7 Difference Between Panther and Leopard (With Table)

Many people are not able to tell the exact difference between a panther and a leopard. These two animals are completely different from each other. They both belong to the genus Panthera. The genus contains big cats which include tigers, lions, and jaguars.

The main difference between panther and leopard is that panther refers to black or dark colored breeds of jaguars and leopards while leopard refers to the smallest species of the four big cats.

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Comparison Table (Panther vs Leopard)

Characteristics Panther Leopard
Meaning Refers to black or dark-colored breeds of jaguars and leopards. Refers to the smallest species of the four big cats.
Species It is not a distinct species but it is referred to as dark-colored jaguars and leopards. Distinct species are native to Africa and Asia.
Physical appearance They have shiny dark fur with emerald green eyes. They have yellowish-brown thick fur with black spots.
Geographical location Found in America, Africa, and Asia. They are found in Africa and Southern Asia.
Size It is comparatively larger in body size. It is smaller in body size.
Lifespan It has a lifespan of about 12 to 20 years. It has a lifespan of about 12 to 17 years.
Legs Their hind legs are longer and stronger than their forelegs. They have shorter, stocky legs.
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What is Panther?

Panther refers to a black or dark-colored breed of jaguars and leopards. It is not a distinct species. It comprises jaguars, leopards, and pumas. It is native to America, Asia, and Africa. It is well adapted to a wide range of habitats such as tropical forests, grasslands, mountains, and deserts.

They have spots on their fur but it is not easily visible because of their skin color which is dark because of the dark color pigment mutation known as melanism. Their fur is very shiny. Their unique feature is their emerald green eyes. The hind legs are slightly longer and stronger than the front ones.

They live solitary lives and they are normally active during the night. It is considered a dangerous animal. It is a carnivore and feeds on even larger animals such as crocodiles. Their hind legs are normally longer and stronger to enable them to run at a high speed while chasing their prey.

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What is Leopard?

Leopard is a small species of four big cats. It is a distinct species. It is native to Africa and Southern Asia. They are considered solitary animals and they hunt for their prey at night hence they are nocturnal.

The subspecies differ in their appearance and location. The African leopard is the most widespread species. It has a slender body, short stocky legs, and a long tail. They inhabit various habitats including rainforest, grasslands, and deserts.

Male leopards are larger than their female counterparts. They have dense and long fur with black spots on their bodies. They are carnivores. They hunt on deer, monkeys and when they want to keep off other animals such as lions from attacking their prey, they climb the tree with their prey.

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Main Differences between Panther and Leopard

  1. Panthers refer to a dark-colored species of leopards and jaguars while leopards refer to the smallest species of the four cats.
  2. Panther is not a distinct species while the leopard is a distinct species.
  3. Panthers have dark spots on their bodies that are not visible because of melanism while leopards have black spots on their bodies that are highly visible.
  4. Panthers are comparatively large while leopards are smaller in body size.
  5. Panthers have shiny dark fur with emerald green eyes while leopards have yellowish-brown thick fur with black spots.
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Similarities between Panther and Leopard

  1. Both are carnivores.
  2. Both have spots on their bodies.
  3. Both are good tree climbers.
  4. Both belong to the same genus.
  5. Both are nocturnal animals.

In Conclusion

Panthers and leopards belong to the same genus but that does not mean they are the same thing. The two animals are different from each other. Panthers are large in body size as compared to leopards. Panthers have dark shiny fur whereas the leopards have yellowish-brown fur with visible black spots. The main features that make these two animals different are the color of their fur, the color of the eyes.

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