Asiatic linsang

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Asiatic linsang

Temporal range:

Middle Miocene-Present

Prionodon pardicolor - Kunming Natural History Museum of Zoology - DSC02486.JPG
Spotted linsang (Prionodon pardicolor)
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Prionodontidae
Horsfield, 1822 [1]
Subfamily: Prionodontinae
Gray, 1864 [2]
Genus: Prionodon
Horsfield, 1822

The Asiatic linsang (Prionodon) is a genus comprising two species native to Southeast Asia: the banded linsang (Prionodon linsang) and the spotted linsang (Prionodon pardicolor). [3] [4] Prionodon is considered a sister taxon of the Felidae. [5]



The coat pattern of the Asiatic linsang is distinct, consisting of large spots that sometimes coalesce into broad bands on the sides of the body; the tail is banded transversely. It is small in size with a head and body length ranging from 14.4 to 16.75 in (36.6 to 42.5 cm) and a 12 to 16 in (30 to 41 cm) long tail. The tail is nearly as long as the head and body, and about five or six times as long as the hind foot. The head is elongated with a narrow muzzle, rhinarium evenly convex above, with wide internarial septum, shallow infranarial portion, and philtrum narrow and grooved, the groove extending only about to the level of the lower edge of the nostrils. The delicate skull is long, low, and narrow with a well defined occipital and a strong crest, but there is no complete sagittal crest. The teeth also are more highly specialized, and show an approach to those of Felidae, although more primitive. The dental formula is The incisors form a transverse, not a curved, line; the first three upper and the four lower pre-molars are compressed and trenchant with a high, sharp, median cusp and small subsidiary cusps in front and behind it. The upper carnassial has a small inner lobe set far forwards, a small cusp in front of the main compressed, high, pointed cusp, and a compressed, blade-like posterior cusp; the upper molar is triangular, transversely set, much smaller than the upper carnassial, and much wider than it is long, so that the upper carnassial is nearly at the posterior end of the upper cheek-teeth as in Felidae. [3]


Family Prionodontidae
Prionodon Prionodon linsang - Museo Civico di Storia Naturale Giacomo Doria - Genoa, Italy - DSC02704.JPG Banded linsang (P. linsang) Hardwicke, 1821
Prionodon pardicolor - Kunming Natural History Museum of Zoology - DSC02486.JPG Spotted linsang (P. pardicolor) Hodgson, 1842

Taxonomic history

With Viverridae (morphological)

Prionodon was denominated and first described by Thomas Horsfield in 1822, based on a linsang from Java. He placed the genus under Prionodontidae, because of similarities to both genera Viverra and Felis . [1] In 1864, John Edward Gray placed the genera Prionodon and Poiana in the tribe Prionodontina, as part of Viverridae. [2] Reginald Innes Pocock initially followed Gray's classification, but the existence of scent glands in Poiana induced him provisionally to regard the latter as a specialized form of Genetta , its likeness to Prionodon being possibly adaptive. [3] Furthermore, the skeletal anatomy of Asiatic linsangs are said to be a mosaic of features of other viverrine-like mammals, with as linsangs share cranial, postcranial and dental similarities with falanoucs, African palm civet, and oyans respectively. [6]

With Felidae (molecular)

DNA analysis based on 29 species of Carnivora, comprising 13 species of Viverrinae and three species representing Paradoxurus , Paguma and Hemigalinae, confirmed Pocock's assumption that the African linsang Poiana represents the sister-group of the genus Genetta. The placement of Prionodon as the sister-group of the family Felidae is strongly supported, and it was proposed that the Asiatic linsangs be placed in the monogeneric family Prionodontidae. [7] There is a physical synapomorphy shared between felids and Prionodon in the presence of the specialized fused sacral vertebrae. [6]

The phylogenetic relationships of Asiatic linsangs is shown in the following cladogram: [8] [6] [9]



Nimravidae Dinictis Knight.jpg


Nandiniidae The carnivores of West Africa (Nandinia binotata white background).png

Viverroidea Malay Civet (Viverra tangalunga) white background.jpg





Felidae(sensu stricto) Stamp-russia2014-save-russian-cats-(snow leopard).png




 sensu lato 









Prionodon linsang (Banded linsang) Prionodon maculosus.png

Prionodon pardicolor (Spotted linsang)

 sensu stricto 
 sensu lato 
 sensu stricto 
 (Feloideasensu lato) 

Related Research Articles

Carnivora Order of mammals

Carnivora is an order of placental mammals that have specialized in primarily eating flesh. Its members are formally referred to as carnivorans, though some species are omnivorous, such as raccoons and bears, and quite a few species such as pandas are specialized herbivores. The word 'carnivore' is derived from Latin carō "flesh" and vorāre "to devour", it refers to any meat-eating organism. The order Carnivora is the fifth largest order of mammals and one of the more successful members of the group; it comprises at least 279 species living on every major landmass and in a variety of habitats, ranging the cold polar regions to the hyper-arid region of the Sahara Desert to the open seas. They come in a huge array of different body plans in contrasting shapes and sizes. The smallest carnivoran is the least weasel with a body length of about 11 cm (4.3 in) and a weight of about 25 g (0.88 oz). The largest is the southern elephant seal, with adult males weighing up to 5,000 kg (11,000 lb) and measuring up to 6.7 m (22 ft). All species of carnivorans are descended from a group of mammals which were related to today's pangolins, having appeared in North America 6 million years after the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event. These early ancestors of carnivorans would have resembled small weasel or genet-like mammals, occupying a nocturnal shift on the forest floor or in the trees, as other groups of mammals like the mesonychians and creodonts were occupying the top faunivorous niche. However, by the time Miocene epoch appeared, most if not all of the major lineages and families of carnivorans had diversified and took over this niche.

