otter pfeiffer eating a fish-2

Spotted-necked otters range in color from chocolate brown to reddish brown, with blotches of white along the chest and neck. They have dense, water repellent fur, and fully webbed front and back paws with sharp claws. They have small but sharp teeth.

Diet: A large portion of this species’ diet consists of fish, with cichlids, barbell, and catfish being favorites. Spotted-necked otters can also consume crabs, insects, and frogs when fish are scarce.

In the Wild: Spotted-necked otters are found near lakes, rivers, and swamps with dense vegetation coverage. They are mainly diurnal and spend nights in dense vegetation, rock cavities, or dens dug in the shore bank. They are not territorial and can be found in groups of up to 20 individuals, though they typically hunt on their own. 

Conservation issues/actions: Pollution and degradation of freshwater habitats (typically due to unsustainable agricultural practices) are their biggest threats. Other threats include conflicts with the local human population over fish and seafood resources, and becoming trapped in fishing nets. Otters are also killed for food, fur, and medicinal purposes.

At the Zoo:

Their diet consists of sustainably harvested fish and squid, and the occasional meatball. Here at the Reid Park Zoo, in conjunction with our conservation outreach partner Monterey Bay Aquarium, we support sustainably sourced seafood. The otters also have a fondness for cucumber that is used for training and presentation purposes.

Adopt Me



Species Name:
African Spotted-Necked Otters
Scientific Name:
Hydrictis maculicollis
Proud Parents:
Catherine Lipsy
Gary Bahman & Leslie Pike
Kalee McManus
Lucy Coletta
Rachel Ridlen
Robert Lee
Kelsi Hoffman
Alissandra Dugger
Tobias Boerner-Mercier
Gabriel Worthey
Jerry Bryant
Marley Grosskopf
David Quintero
Afton Ralston
Amy Huether
Jack French
Corine Lewis
Nathan Lex
Garret Balensiefer
Kyler De Leon-Donnel
Flynn Dickson
Cade Weber
Emi V
Jenson Matter
Frank Ayon
Sarah Boilard
Luis Ortega
MarLee Cates
Karen J. Wong
Allison Pape
Carol J Owens
Robert Deegan
Lisa Smith
Brian & Maria Bostick
Lonnie Morrison III