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Superregnum: Eukaryota
Cladus: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Cladus: Holozoa
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Megaclassis: Osteichthyes
Cladus: Sarcopterygii
Cladus: Rhipidistia
Cladus: Tetrapodomorpha
Cladus: Eotetrapodiformes
Cladus: Elpistostegalia
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Cladus: Synapsida
Cladus: Eupelycosauria
Cladus: Sphenacodontia
Cladus: Sphenacodontoidea
Cladus: Therapsida
Cladus: Theriodontia
Cladus: Cynodontia
Cladus: Eucynodontia
Cladus: Probainognathia
Cladus: Prozostrodontia
Cladus: Mammaliaformes
Classis: Mammalia
Subclassis: Trechnotheria
Infraclassis: Zatheria
Supercohors: Theria
Cohors: Eutheria
Infraclassis: Placentalia
Cladus: Boreoeutheria
Superordo: Laurasiatheria
Cladus: Ferae
Ordo: Carnivora
Subordo: Caniformia
Infraordo: Arctoidea
Superfamilia: Musteloidea

Familia: Mustelidae
Subfamilia: Lutrinae
Genus: Hydrictis
Species: Hydrictis maculicollis

Hydrictis maculicollis Lichtenstein, 1835

Type locality: "Kafferlandes am östlichen Abhange der Bambusberge."

Hydrictis concolor (Neumann, 1902)
Hydrictis grayii (Gerrard, 1862)
Hydrictis malculicollis (Roberts, 1932)
Hydrictis mutandae (Hinton, 1921)
Hydrictis tenuis (Pohle, 1919)
Hydrictis maculicollis chobiensis (Roberts, 1932)
Hydrictis maculicollis kivuana (Pohle, 1920)
Hydrictis maculicollis matschiei (Cabrera, 1903)
Hydrictis maculicollis nilotica Thomas, 1911
Hydrictis maculicollis poensis (Waterhouse, 1838)
Lutra grayii Gerrard, 1862
Lutra maculicollis Lichtenstein, 1835


Lichtenstein, K. M. H. 1835. Ueber Lutra maculicollis Lichtenst. aus dem Kafferlande. Archiv für Naturgeschichte, Berlin 1(1):89–92.
Serge Larivière, 2002. Lutra maculicollis, Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists, No. 712, pp. 1–6, 3 figs.
Hydrictis maculicollis in Mammal Species of the World.
Wilson, Don E. & Reeder, DeeAnn M. (Editors) 2005. Mammal Species of the World – A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. Third edition. ISBN 0-8018-8221-4.
IUCN: Lutra maculicollis Lichtenstein, 1835 (Least Concern)
Hydrictis maculicollis Lichtenstein, 1835 – Taxon details on Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS).

Vernacular names
Deutsch: Fleckenhalsotter
English: Spotted-necked Otter, Speckle-throated Otter, Spot-necked Otter
español: Nutria de Cuello Moteado
polski: Wydra plamoszyja

The spotted-necked otter (Hydrictis maculicollis), or speckle-throated otter, is an otter native to sub-Saharan Africa.
Skull of a spotted-neck otter

The spotted-necked otter is usually chocolate to reddish brown and marked with creamy or white blotches over the chest and throat. The head is broad with a short muzzle, small rounded ears, and a hairless nose pad. The teeth are adapted for consuming fish, with large sharp upper canine teeth, curved lower canines, and sharp carnassial teeth. The jaws are similarly adapted, with the mandibular fossa fitting so snugly into the condyle on the lower jaw that the latter cannot move sideways, making it easier to capture and hold fish. It is a relatively small species, with males measuring 71 to 76 cm (28 to 30 in) from nose to rump, and weighing 5.7 to 6.5 kg (13 to 14 lb), while females are 57 to 61 cm (22 to 24 in) and 3.0 to 4.7 kg (6.6 to 10.4 lb). The tail is long and muscular, measuring 39 to 44 cm (15 to 17 in) in both sexes. It is sleek and has webbed paws. Females have two pairs of teats, and while males have a large scrotum, the penis is hidden beneath the skin, to reduce drag while swimming.[3]

Up to five subspecies have previously been identified, these most likely represent a natural variation in appearance between individuals, and no subspecies are currently recognised.[3]
Distribution and habitat

The spotted-necked otter inhabits lakes and larger rivers throughout much of Africa south of 10°N. It is common in Lake Victoria and across Zambia, but is absent in the Zambezi below Victoria Falls, Zambia.[4] It does not venture into salt water.[3]
Behavior and ecology

The spotted-necked otter is very vocal, uttering high, thin whistles and rapid, shrill chatters.[5] It sometimes lives in family groups, but appears to be social only under certain conditions. Males and females are separated for at least part of the year.[4] They normally hunt alone, except when mothers are training their young, and are not territorial, sheltering through the night in short burrows, rock crevices, or patches of dense vegetation. On land, they travel mainly over regular paths, and rarely move more than 10 m (33 ft) from river or lake banks.[3] Both mark these paths by "sprainting" sites, in which they habitually defecate and urinate.[6]

The spotted-necked otter is diurnal and appears to hunt entirely by sight using short dives of less than 20 seconds each in clear water with good visibility.[3] It carries larger prey ashore, but eats smaller prey while treading water.[6] It primarily eats fish, typically less than 20 cm (7.9 in) in length, but also frogs and small crustaceans, especially when fish is in short supply.[6]

The female bears a litter of up to three young after a gestation period around two months. The young are born blind and helpless, and the mother cares for them for almost a year.[5][3]

Known predators of the spotted-necked otter include lions, crocodiles and African fish eagles.[3]

The spotted-necked otter is in decline, mostly due to habitat destruction and pollution of its clear-water habitats. It is hunted as bushmeat.[2]

Wozencraft, W. C. (2005). "Order Carnivora". In Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 532–628. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
Reed-Smith, J.; Jacques, H.; Somers, M.J. (2015). "Hydrictis maculicollis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2015: e.T12420A21936042. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-2.RLTS.T12420A21936042.en. Retrieved 24 January 2022.
Larivière, S. (2002). "Lutra maculicollis" (PDF). Mammalian Species. 712: 1–6. doi:10.1644/1545-1410(2002)712<0001:LM>2.0.CO;2. S2CID 198968980.
Estes, R. D., ed. (1992). The Behavior Guide to African Mammals : Including Hoofed Mammals, Carnivores, Primates. University of California Press. p. 437. ISBN 978-0-520-08085-0.
Procter, J. (1963). "A contribution to the natural history of the spotted-necked otter (Lutra maculicollis Lichtenstein) in Tanganyika". East African Wildlife Journal. 1 (1): 93–102. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2028.1963.tb00180.x.
Kruuk, H. & Goudswaard, P.C. (1990). "Effects of changes in fish populations in Lake Victoria on the food of otters (Lutra maculicollis Schinz and Aonyx capensis Lichtenstein)". African Journal of Ecology. 28 (4): 322–329. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2028.1990.tb01167.x.

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