Deep brown: sides of the head, throat and breast, cinereous.

L. vulgaris, Desm. Mammal, p. 188. Mem. Brit An. p. 16. Otter, Penn. Brit. Zool. vol. i. p. 92. pi. 8. no. 19. Shaw, Gen. Zool. vol. i. p. 437. pi. 100.


Length of the head and body two feet three inches; of the head five inches; of the ears eight lines; of the tail one foot four inches and a half: girth one foot four inches.


Head broad and flattened : muzzle obtuse: upper lip very thick and muscular, projecting over the lower: mouth rather small: whiskers strong, nearly three inches in length: eyes small, situate one inch behind the nostrils: ears short and rounded, almost hid in the fur: hair on the body of two kinds; the finer sort grayish white; the longer and coarser grayish white at the roots, deep brown at the extremity, the latter colour alone appearing externally: sides of the head, throat, under surface of the neck, and breast, cinereous: hair on the feet short, brown with a reddish tinge: tail dusky brown.

Inhabits the banks of rivers, lakes, and marshes. Swims and dives with great facility, and is destructive to fish, on which it preys. Breeds in March: goes with young nine weeks, and produces from four to five at a birth.

9. L. Roensis, Ogilby. (Irish Otter)

L. Roensis, Ogilby in Proceed, of Zool. Soc. (1834). p. 111.

By the above name, Mr. Ogilby has designated, provisionally, a species of Otter found in Ireland, chiefly along the coast of the county of Antrim, which he is disposed to regard as distinct from the Common Otter (L. vulgaris) of England. The difference is said to consist in the intensity of its colouring, which approaches nearly to black both on the upper and under surface; in the less extent of the pale colour beneath the throat; in the relative size of the ears, and in the proportions of other parts. Mr. Ogilby adds that it is further distinguished by the peculiarity of its habitation and manners. " It is, in fact, to a considerable extent a marine animal*, living in hollows and caverns formed by the scattered masses of the basaltic columns on the coast of Antrim, and constantly betaking itself to the sea when alarmed or hunted. It feeds chiefly on the Salmon." No detailed description of it has been yet published.

* Possibly this species may be the Sea Otter, which, according to Pennant, was noticed by Sir Robert Sibbald. See Brit. Zool. vol. i. p. 95.