Central African oyan

Central African oyan
Em - Poiana richardsonii 2.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Feliformia
Family: Viverridae
Genus: Poiana
P. richardsonii[1]
Binomial name
Poiana richardsonii[1]
(Thomson, 1842)
African Linsang area.png
Central African oyan range

The Central African oyan (Poiana richardsonii), also called Central African linsang, is a linsang species native to Central Africa.[2]


The Central African oyan's body is slender and long, with an elongated head and a pointed muzzle. Its fur is yellowish to reddish brown with darker spots on the back and flanks. Its throat and belly are lighter in colour and without spots. Its tail has 9 to 14 dark rings. Its body is 33–43 cm (13–17 in) long, and the tail about the same length. Its legs are short, and the soles of its feet hairy. Females are slightly smaller than males.[3]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The Central African oyan is endemic to Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, the Central African Republic, the Republic of the Congo, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo east to the Albertine Rift. It lives in lowland and montane tropical rainforests.[2] In Gabon, a camera-trap recorded an individual on the forest floor.[4] In Gabon's Moukalaba-Doudou National Park, it was also recorded only in forested areas.[5]

Behaviour and ecology[edit]

The Central African oyan lives foremost in the canopy, but has rarely been observed on the ground. It is nocturnal and hunts small rodents and birds, but also feeds on insects.[3]

Its breeding habits are unknown.[6][3]


The Central African oyan or "Richardson's genette" was first described in 1842 as Genetta richardsonii, in honour of John Richardson, by T. R. H. Thomson, based on a zoological specimen collected in Fernando Po.[7] In an 1864 paper, published the following year, John Edward Gray transferred the species from Genetta to his newly erected genus Poiana.[8]: 520 [9] In 1907, Oldfield Thomas and Robert Charles Wroughton described a new subspecies, Poiana Richardsoni ochracea, in the original orthography, from the area of the Aruwimi River near Yambuya, in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo.[10]: 372  In a paper read at the 26 November 1907 meeting of the Zoological Society of London and published the following year, Reginald Innes Pocock described a further subspecies based on a specimen collected in Liberia, Poiana richardsoni leightoni, but in 1974 Donovan Reginald Rosevear [de] elevated "Leighton's linsang" or the West African oyan from subspecies to independent species rank.[11][12]

Two subspecies are recognized:[1][13]


The Central African oyan is possibly threatened by deforestation and bushmeat hunting.[2]


  1. ^ a b Wozencraft, W. C. (2005). "Species Poiana richardsonii". In Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 532–628. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
  2. ^ a b c d Gaubert, P.; Do Linh San, E. (2015). "Poiana richardsonii". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2015: e.T41704A45219609. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-4.RLTS.T41704A45219609.en. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  3. ^ a b c Van Rompaey, H. & Colyn, M. (2013). "Poiana richardsonii Central African Linsang (Central African Oyan)". In Kingdon, J. & Hoffmann, M. (eds.). The Mammals of Africa. V. Carnivores, Pangolins, Equids and Rhinoceroses. London: Bloomsbury. pp. 253−254.
  4. ^ Bahaa-el-din, L.; Henschel, P.; Aba'a, R.; Abernethy, K.; Bohm, T.; Bout, N.; Coad, L.; Head, J.; Inoue, E.; Lahm, S.; Lee, M. E.; Maisels, F.; Rabanal, L.; Starkey, M.; Taylor, G.; Vanthomme, A.; Nakashima, Y. & Hunter, L. (2013). "Notes on the distribution and status of small carnivores in Gabon". Small Carnivore Conservation. 48: 19–29.
  5. ^ Nakashima, Y. (2015). "Inventorying medium-and large-sized mammals in the African lowland rainforest using camera trapping". Tropics. 23 (4): 151–164. doi:10.3759/tropics.23.151.
  6. ^ Whitfield, P., ed. (1984). Macmillan Illustrated Animal Encyclopedia. Macmillan Publishing Company. p. 92. ISBN 0-02-627680-1.
  7. ^ a b Thomson, T. R. H. (1842). "Description of a new species of Genetta, and of two species of Birds from Western Africa". The Annals and Magazine of Natural History; Zoology, Botany, and Geology. 10 (64): 203–205. doi:10.1080/03745484209445224.
  8. ^ Gray, J. E. (1864). "A Revision of the Genera and Species of Viverrine Animals (Viverridae), founded on the Collection in the British Museum". Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London: 502–579.
  9. ^ Dickinson, Edward C. (2005). "The Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, 1859–1900: an exploration of breaks between calendar years of publication". Journal of Zoology. 266 (4): 427–430. doi:10.1017/S0952836905007077.
  10. ^ a b Oldfield Thomas; Wroughton, R.C. (1907). "XLIII.—New Mammals from Lake Chad and the Congo, mostly from the Collections made during the Alexander-Gosling Expedition". Annals and Magazine of Natural History. 7. 19 (113): 370–387. doi:10.1080/00222930708562657.
  11. ^ Pocock, R. I. "Report upon a Small Collection of Mammalia brought from Liberia by Mr. Leonard Leighton". Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London (November): 1037–1046. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7998.1907.tb06966.x.
  12. ^ Rosevear, D. R. [in German] (1974). The carnivores of West Africa. London: Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History). p. 227.
  13. ^ Burgin, Connor J.; Wilson, Don. E.; Mittermeier, Russell A.; et al., eds. (2020). Illustrated Checklist of the Mammals of the World. Vol. 2: Eulipotyphla to Carnivora. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. p. 408. ISBN 978-84-16728-35-0.