The genus Arctocephalus consists of eight of the nine species of fur seal.

Template:Taxobox name
New Zealand fur seal
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Pinnipedia
Family: Otariidae
Subfamily: Arctocephalinae
Genus: ''Arctocephalus''
É. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire & F. Cuvier in F. Cuvier, 1826
Type species
Phoca pusilla
Schreber, 1775

Arctocephalus gazella
Arctocephalus townsendi
Arctocephalus philippii
Arctocephalus galapagoensis
Arctocephalus pusillus
Arctocephalus forsteri
Arctocephalus tropicalis
Arctocephalus australis



The number of species within the genus has been questioned, primarily based on limited molecular data. The issue is complicated because some of the species are able to produce fertile hybrids. A recent review recommended the retention of seven species, deprecating the New Zealand fur seals to a subspecies of the South American fur seal, while also questioning the status of the Guadalupe fur seal.[1] Other recent studies have indicated the genus may be paraphyletic.[2] In that case, all species (except for the Cape fur seal) will have to be split off into a separate genus,[1] for which the name Arctophoca has been suggested.


  1. ^ a b Berta, A. & Churchill, M. (2012). "Pinniped Taxonomy: evidence for species and subspecies". Mammal Review. 42 (3): 207–234. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2907.2011.00193.x.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ Yonezawa, T.; et al. (2009). "The monophyletic origin of sea lions and fur seals (Carnivora; Otariidae) in the Southern Hemisphere". Gene. 441 (1–2): 89–99. doi:10.1016/j.gene.2009.01.022. PMID 19254754. {{cite journal}}: Explicit use of et al. in: |author= (help)