The size and the characteristic colour and striped markings of the tiger vary according to locality and race.
Tigers of the south are smaller and more brightly coloured than those of the north. The Bengal tiger P. tigris tigris and those of the islands of Southeast Asia.
For example, are bright reddish tan, beautifully marked with dark, almost black, transverse stripes; the underparts, inner sides of the limbs, the cheeks, and a large spot over each eye are whitish. The very large and very rare Siberian tiger P. tigris altaica of northern China and Russia, however, has longer, softer, and paler fur. There are a few black and white tigers, and one pure white tiger has been recorded.