocelots were hunted by the millions until the 1980s when
Society Press: The San Diego Zoo Global currently uses an ocelot as a leash-trained Animal Ambassador to promote conservation awareness
© 2011-2019 San Diego Zoo Global. Minor updates in April 2015. Taxonomy updated Mar 2019. Population estimates updated Apr 2019.
How to cite: Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) Fact Sheet. c2011-2019. San Diego (CA): San Diego Zoo Global; [accessed YYYY Mmm dd]. http://ielc.libguides.com/sdzg/factsheets/ocelot.
(note: replace YYYY Mmm dd with date accessed, e.g., 2015 Jan 15)
Disclaimer: Although San Diego Zoo Global makes every attempt to provide accurate information, some of the facts provided may become outdated or replaced by new research findings. Questions and comments may be addressed to email@example.com.