Asiatic Linsang, Prionodon

The Asiatic linsang (Prionodon) is a genus that contains two species of linsangs, and it is the only genus in the Prionodontidae family. The two species, the banded linsang and the spotted linsang, were previously classified in the Viverrinae subfamily, but studies have shown that they differed enough to warrant their own distinct classification. Despite their extreme resemblance to members of the Felidae family, they are not as closely related to genets as African linsangs. The term linsang derives from the Javanese term wlinsang or linsang and was incorrectly translated into English dictionaries as “otter.”

Typically, linsangs are nocturnal and solitary in nature. They live in trees, consuming squirrels, lizards, small rodents, and birds. The average size for members of this genus is about one foot, although the tail can nearly triple this length. Both of the species hold yellowish fur with dark spots and stripes occurring along the body, and appear on the IUCN Red List with a conservation status of “Least Concern.”

Image Caption: Taxidermy exhibit in the Kunming Natural History Museum of Zoology Kunming, Yunnan, China. Credit: Daderot/Wikipedia