Laticauda sheep

The Laticauda is a breed of domestic sheep from Campania and Calabria, in southern Italy.[1][2] It is a fat-tailed breed, which gives rise to the name Laticauda, "broad-tailed". It is raised mainly in its area of origin in the provinces of Avellino, Benevento and Caserta, but is also found in the provinces of Cosenza, Matera and Naples.[3][4] Like the Barbaresca breed of Sicily, it appears to result from the hybridisation of local breeds with Barbary (or Barbarin) sheep of Maghrebi origin. It has been suggested that these were first brought to the area by the Bourbon king Charles VII of Naples.[2]

Country of originsouthern Italy
DistributionCampania, Calabria
UseDual-purpose, meat and milk
  • Male:
    95 kg
  • Female:
    69 kg
  • Male:
    82 cm
  • Female:
    71 cm
Wool colorwhite
Face colorwhite

The Laticauda is one of the seventeen autochthonous Italian sheep breeds for which a genealogical herdbook is kept by the Associazione Nazionale della Pastorizia, the Italian national association of sheep-breeders.[3] Total numbers for the breed were estimated at 60,000 in 1983;[2] in 2013 the number recorded in the herdbook was 2802.[5] The region of Campania estimates the total number at 7000 head.[6]

Lambs are usually slaughtered at the age of about a month, at a weight of 10–15 kg. Milk yield is about 120–140 litres per lactation. The milk has 7–13% fat and 5.5–8.5% protein;[2] it is the only milk used in the production of Pecorino di Laticauda Sannita, a pecorino cheese for which DOP status has been requested.[6]

The Barbaresca della CampaniaEdit

A sheep breed named "Barbaresca della Campania (laticauda)" is reported to DAD-IS independently from the Laticauda.[7] It is apparently the same breed.[8] Neither the Associazione Nazionale della Pastorizia nor the Ministero delle politiche agricole alimentari e forestali, the Italian ministry of agriculture, make any mention of such a breed.


  1. ^ Breed data sheet: Laticauda/Italy. Domestic Animal Diversity Information System of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Accessed January 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d Daniele Bigi, Alessio Zanon (2008). Atlante delle razze autoctone: Bovini, equini, ovicaprini, suini allevati in Italia (in Italian). Milan: Edagricole. ISBN 9788850652594. p. 234–235.
  3. ^ a b Le razze ovine e caprine in Italia (in Italian). Associazione Nazionale della Pastorizia: Ufficio centrale libri genealogici e registri anagrafici razze ovine e caprine. p. 23. Accessed January 2014.
  4. ^ Francesca Ciotola, Vincenzo Peretti (2005). Razze zootecniche in pericolo di estinzione: la pecora Laticauda (in Italian). Vita in campagna 2005 (5): 59.
  5. ^ Consistenze Provinciali della Razza 28 Laticauda Anno 2013 (in Italian). Associazione Nazionale della Pastorizia: Banca dati. Accessed January 2014.
  6. ^ a b Prodotti tipici: Pecorino di Laticauda Sannita Archived 31 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine (in Italian). Regione Campania. Accessed January 2014.
  7. ^ Breed data sheet: Barbaresca della campania (laticauda)/Italy. Domestic Animal Diversity Information System of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Accessed January 2014.
  8. ^ Valerie Porter (ed.), Ian Lauder Mason (2002). Mason's world dictionary of livestock breeds, types, and varieties (5th ed.). Wallingford: CABI. ISBN 0-85199-430-X. p. 267.