In the early 20th century, Tokunaga, followed by Naora, reported a Middle Pleistocene mammalian fauna from the Matsugae limestone cave deposits in northern Kyushu, West Japan. Within this fauna Naora (1968) described a new extinct species of otter (Lutra nipponica). Recently, we have identified new, well preserved dentitions of this mustelid in their original collection. We suggest that the definition of L. nipponica given by Naora should be emended, and that the specimens belong to a new genus of the tribe Galictini (Mustelidae, Carnivora), namely, Oriensictis gen. nov., according to the following characteristics: short muzzle; transversely expanded P4; and anteroposteriorly expanded M1. The extinct Chinese otter L. melina (Pei, 1934) from the Middle Pleistocene cave deposits of Choukoutien locality 1 is also included in Oriensictis based on the characteristics of M1 and a short mandible. These two occurrences of this genus are the first records of East Asian galictines, and this suggests that the Galictini might have been extensively distributed over areas in the Northern Hemisphere until the Middle Pleistocene.
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