Further occurrences of melanism in a northern, peripheral, population of Bobcat (Lynx rufus)
Keywords:Agouti Signalling Protein gene, coat coloration, Felidae, genetic mutation, pelage
Although melanism is understood to occur commonly among some felids, it is reported to be most frequent among cat species that occur in humid, tropical, and densely vegetated habitats. Previously, a single record of a melanistic Bobcat (Lynx rufus) from eastern Canada (New Brunswick) appeared to be a northern outlier, with all other reports of melanism in this species restricted to the warm, humid, climate of southern peninsular Florida. Here, I document a further five occurrences of melanism in Bobcat from New Brunswick and review evidence that a mutation in an agouti-signalling protein gene may be responsible for melanism in New Brunswick Bobcats.
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