122            Canada Otter

                              CANADA OTTER.
                                 [River Otter]

                              PLATE CXXII.--MALE.

     In our second volume (p. 12) we promised to give a figure of this variety
of the Canada Otter, and in our remarks we noticed the publication of varieties
of that animal as distinct species, by GRAY, F. CUVIER, and WATERHOUSE.
     Mr. GRAY, we presume, thought that a larger and different species existed
near Hudson's Bay, and named his specimen Lataxina Mollis, calling the animal
the Great Northern Otter.
     The figure now before you was published, notwithstanding our doubts as to
the specific differences Mr. GRAY thinks are observable between the Otters of
Hudson's Bay and those of Canada and the United States, for the purpose of
giving a correct drawing of the identical specimen named and described by that
gentleman, in order that it might be seen that it is only a large variety of the
common American Otter.
     Besides giving a figure of Mr. GRAY's Otter, we have examined Otters from
very distant localities, having compared some taken near Montreal with one shot
on the Hackensack river, New Jersey, several killed in South Carolina, one
trapped in Texas, and one from California, and we are of opinion that, although
differing in size and colour, the Otters of all these different localities are
the same species, viz. L. Canadensis, the Canada Otter.
     Besides the variations observable in the colour of the Otter, the fur of
the more northern species is finer than in any of our southern specimens.
     As already stated (vol. ii. p. 11) we have not had an opportunity of
comparing specimens from Brazil with ours, and the description given by RAY of
Lutra Braziliensis is so vague and unsatisfactory that we cannot state with
confidence that his animal is identical with the North American species.  We
strongly suspect, however, that it is, in which case RAY's name, L.
Braziliensis, should be substituted for L. Canadensis, to which we would add as
synonymes Lataxina Mollis of GRAY, and another supposed species by the same
author, Lutra Californica.
     We have nothing to add to the account of the habits of this animal given in
our second volume (see p. 5).