Felid hybrid

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There are a number of hybrids between various felid species. This article deals with hybrids between the smaller felid species and those between smaller felids and Panthera species. For hybrids between two Panthera species (lions, tigers, jaguars and leopards) see Panthera hybrid.


[edit] Caraval

A caraval or cara-serval is a hybrid between a male caracal (Caracal caracal) and a female serval (Leptailurus serval). The offspring have the tawny background color of a caracal combined with the black spotting of the serval. Female caravals are fertile and can be mated to a male caracal (the offspring are car-caravals and resemble caracals) or a male serval (the offspring are ser-caravals and resemble servals). They have been bred for the pet market.

[edit] Servical

A servical is a cross between a male serval and a female caracal. The first servicals were bred accidentally when the two animals were housed together in Los Angeles Zoo. The offspring were tawny with pale spots. If a female servical is cross to a male caracal the result is a car-servical; if she is crossed to a male serval the result is a ser-servical.

[edit] Margay/Oncilla Hybrid

There were attempts to breed the Oncilla or Little Spotted Cat (Leopardus tigrinus) with the Margay (Leopardus wiedii) by Dutch breeder Mme Falken-Rohrle in the 1950s. These appear to have been unsuccessful.

[edit] Marlot

The Marlot is a hybrid between a male margay and female ocelot (Leopardus pardalis). In May 1977, the Long Island Ocelot Club (LIOC) announced the birth of a marlot bred by Barbara Brocks using captive-bred parents. There was no description of the marlot, but the parent species both have a rosetted or marbled pattern on a sandy background.

[edit] Blynx (Lynxcat)

The Blynx or Lynxcat is a hybrid of bobcat (Lynx rufus) and one or other species of Lynx. The appearance of the offspring depends on which lynx species is used, as the European (Spanish) Lynx (Lynx pardinus) is more heavily spotted than Canadian lynx (Lynx canadensis) or Eurasian lynxes (Lynx lynx). These hybrids have been bred in captivity and also occur naturally where a lynx or bobcat cannot find a member of its own species to mate with.

In August 2003, two natural hybrids between wild Canadian lynx and bobcats were confirmed by DNA analysis in the Moosehead region of Maine, USA. Three hybrids were identified in northeastern Minnesota. These were the first confirmed hybrids outside of captivity. Mitochondrial DNA studies showed them all to be the result of matings between female lynx and male bobcats. A male lynx-bobcat hybrid was trapped in 1998, radio-collared and released only to die of starvation (possibly the radio collar hindered its hunting). The female hybrid was fertile. In November 2003, a spotted lynxcat was observed in Illinois, 500 miles from normal lynx territory but may have been an escaped hybrid pet.

The hybrids closely resembled bobcats with larger bodies and smaller feet, but had some lynx-like features: long ear tufts and an almost completely black-tipped tail. The Canadian lynx is a protected species in 14 US states constituting the southern part of its historic range, but the hybrids are not protected and are shot by hunters. Some of the odd-looking cats may be colour morphs of either bobcat or lynx rather than hybrids. This poses the danger that protected lynx are being killed.

[edit] Euro-Chaus

The Euro-Chaus is a man-made hybrid between the European Wildcat (F. silvestris) and the Swamp Cat or Jungle cat (F. chaus). It should not be confused with the Euro-Chausie which is a cross between the domestic Chausie breed and a European Wildcat.

[edit] Jungle Lynx

A hybrid between the Jungle Cat and Bobcat, bred as an exotic pet (later generations include domestic genes as they may be crossed to Savannah, Egyptian Mau, Serengeti, Desert Lynx and Pixie Bob domestic breeds).

[edit] Ocelot-Puma Hybrids

The puma (Puma concolor) has 38 chromosomes, whereas the ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) has only 36 chromosomes. Nevertheless, ocelot-puma hybrids were reported by G Dubost & J Royere in 1993 in "Zoo Biology 12". The parents were a captive male ocelot and a captive female puma sharing an enclosure in a private collection in French Guiana. They had shared their enclosure since 1986 and had been raised together. The ocelot is one third the size of the puma, but the pair produced four litters of hybrid offspring between 1990 and 1992 and possibly an earlier litter in 1989.

In September 1989, the 3.5 year old puma appeared to be pregnant, but was assumed to have miscarried. In May 1990 she gave birth to 3 hybrid cubs (2 males, 1 female) which all died within a day due to lack of maternal care. In October 1990 she produced 2 cubs (1 male, 1 female) which were hand-reared, but all died between 5 and 12 days old due to lack of suitable milk formula. In 1991 3 female hybrid cubs were born, but failed to survive. In 1992, a fourth litter was born, but were eaten by the mother (probably the fate of the 1989 litter).

