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).