Neotropical river otter Lutra longicaudis, photographed by Flávio Kulaif Ubaid.

Belongs within: Mustelidae.

The genus Lutra, commonly known as river otters (though one species, the South American L. felina, is primarily marine), are a group of relatively unspecialised members of the otter clade. They are mostly solitary, and individuals vocalise using twitters (Old World species) or staccato chuckles (New World species) (Duplaix 1984). Many authors now separate the New World members of Lutra into a separate genus, Lontra. The number of recognised species has varied in the past, with the Neotropical river otter Lutra longicaudis in particular sometimes divided between several species.

<==Lutra Brünnich 1771 AC98 (see below for synonymy)
    |--*L. lutra [=Mustela lutra] C57
    |    |--L. l. lutra M76
    |    `--L. l. whiteleyi Gray 1867 M76
    |--L. canadensis (Schreber 1776) [=Mustela lutra canadensis, Lontra canadensis] B75
    |    |--L. c. canadensis B75
    |    `--L. c. interior B75
    |--L. euxena (Bate 1935) AC98
    |--L. felina (Molina 1782) C57 (see below for synonymy)
    |--L. hessica S78
    |--L. libyca S78
    |--L. longicaudis MB86 (see below for synonymy)
    |    |--L. l. longicaudis MB86
    |    |--L. l. annectens Major 1897 MB86
    |    |--L. ‘annectens’ colombiana Allen 1904 [incl. L. emerita Thomas 1908, L. annectens repanda Pohle 1920] C57
    |    |--L. l. enudris Cuvier 1823 D84, C57 [=L. enhydris C57, L. enydris C57; incl. L. mitis Thomas 1908 C57]
    |    |--L. ‘annectens’ parilina Thomas 1914 C57
    |    `--L. l. platensis Waterhouse 1838 D84, C57 (see below for synonymy)
    |--L. maculicollis S78
    |--L. nippon Imaizumi & Yoshiyuki 1989 I92
    |--L. perspicillata BP87
    |    |--L. p. perspicillata BP87
    |    `--L. p. maxwelli BP87
    |--L. provocax Thomas 1908 C57 [=Lontra provocax IT07]
    |--L. sumatrana IT07
    `--L. vulgaris T66

Lutra Brünnich 1771 AC98 [=Lutris Duméril 1806 C57, Lutrix Rafinesque 1817 C57; incl. Barangia Gray 1865 C57, Lataxina Gray 1843 C57, Lontra Gray 1843 C57, Lutronectes Gray 1867 C57, Nesolutra Bate 1935 AC98, Nutria Gray 1865 C57]

Lutra felina (Molina 1782) C57 [=Mustela felina C57, Lontra felina IT07, Nutria felina C57; incl. Lutra brachydactyla Wagner 1841 C57, Lutra californica Gray 1837 C57, Mustela (Lutra) chilensis Kerr 1792 C57, Lutra peruviensis Gervais 1841 C57]

Lutra longicaudis MB86 [=Lontra longicaudis IT07; incl. Lutra incarum Thomas 1908 D84, C57, Lutra insularis Cuvier 1823 D84, C57, Lutra latidens D84, Lutra montana Tschudi 1844 C57, Lutra repanda D84]

Lutra longicaudis platensis Waterhouse 1838 D84, C57 [incl. L. latifrons Nehring 1887 C57, L. solitaria Wagner 1842 C57]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[AC98] Alcover, J. A., X. Campillo, M. Macias & A. Sans. 1998. Mammal species of the world: additional data on insular mammals. American Museum Novitates 3248: 1-29.

[B75] Bowles, J. B. 1975. Distribution and biogeography of mammals of Iowa. Special Publications, The Museum, Texas Tech University 9: 1-184.

[BP87] Burton, J. A., & B. Pearson. 1987. Collins Guide to the Rare Mammals of the World. Collins: London.

[C57] Cabrera, A. 1957. Catalogo de los mamiferos de America del Sur. I (Metatheria - Unguiculata - Carnivora). Revista del Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales “Bernardino Rivadavia” e Instituto Nacional de Investigacion de Las Ciencias Naturales, Ciencias Zoológicas 4 (1): 1-307.

[D84] Duplaix, N. 1984. Otters. In All the World’s Animals: Carnivores (D. Macdonald, ed.) pp. 116-121. Torstar Books Inc.: New York.

[IT07] Isaac, N. J. B., S. T. Turvey, B. Collen, C. Waterman & J. E. M. Baillie. 2007. Mammals on the EDGE: conservation priorities based on threat and phylogeny. PloS One 2 (3): e296.

[I92] Iwahashi, J. (ed.) 1992. Reddo Deeta Animaruzu: a pictorial of Japanese fauna facing extinction. JICC: Tokyo.

[M76] Masui, M. 1976. Nihon no Doobutsu. Kogakukan: Tokyo.

[MB86] Matson, J. O. & R. H. Baker. 1986. Mammals of Zacatecas. Special Publications, Museum of Texas Tech University 24: 1-88.

[S78] Savage, R. J. G. 1978. Carnivora. In Evolution of African Mammals (V. J. Maglio & H. B. S. Cooke, eds) pp. 249-267. Harvard University Press: Cambridge (Massachusetts).

[T66] Tristram, H. B. 1866. Report on the mammals of Palestine. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1866: 84-93.

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