The body size of the cubs was intermediate between puma cubs and ocelot cubs. Their spot patterns bore more resemblance to the ocelot than to the juvenile pattern of a puma. The markings were similar to that of an ocelot but with less continuous on the back and with less pronounced throat/belly markings The backs of their legs were darker and unspotted (a puma-like trait) and they had ringed tails.

A subsequent cub born in French Guiana apparently survived. The adult female ocelot/puma hybrid is shown at L'Ocelot-Puma

[edit] Domestic Cat Hybrids

The domestic cat (F. silvestris catus) has been hybridised with several wild species. These are sometimes called Feral Domestic Hybrids. This is a misnomer because feral means a domesticated animal that has reverted to the wild state. The correct term is wild domestic hybrids.

Known hybrids:

  • Bristol (domestic cat with Margay)
  • Bengal (domestic cat with Asian Leopard Cat (Prionailurus bengalensis))
  • Savannah (domestic cat with Serval)
  • Chausie, Stone Cougar (domestic cat with Jungle Cat)
  • Ussuri (domestic cat with Amur subspecies of Asian Leopard Cat)
  • Safari (domestic cat with Geoffroy's Cat (Leopardus geoffroyii))
  • Punjabi (domestic cat with Indian supspecies of F. silvestris)
  • Domestic cat with Caracal (accidental, Moscow Zoo, 1998)
  • Domestic cat with Oncilla (Little Spotted Cat/Tiger Cat)
  • Domestic cat with Black-footed Cat (F. nigripes)
  • Domestic cat with Rusty-spotted Cat (Prionailurus rubiginosus) (natural hybrids, India)
  • Domestic cat with African/European Wildcat (F. silvestris subspecies) (natural hybrids)

Attempted or unconfirmed hybrids:

Domestic cats have not been hybridized with ocelots. It is not possible to create hybrids between domestic cats and big cats.

[edit] Ocecat/Ocicat

The Ocecat or Ocicat is not a hybrid between domestic cat and ocelot. It is derived from Siamese and Abyssinian domestic breeds of cat and gets its name from its markings which resemble the spotted markings of an ocelot.

[edit] Legend cat and Pixie-Bob

Main article: Pixie-Bob

Originally claimed to derive from hybrids between domestic cats and bobcats, blood testing demonstrates the Pixie-Bob to be an entirely domestic breed that bears a resemblance to bobcats. They were developed from "Legend cats" that are anecdotally believed to be natural hybrids of free-roaming domestic cats with bobcats. For a cat to be considered a Certified TICA Pixie-Bob, they cannot be bred with bobcats, and one of their parents must be traced back to breed originator, Carol Ann Brewer's first Pixie-Bob named Pixie.

Legend Cats are domestic cats that resemble bobcats (muttonchops, ear tufts, short tail, bobcat-like markings and facial expression) and according to local legend are part-bobcat. A resemblance to a bobcat is not sufficient evidence for an actual biological connection to the bobcat. Although bobcats have been crossed with domestic cats in captivity, there is no firm evidence of naturally occurring hybrids between the two species. In general, the two must be raised together if the bobcat is to consider the smaller domestic cat a potential mate rather than a potential meal.

[edit] American Lynx, Desert Lynx, Alpine Lynx, Highland Lynx

The Desert Lynx and American Lynx breeds were originally claimed as bobcat hybrids with around 12.5% wild genes. In spite of their bobcatty appearance, DNA testing failed to detect Bobcat marker genes and these cats are now considered wholly domestic for the purposes of ownership, cat fancy registration, import and export. This parallels the case of the PixeBob in that foundation cats in the breed were speculated to be bobcat-domestic cat hybrids. The "Lynx" breed group expanded with the derivative Alpine Lynx and Highland Lynx breeds.

[edit] American Mystery Cat

Marketed as a natural hybrid between an unidentified cryptozoological mystery cat and a domestic cat, these are ordinary black domestic cats. The images of the supposed original mystery cat hybrids turned out to be retouched images of black leopard cubs and, in one case, a photograph of a melanistic Geoffroy's cat in an animal sanctuary and which played no part in the breeding program. Neither the body of the claimed mystery cat nor any of the claimed original hybrids were presented for blood testing or independent scientific examination.

[edit] References

  • I Kusminych & A Pawlowa ("Ein Bastard von Karakal Hauskatze im Moskauer Zoo" in Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 68, No. 4 (1998)) (A Hybrid of Caracal and House Cat in Moscow Zoo).
  • Paul Leyhausen (Oncilla x domestic cat hybrids)
  • Mike Tomkies, "Wildcats" (and various other works regarding Scottish Wildcats)
  • Frances Pitt, "Wild Animals in Britain" (1939) (Scottish Wildcat hybrids)
  • Edward Hamilton, 1896 (Scottish Wildcat hybrids)

[edit] See also

[edit] External links