Discipline: Veterinary Medicine
The Visayan leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis rabori) and the Palawan leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis rabori), the two subspecies of leopard cats in the Philippines, are nearly indistinguishable from each other because of their almost identical pelage. However, a close examination of their hair showed some differences which could be of value in differentiating the two subspecies. For example, the cuticular scales were all transversely oriented except those from the dorsum and hindlimb of female Visayan leopard cat where the scales were arranged obliquely. Various forms of imbricate cuticular patterns were demonstrated; serrate coronal cuticular patterns were seen only on hairs from the dorsum and hindlimb of female Visayan leopard cat and dentate coronal from the forehead of male Visayan leopard cat. The distance between cuticular margins and hair shaft diameter were also measured. Generally, the transverse sectional shape of the medulla followed that of the hair. The medullary pattern of the hair from the ventrum of the Visayan leopard cat showed narrow nodose continuous pattern. The hair from the rest of the body regions of the Visayan leopard cat and from all body regions of the Palawan leopard cat showed wide nodose continuous pattern. The hair from the ventrum of the Visayan leopard cat showed absent pigmentation; while in the rest of the body regions examined, the hairs either had pigments distributed within and around the medulla or even and diffused within the cortex.