|New Zealand fur seal|
É. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire & F. Cuvier in F. Cuvier, 1826
| Phoca pusilla|
The genus Arctocephalus consists of eight of the nine species of fur seal. Arctocephalus translates to "bear head."
- Genus Arctocephalus
- Antarctic fur seal, A. gazella
- Guadalupe fur seal, A. townsendi
- Juan Fernández fur seal, A. philippii
- Galápagos fur seal, A. galapagoensis
- Brown fur seal (or Cape fur seal), A. pusillus
- New Zealand fur seal, A. forsteri (validity questionable - see below)
- Subantarctic fur seal, A. tropicalis
- South American fur seal, A. 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. Other recent studies have indicated the genus may be paraphyletic. In that case, all species (except for the Cape fur seal) will have to be split off into a separate genus, for which the name Arctophoca has been suggested.
- 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.
- 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.