Temporal range: Late Pliocene or Early Pleistocene to recent
African leopard, Panthera pardus pardus, near Lake Panic, Kruger National Park, South Africa (19448654130).jpg
African leopard (P. p. pardus) at Kruger National Park
Scientific classification edit
P. pardus[1]
Binomial name
Panthera pardus[1]

see text

Leopard distribution.gif
Range of the leopard: former (red), uncertain (yellow), highly fragmented (light green), and present (dark green)

Felis pardus Linnaeus, 1758

The leopard (Panthera pardus) is one of the five species in the genus Panthera, a member of the Felidae.[3] The leopard occurs in a wide range in sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia. Leopards are listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List because leopard populations are threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, and are declining in large parts of the global range. In Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuwait, Syria, Libya, Tunisia and most likely in Morocco, leopard populations have already been extirpated.[2]Contemporary records suggest that the leopard occurs in only 25% of its historical global range.[4][5]Leopards are hunted illegally, and their body parts are smuggled in the wildlife trade for medicinal practices and decoration.[6][7]

Compared to other wild cats, the leopard has relatively short legs and a long body with a large skull. It is similar in appearance to the jaguar, but generally has a smaller, lighter physique. Its fur is marked with rosettes similar to those of the jaguar, but the leopard's rosettes are generally smaller, more densely packed and without central spots. Both leopards and jaguars that are melanistic are known as black panthers. The leopard is distinguished by its well-camouflaged fur, opportunistic hunting behaviour, broad diet, and strength (which it uses to move heavy carcasses into trees), as well as its ability to adapt to various habitats ranging from rainforest to steppe, including arid and montane areas, and its ability to run at speeds of up to 58 kilometres per hour (36 mph).[8]

Fossil parts dating to the Late Pleistocene were excavated in Europe and Japan.[9][10]


The common name "leopard" (d/)[11] is a Greek compound of λέων leōn ("lion") and πάρδος pardos ("male panther"). The name reflects the fact that in antiquity, a leopard was believed to be a hybrid of a lion and a panther. The Greek word is related to Sanskrit पृदाकु pṛdāku ("snake", "tiger" or "panther"), and probably derives from a Mediterranean language, such as Egyptian.[12][13] The name was first used in the 13th century.[11] Other vernacular names for the leopard include graupanther, panther and several regional names such as tendwa in India.[14] The term "black panther" refers to leopards with melanistic genes.[15] A term for the leopard used in Old English and later, but now very uncommon, is "pard".[16]

The scientific name of the leopard is Panthera pardus. The generic name Panthera derives from Latin via Greek πάνθηρ (pánthēr).[17] The term "panther", whose first recorded use dates back to the 13th century AD, generally refers to the leopard, and less often to the cougar and the jaguar.[15] Alternative origins suggested for Panthera include an Indo-Iranian word meaning "white-yellow" or "pale". In Sanskrit, this could have been derived from पाण्डर pāṇḍara ("tiger"), which in turn comes from पुण्डरीक puṇḍárīka (with the same meaning).[13][17] The specific name pardus is derived from the Greek πάρδος (pardos) ("male panther").[14]

Other Languages
Адыгэбзэ: Щомыщ
Afrikaans: Luiperd
አማርኛ: ግሥላ
Ænglisc: Lafor
العربية: نمر
aragonés: Panthera pardus
asturianu: Panthera pardus
Avañe'ẽ: Jaguareteru
azərbaycanca: Qaplan
تۆرکجه: قافلان
বাংলা: চিতাবাঘ
Bân-lâm-gú: Hoe-pà
беларуская: Леапард
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Леапард
български: Леопард
བོད་ཡིག: གཟིག
bosanski: Leopard
brezhoneg: Panterenn
буряад: Леопард
català: Lleopard
chiShona: Mbada
chiTumbuka: Nyalubwe
corsu: Leupardu
dansk: Leopard
Deutsch: Leopard
eesti: Leopard
Ελληνικά: Λεοπάρδαλη
español: Panthera pardus
Esperanto: Leopardo
euskara: Lehoinabar
فارسی: پلنگ
føroyskt: Leopardur
français: Léopard
Fulfulde: Cirgu
Gaeilge: Liopard
Gagauz: Leopard
Gàidhlig: Leopard
galego: Leopardo
ГӀалгӀай: Ферх
ગુજરાતી: દિપડો
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Pau-é
한국어: 표범
Hausa: Damisa
հայերեն: Ընձառյուծ
हिन्दी: तेन्दुआ
hrvatski: Leopard
Igbo: Ágụ
Bahasa Indonesia: Macan tutul
interlingua: Leopardo
Ирон: Фыранк
íslenska: Hlébarði
italiano: Panthera pardus
עברית: נמר
Basa Jawa: Macan tutul
ಕನ್ನಡ: ಚಿರತೆ
ქართული: ჯიქი
қазақша: Леопард
Kiswahili: Chui
Kongo: Yingo
Kreyòl ayisyen: Lewopa
Кыргызча: Кабылан
лакку: Паланг
latgaļu: Leopards
Latina: Pardus
latviešu: Leopards
lietuvių: Leopardas
lingála: Nkɔi
magyar: Leopárd
मैथिली: चितवा
македонски: Леопард
मराठी: बिबट्या
მარგალური: ჯიჯაღი
مصرى: فهد
Bahasa Melayu: Harimau Bintang
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Huă-báu
မြန်မာဘာသာ: ကျားသစ်
Nāhuatl: Xacocelotl
Nederlands: Luipaard
日本語: ヒョウ
Nordfriisk: Leopard
norsk: Leopard
norsk nynorsk: Leopard
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਚਿੱਤਰਾ
پنجابی: تیندوہ
português: Leopardo
română: Leopard
Runa Simi: Misti hawar
русский: Леопард
संस्कृतम्: चित्रकः
Scots: Leopard
Sesotho: Nkwe
Sesotho sa Leboa: Nkwe
shqip: Leopardi
sicilianu: Liupardu
සිංහල: කොටියා
Simple English: Leopard
slovenčina: Leopard škvrnitý
slovenščina: Leopard
словѣньскъ / ⰔⰎⰑⰂⰡⰐⰠⰔⰍⰟ: Лєопардъ
کوردی: پڵنگ
српски / srpski: Леопард
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Leopard
Basa Sunda: Maung tutul
suomi: Leopardi
svenska: Leopard
Tagalog: Leopardo
தமிழ்: சிறுத்தை
татарча/tatarça: Каплан
тоҷикӣ: Паланг
Tshivenda: Nngwe
ತುಳು: ಚಿರತೆ
Türkçe: Pars
Türkmençe: Alajagaplaň
Thuɔŋjäŋ: Kuac
українська: Пантера плямиста
اردو: تیندوا
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: قاپلان
Vahcuengh: Duzbeuq
vèneto: Lionpardo
Tiếng Việt: Báo hoa mai
ייִדיש: לעמפערט