Asian Small-Clawed Otter

The Asian Small-Clawed Otter (Aonyx cinereus), also known as the Oriental Small-Clawed Otter, is the smallest and most social of the otter species. These otters are known for their distinctive small claws, playful behavior, and high level of dexterity.



These otters inhabit a wide range of freshwater and coastal environments, including rivers, streams, marshes, rice paddies, and mangroves. Their range extends from northern India and Nepal through Southeast Asia, including southern China, the Malay Peninsula, and parts of Indonesia and the Philippines.


They are the smallest otter species, with body lengths ranging from 45 to 61 cm (18 to 24 inches) and a weight of 1 to 5 kg (2.2 to 11 lbs). Their tails add an additional 25 to 35 cm (10 to 14 inches) in length.


There is no fixed breeding season, and they can breed twice a year. The gestation period lasts about 60 days, with litters typically consisting of 1 to 6 pups. Both parents, along with older siblings, participate in raising the young, teaching them to swim and hunt.


Their small claws and dexterous fingers allow them to find and extract prey from crevices and under rocks. They also use their forepaws to feed, a behavior unique among otter species.


Asian Small-Clawed Otters have a varied diet that mainly consists of crustaceans, mollusks, and small aquatic animals. They are particularly adept at catching crabs and snails.


Scroll to Top
Back To Top