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Subspecies of Canis lupus: Map

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Canis lupus has 39 subspecies currently described, including two subspecies of domestic dog, Canis lupus dingo and Canis lupus familiaris, and many subspecies of wolf throughout the northern hemisphere. The nominate subspecies is Canis lupus lupus.

Biological taxonomy is not fixed, and placement of taxa is reviewed as a result of new research. The current categorization of subspecies of Canis lupus is shown below. Also included are synonyms, which are now-discarded duplicate or incorrect namings. Common names are given but may vary, as they have no set meaning.

List of Subspecies

Canis lupus subspecies
Subspecies Authority Common Name
Canis lupus lupus (nominate subspecies) Linnaeus, 1758 Common (Eurasian) Grey Wolf
Canis lupus albus Kerr, 1792 Tundra Wolf, Turukhan Wolf, Arctic Wolf, White Wolf (Finland to eastern Russia)
Canis lupus alces Goldman, 1941 Kenai (Alaska) Peninsula Wolf, extinct by 1925
Canis lupus arabs Pocock, 1934 Arabian Wolf (Saudi Arabia)
Canis lupus arctos Pocock, 1935 Arctic Wolf, White Wolf, Polar Wolf (Northern Canada, Greenland)
Canis lupus baileyi Nelson and Goldman, 1929 Mexican Wolf (central Mexico to southwestern United States)
Canis lupus beothucus G. M. Allen and Barbour, 1937 Newfoundland Wolf (Newfoundland, Canada) (extinct)
Canis lupus bernardi Anderson, 1943 Bernard's Wolf (Arctic)
Canis lupus campestris Dwigubski, 1804 Steppe Wolf (Central Asia)
Canis lupus chanco Gray, 1863 Tibetan wolf, Himalayan wolf, Chinese wolf
Canis lupus columbianus Goldman, 1941 British Columbia Wolf (Western Canada) (extinct)
Canis lupus crassodon Hall, 1932 Vancouver Island Wolf (Canada)
Canis lupus dingo Meyer, 1793 Dingo, mostly wild living domestic dog of Australia and South-east Asia: dingo and familiaris provisionally separate, 2003
Canis lupus familiaris Linnaeus, 1758 Domestic dog
Canis lupus floridanus Miller, 1912 Florida Black Wolf (Florida, United States) (extinct)
Canis lupus fuscus Richardson, 1839 Cascade Mountain Wolf (Cascade Mountains, Canada and United States)
Canis lupus gregoryi Goldman, 1937
Canis lupus griseoalbus Baird, 1858; syn. knightii (Anderson, 1945) Manitoba Wolf (Central Manitoba and northern Saskatchewan, Canada) (extinct)
Canis lupus hattai Kishida, 1931 Hokkaidō Wolf (Japan) (extinct)
Canis lupus hodophilax Temminck, 1839 Honshū Wolf (Honshū Islands, Japan) (extinct)
Canis lupus hudsonicus Goldman, 1941 Hudson Bay Wolf, Tundra Wolf (Alaska and Canada)
Canis lupus irremotus Goldman, 1937 Northern Rocky Mountains Wolf (Rocky Mountains, United States and Canada)
Canis lupus labradorius Goldman, 1937 Labrador Wolf (Northern Quebec and Labrador, Canada)
Canis lupus ligoni Goldman, 1937 Alexander Archipelago Wolf (Alexander Archipelago Islands in the Arctic)
Canis lupus lycaon Schreber, 1775 Eastern North America Timber Wolf
Canis lupus mackenzii Anderson, 1943 Mackenzie Tundra Wolf (Mackenzie Rivermarker drainage, Canada)
Canis lupus manningi Anderson, 1943 Baffin Island Wolf (Baffin Islandmarker, Canada)
Canis lupus mogollonensis Goldman, 1937 Mogollon Mountain Wolf (Mogollon, New Mexicomarker, southwest United States) (extinct)
Canis lupus monstrabilis Goldman, 1937; syn. niger (Bartram, 1791) Texas Wolf (Texas, US and northern Mexico) (extinct, 1942)
Canis lupus nubilus Say, 1823 Great Plains Wolf (Central North America)
Canis lupus occidentalis Richardson, 1829 Rocky Mountain Wolf (Canada, US)
Canis lupus orion Pocock, 1935
Canis lupus pallipes Sykes, 1831 Iranian Wolf (Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India)
Canis lupus pambasileus Elliot, 1905
Canis lupus rufus Audubon and Bachman, 1851 Red Wolf (Perhaps a hybrid, status uncertain)
Canis lupus tundrarum Miller, 1912 Alaskan Tundra Wolf (northeastern Alaska, USA), heavier dentition than pambasileus
Canis lupus youngi Goldman, 1937


Disputed distinct subspecies and species

Two subspecies not mentioned in the list above include the Italian Wolf (Canis lupus italicus) and the Iberian Wolf (Canis lupus signatus). The wolves of the Italian and Iberian peninsulas are morphologically and genetically distinct from other European wolves and each are now considered to represent their own subspecies.