Felidae Family of mammals

Felidae is a family of mammals in the order Carnivora, colloquially referred to as cats, and constitutes a clade. A member of this family is also called a felid. The term "cat" refers both to felids in general and specifically to the domestic cat.

Viverridae family of mammals

Viverridae is a family of small to medium-sized mammals, the viverrids, comprising 15 genera, which are subdivided into 38 species. This family was named and first described by John Edward Gray in 1821. Viverrids occur all over Africa, southern Europe, and South and Southeast Asia, across the Wallace Line. Their occurrence in Sulawesi and in some of the adjoining islands shows them to be ancient inhabitants of the Old World tropics.

Asian golden cat Small wild cat

The Asian golden cat is a medium-sized wild cat native to the northeastern Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and southern China. It has been listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List since 2008, and is threatened by hunting pressure and habitat loss, since Southeast Asian forests are undergoing the world's fastest regional deforestation.

<i>Pardofelis</i> genus of mammals

Pardofelis is a genus of the cat family Felidae. This genus is defined as including one species native to Southeast Asia: the marbled cat. Two other species, formerly classified to this genus, now belong to the genus Catopuma.

Spotted linsang species of mammal

The spotted linsang is a linsang, a tree-dwelling carnivorous mammal, native to much of Southeast Asia. It is widely, though usually sparsely, recorded, and listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.

Genet (animal) genus of mammals

A genet is a member of the genus Genetta, which consists of 14 to 17 species of small African carnivorans. The common genet is the only genet present in Europe and occurs in the Iberian Peninsula and France.

Aquatic genet species of mammal

The aquatic genet is a genet that has only been recorded in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Since it is only known from about 30 specimens in zoological collections, it had been listed as Data Deficient on the IUCN Red List since 1996, as it is considered one of Africa's rarest carnivores. In 2015, it has been reassessed as Near Threatened.

Eupleridae family of carnivorans

Eupleridae is a family of carnivorans endemic to Madagascar and comprising 10 known living species in seven genera, commonly known as euplerids, Malagasy mongooses or Malagasy carnivorans. The best known species is the fossa, in the subfamily Euplerinae. All species of Euplerinae were formerly classified as viverrids, while all species in the subfamily Galidiinae were classified as herpestids.

Rusty-spotted genet species of mammal

The rusty-spotted genet, also called panther genet and large-spotted genet, is a genet that is widely distributed in sub-Saharan Africa. It is considered common and therefore listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.

Johnstons genet species of mammal

Johnston's genet is a genet species native to the Upper Guinean forests. As it is threatened by deforestation and conversion of rainforest to agriculturally and industrially used land, it is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List.

Banded linsang species of mammal

The banded linsang is a linsang, a tree-dwelling carnivorous mammal native to the Sundaic region of Southeast Asia.

Central African oyan species of mammal

The Central African oyan, also called Central African linsang, is a linsang species native to Central Africa.

Feliformia suborder of mammals in the order Carnivora

Feliformia is a suborder within the order Carnivora consisting of "cat-like" carnivorans, including cats, hyenas, mongooses, viverrids, and related taxa. Feliformia stands in contrast to the other suborder of Carnivora, Caniformia.

Viverrinae subfamily of mammals, the viverrids

The Viverrinae represent the largest subfamily within the Viverridae comprising five genera, which are subdivided into 22 species native to Africa and Southeast Asia. This subfamily was denominated and first described by John Edward Gray in 1864.

Bourlons genet species of mammal

Bourlon's genet is a genet species native to the Upper Guinean forests. It is known from only 29 zoological specimens in natural history museum and has been described as a new Genetta species in 2003. It is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List as the global population is estimated at less than 10,000 mature individuals.

<i>Poiana</i> (genus) genus of mammals

The African linsangs also known as oyans are two species classified in the mammalian subfamily Viverrinae, in the family Viverridae. There is one genus, Poiana.

Linsangs is a name applied to four species of tree-dwelling carnivorous mammals. The name of these species originated in the Javanese language as, linsang or wlinsang, and previously, was translated incorrectly in English dictionaries as, "otter". The two African species belong to the family Viverridae and the two Asiatic species belong to the family Prionodontidae. Formerly, both linsang genera were placed in the subfamily Viverrinae, along with several other genera, but recent research suggests that their relationships may be somewhat different.


  1. 1 2 Horsfield, T. (1822). Illustration of Felis gracilis in Zoological researches in Java, and the neighboring islands. Kingsbury, Parbury and Allen, London.
  2. 1 2 Gray, J. E. (1864). A revision of the genera and species of viverrine animals (Viverridae), founded on the collection in the British Museum. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London for the year 1864: 502–579.
  3. 1 2 3 Pocock, R. I. (1939). "Genus Prionodon Horsfield". The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Mammalia. – Volume 1. London: Taylor and Francis. pp. 334–342.
  4. Wozencraft, W.C. (2005). "Genus Prionodon". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 553. ISBN   978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC   62265494.
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  7. Gaubert, P. and Veron, G. (2003). "Exhaustive sample set among Viverridae reveals the sister-group of felids: the linsangs as a case of extreme morphological convergence within Feliformia". Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series B, 270 (1532): 2523–2530. doi : 10.1098/rspb.2003.2521
  8. Werdelin, L.; Yamaguchi, N.; Johnson, W. E.; O'Brien, S. J. (2010). "Phylogeny and evolution of cats (Felidae)". In Macdonald, D. W.; Loveridge, A. J. (eds.). Biology and Conservation of Wild Felids. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 59–82. ISBN   978-0-19-923445-5.
  9. Barycka, E. (2007). "Evolution and systematics of the feliform Carnivora". Mammalian Biology. 72 (5): 257–282. doi:10.1016/j.mambio.2006.10.011.