The spotted-necked otter, scientific name Hydrictis maculicollis, or speckle-throated otter, is an otter native to sub-Saharan Africa.
Hydrictis maculicollis, or spotted-necked otter is present in central Africa south of 10 degrees N latitude. They are considered in each Lake Victoria and the Lakes Tangangyika, and likewise could also be discovered within the moister elements of sub-Saharan Africa. They are usually not discovered within the far west, southwest, northeast, or east areas of Africa.
Spotted-Necked Otter Description
The spotted-necked otter may be acknowledged by the brown and white recognizing on the throat and underside. The remainder of the body coloration ranges from a reddish-brown to a chocolate brown.
These otters are modern and slender. They are characterized by strongly webbed toes (with the webbing going all the way in which to the guidelines of the digits), effectively developed claws, and long tails. Their size ranges from 85-105 cm. Sexual dimorphism is prevalent; females are shorter, lighter, and less muscular than males.
The spotted-necked otter is a comparatively small species, with males measuring 71 to 76 cm (28 to 30 in) from nostril to rump, and weighing 5.7 to 6.5 kg (13 to 14 lb), whereas 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 each sex. Like many different otters, it’s modern and has webbed paws for swimming. Females have two pairs of teats, and whereas males have a big scrotum, the penis is hidden beneath the pores and skin, to cut back drag whereas swimming.
Although appreciable variation exists amongst people, their fur is normally reddish to chocolate brown and marked with creamy or white blotches over the chest and throat. The head is broad with a brief muzzle, small rounded ears, and a hairless nostril pad.
The teeth are tailored for consuming fish, with giant sharp higher canine teeth, curved decrease canines, and sharp carnassial teeth. The jaws are equally tailored, with the mandibular fossa becoming so snugly into the condyle on the decrease jaw that the latter can’t transfer sideways, making it simpler to seize and maintain fish.
Although as many as 5 subspecies have beforehand been recognized, these most definitely signify a natural variation in look between people, and no subspecies are at present recognized.
Spotted-Necked Otter Behavior
The spotted-necked otter is usually solitary, however could also be present in small family teams, relying on the time of year. The males have an enormous home range inside which more than one feminine could also be positioned.
The mom takes care of her cubs for about a year. The father could play a task in elevating the younger. The otter could also be vocal and has numerous calls starting from a contact call, which consists of a harsh mewing, to a high-pitched squeaking misery call. The spotted-necked otter enjoys enjoying.
This enjoyment could also be with different otters or could also be accomplished alone.
Spotted-necked otters are present in lakes and bigger rivers all through a lot of Africa south of 10°N. They are frequent in Lake Victoria and throughout Zambia, however for some unexplained cause usually are absent from what look like appropriate habitats, such because the lakes and rivers of East Africa and the Zambezi under Victoria Falls. No proof of spotted-necked otters venturing into saltwater has been discovered.
These otters are aquatic and require everlasting and steady waterways. They want clear water with rocks. They are present in lakes, swamps, rivers, and could also be present in mountain streams at higher elevations. They are absent in turbid rivers and shallow alkaline lakes. They reside in dens, that is discovered close to these sources of water.
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Spotted-Necked Otter Biology
Spotted-necked otters feed totally on fish, usually lower than 20 cm (7.9 in) in size, but additionally eat frogs and small crustaceans, particularly when fish are in brief provide.
They are diurnal and seem to hunt solely by sight utilizing brief dives of lower than 20 seconds every in clear water with good visibility. Larger prey objects are carried ashore, whereas smaller objects are eaten whereas treading water. Known predators on the otters embrace crocodiles and African fish eagles.
The otters are typically present in family teams, however look social solely below sure situations. Males and females are separated for at the very least a part of the year.
They usually hunt alone, besides when moms are coaching their younger, and are usually not territorial, sheltering via the night in brief burrows, rock crevices, or patches of dense vegetation.
On land, they travel primarily by means of regular paths and infrequently transfer more than 10 m (33 ft) from river or lake banks. As with many different otters, these paths are marked by “sprainting” sites by which they habitually defecate and urinate.
Spotted-necked otters are very vocal, uttering high, skinny whistles and speedy, shrill chatters. The feminine bears a litter of as much as three younger ones after a gestation interval of around two months. The younger are born blind and helpless, and the mom cares for them for nearly a year.
The preferential feeding time for this otter is both 2 to three hours before nightfall or after daybreak. They have, nevertheless, been identified to feed always of the day. Their fundamental meal source is fish, though their diet contains each invertebrate and vertebrates. Frogs, crabs, mollusks, aquatic bugs, and larvae are among the objects included in their diets.
The spotted-necked otter is assumed to breed seasonally. They have a two-month gestation interval and usually give delivery to 2 to 3 cubs in September. The females don’t start reproducing till they’ve reached two years of age.
The spotted-necked otter is in decline, largely because of habitat destruction and air pollution of its clear-water habitats. It is hunted as bushmeat.
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