Vertebrate fauna of SE Asia


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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2022



Spotted Linsang

Family : Prionodontidae
Species : Prionodon pardicolor

Head-body length : up to 37 cm
Tail length : up to 34 cm
Weight : up to 600 grams

The Spotted Linsang occurs in a variety of habitats covering a great altitudinal range including, but not limited to, lowland forest, montane forest, secondary forest and bamboo forest. It appears to adapt well to forest edge settings.

The species is reliably recorded to occur at around 3000 metres elevation in parts of India and southern China and may possibly occur up to almost 4000 metres.

This unusual carnivoran is both terrestrial and arboreal in habits. It feeds mainly on small vertebrates, but it may scavenge at times. Sightings of the species are uncommon, but it is  increasingly detected by camera trap surveys in suitable habitat.

This species, which may weigh up to 600 grams, is somewhat smaller than its close cousin the Banded Linsang Prionodon linsang which weighs up to 800 grams. It is easily identified based on its size, with a head-body length of up to 37 cm, a tail of similar length, and a relatively small head. Its body fur is patterned with dark spots, and its tail bears numerous dark rings. Its body movement is fluid and sinuous.

The species is widely distributed, and is known to occur in parts of northern India (including  Sikkim), Bhutan, Nepal, southern China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar.

Its distribution does not overlap with that of the Banded Linsang, which is restricted to southern parts of Southeast Asia.

Figs 1 to 3 : Example from Nam Et - Phou Louey National Biodiversity Conservation Area, Houaphan Province, Laos at an elevation of 550 metres. The animal was found in low vegetation, between 1.7 and 2.5 metres above the ground. Photos thanks to Marcus Chua.

References :

Chua, M. A. H. & Lim, K. K. P. (2017). Spotted Linsang Prionodon pardicolor at Nam Et - Phou Louey National Biodiversity Conservation Area, Laos. Southeast Asia Vertebrate Records. 2017: 5-6 . [pdf]

Duckworth, J.W., Lau, M., Choudhury, A., Chutipong, W., Timmins, R.J., Willcox, D.H.A., Chan, B., Long, B. & Robertson, S. (2016). Prionodon pardicolor. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.


Fig 1
ゥ  Marcus Chua
Fig 2
ゥ  Marcus Chua
Fig 3
ゥ  Marcus Chua