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Species Profile: Neotropical Otter    
Lutra longicaudis    

        Although more widespread in South America than its cousins the Giant Otter, Marine Otter and Southern River Otter, the Neotropical Otter is also threatened by habitat destruction, water pollution and illegal hunting. In fact it is the best known otter in Mexico (called Gallo-Reynosa).






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Size
       The Neotropical Otter is medium sized. From its head through its body it is 500 to 790mm long. The tail is 375 to 570mm long. The whole length of the Neotropical Otter is 900 to 1360mm.

Feet
        The feet of the Neotropical Otter are small with strong claws and webbing.

Hair
        The hair is like plush. Their guardhairs are a medium length 12 to 14mm long. Their underfur is 7 to 9mm long.



Color
        Cinnamon brown to grayish brown, underfur is silvery gray to cream tipped with raw umber, sometimes with one or more lighter spots, with a lighter belly.

Nose
        There are three different noses on the three different subspecies. The one on Lutra longicaudis annectens is like a star with the two bottom points squished up. The nostrils are on the lower sides. On Lutra longicaudis enudris the nose is like an upside down trapezoid with a big dip at the top and smaller dips on the other side. The nostrils are on the sides. On Lutra longicaudis platenisis it is like an upside down trapezoid with a little dip on each side. The nostrils are on the sides.

Habitat
        The Neotropical Otter is found in a variety of habitats from small forests streams to lakes, swamps and marine coasts with freshwater lagoons.



Distribution and Population
        Latin America. Population levels are low.

Food
        The Neotropical Otter likes to eat fish and crabs.

Other Names

Also called:Brasilian Otter
Spanish: Lobito de Rio, Mutria, Gato de agua
French: Loutre d'Amerique du Sud, Loutre a longue queue
German: Sudamerikanischer FichOtter
Italian: lontra di fume
Other scientific names

L. platenisis
L. incarum
L. enduris
L. insularis
L. repanda
L. latidens
L.a. colombiana
L.e. mitis


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