Food habits of otters Lutra lutra were studied in two localities of the Doñana National Park (SW Spain) 16 km apart. These were the lowest stretch of Arroyo Rocina, a eutrophic stream where American red-swamp-crayfish were introduced in 1976, and at Lucio Bolín, an artificial pond 150 m in diameter, situated on the border of the Guadalquivir marshes. In all, 598 spraints were analysed between 1979 and 1984. Crayfish, occurring in 80% of the spraints, was the dominant food item in Arroyo Rocina, where other common foods were fish (63%), insects (55%) and amphibians (18%). Fish, occurring in 94% of the spraints, were by far the most abundant food item in Lucio Bolin, followed by insects (32%) and amphibians (28%). Seasonal differences in diet were small but interesting: reptiles were eaten more often in the dry season (April-September) and insects and crayfish in the rainy season (October-March). Among fish, eels were more commonly eaten in the rainy period and the remaining species in the dry period. This pattern of seasonal variation is opposite to the usual in temperate Europe. Mean size of the captured eels was statistically higher in Lucio Bolin than in Arroyo Rocina. A large amount of very small fish such as Gambusia was eaten. A comparison of prey consumed with estimates of prey abundance reveals a strong preference for eels. The diet of Mediterranean European otters seems to be more diverse than that of northern European ones, including more insects, amphibians and reptiles.