Leopard (Panthera pardus)
Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. All rights reserved.
Describer (Date): Linnaeus (1758)
Species: Panthera pardus
Subspecies: Panthera pardus delacourii
Male: 37-90 kg (82-198 lb)
Female: 28-60 kg (62-132 lb)
Body Length: 910-1,910 mm (3.0-6.3 ft)
Tail Length: 580-1,100 mm (1.9-3.6 ft)
Pelage: Coats variable though all with bodies spotted with rosettes, small black spots surrounding a central spot slightly darker than background color; background pale cream, buff-gray, orangish, tawny-brown, or dark rufous
|Distribution & Status||Behavior & Ecology|
Range: Widest geographic range of wild cats; over 70 countries across Africa and Eurasia; regionally extinct in many places with small population size in several subspecies (P.p. kotiya, melas, nimr, orientalis, and saxicolor)
|Locomotion: Walk while traveling, tail curved down with end turned slightly upward; body low, crouch when crossing open areas; climb well, able to carry loads heavier than own body weight up a tree; strong swimmers; capable of springing vertically
Activity Cycle: Nocturnal most often; commonly hunt and travel at night; rest on the ground under cover or in trees; human activity may influence patterns of activity
Social Groups: Solitary most often, except when mating or raising cubs
Diet: Described by many as a catholic diet, take a wide variety of prey items; >90 spp. in sub-Saharan Africa alone; typically large to medium sized ungulates; eat primates commonly in some African regions; often scavenge
Predators: Lions, spotted hyena, African wild dog, African rock python, Nile crocodile, tiger, gray wolf, dhole; primarily target cubs
|Reproduction & Development||Species Highlights|
|Sexual Maturity: 24-28 months for both males and females, reproduction uncommon prior to 33-36 months
Gestation: 90-106 days; interbirth interval 14-39 months
Litter Size: Range 1-3; 2 typical; maximum litter of 6 recorded for a captive female
Birth weight: 430-1000 g (15-35 oz), in managed care
Age at Weaning: c. 100 days
Typical Life Expectancy:
Wild populations: needs more research
Managed care: Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) median life expectancy of about 18 years.
© 2014-2018 San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. Minor updates October 2014. IUCN Status updated 2018 Jul 04. Amur leopard and North China leopard population estimates updated July 2018.
How to cite: Leopard (Panthera pardus) Fact Sheet. c2014-2018. San Diego (CA): San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance; [accessed YYYY Mmm dd]. http://ielc.libguides.com/sdzg/factsheets/ leopard.
(note: replace YYYY Mmm dd with date accessed, e.g., 2014 Sep 15)
Disclaimer: Although San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.