Latin name: Leopardus
Other names: Liberd, Liepart
Category: Beast

The offspring of a mating between a lion and a pard

General Attributes

The leopard is the illicit offspring of a lion (leo) and a pard. In Africa leopards crouch in trees and hidden by their boughs leap down on to animals passing by. Leopards cannot tolerate garlic and will flee from its smell. Their fur is covered in black spots.


A leopard in heraldry can indicate that the first bearer of the arms was born from adultery. Nicholas Upton, a fifteenth century writer on heraldry, said that the "Leopard ys a most cruell beeste engendered wilfully of a Lion and a beeste called a Parde" and advises that it is to be painted with "his whole face shewed abroad openly to the lookers on." The arms of Richard the Lion Heart had three gold leopards after 1198, a possible allusion to his grandfather, William the Conqueror, also known as "the Bastard." The thirteenth century Sir Nicholas de Cauntelo had a "Leopard's Face Jessant de Lys" on his arms, so-called because the face is combined with a fleur-de-lis.