In addition, recent genetic research suggests that the Indian Wolf, originally considered only as a subpopulation of the Iranian Wolf (Canis lupus pallipes), may represent a distinct species (Canis indica). Similar results were obtained for the Himalayan wolf, which is traditionally placed into the Tibetan wolf (Canis lupus laniger).

Geographical variations

Wolves show a great deal of dimorphism geographically, though they can interbreed. The Zoological Gardens of London for example once successfully managed to mate a male European wolf to an Indian female, resulting in a cub bearing an almost exact likeness to its sire.

Europe

European wolves tend to have long, more highly placed ears, narrow heads, slender loins and coarse fur. Pelt colour in European wolves ranges from white, cream, red, grey and black, sometimes with all colors combined. Wolves in central Europe tend to be more richly coloured than those in Northern Europe. Eastern European wolves tend to be shorter and more heavily built than Northern Russian ones.

North America

North American wolves are, overall, generally the same size as European breeds, but have have larger, rounder heads, broader, more obtuse muzzles, shorter legs, have more luxuriant fur and are usually more robust. They typically lack the black mark on the forelegs, as is the case in European races. Fur colour in American wolves ranges from white, black, red, yellow, brown, gray, and grizzled skins, and others representing every shade between, although usually each locality has its prevailing tint. There are pronounced differences in North American wolves of different localities; wolves from Texas and New Mexico are comparitively slim animals with small teeth. Mexican wolves in particular resemble some European wolves in stature, though their heads are usually broader, their necks thicker, their ears longer and their tails shorter. Wolves of the central and northern chains of the Rocky Mountains and coastal ranges are more formidable animals than the more southern plains wolves, and resemble Russian and Scandinavian wolves in size and proportions.

Gallery

Image:Canis lupus arabic.JPG|Canis lupus arabsImage:Wolf Zoo Berlin.jpg|Canis lupus arctosImage:Canis lupus baileyi running.jpg|Canis lupus baileyiImage:Canis lupus chanco1.jpg|Canis lupus chancoImage:Dingo Australia Zoo QLD.jpg|Canis lupus dingoImage:Doggie games.jpg|Canis lupus familiarisImage:Honshu-wolf3.jpg|Canis lupus hodophilaxImage:Canis lupus Parc des Loups 003.jpg|Canis lupus italicusImage:Alba-European-Wolf.jpg|Canis lupus lupusImage:Canis lupus lycaon 01.jpg|Canis lupus lycaonImage:Lobo en el Zoo de Madrid 01 cropped.jpg|Canis lupus occidentalisImage:Canis lupus signatus (Kerkrade Zoo) 09.jpg|Canis lupus signatus

References

  1. V. LUCCHINI, A. GALOV and E. RANDI Evidence of genetic distinction and long-term population decline in wolves (Canis lupus) in the Italian Apennines. Molecular Ecology (2004) 13, 523–536. abstract online
  2. European Mammal Assessment - Canis lupus
  3. J. Vos: Food habits and livestock depredation of two Iberian wolf packs (Canis lupus signatus) in the north of Portugal. Journal of Zoology (2000), 251: 457-462 Cambridge University Press. online abstract
  4. R. K. Aggarwal, T. Kivisild, J. Ramadevi, L. Singh:Mitochondrial DNA coding region sequences support the phylogenetic distinction of two Indian wolf species. Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research, Volume 45 Issue 2 Page 163-172, May 2007 online
  5. The Living Age, published by Littell, Son and Co., 1851
  6. The Canadian Naturalist and Geologist by the Natural History Society of Montreal, published by Dawson., 1857
  7. Fauna Boreali-americana, Or, The Zoology of the Northern Parts of British America: Containing Descriptions of the Objects of Natural History Collected on the Late Northern Land Expeditions, Under Command of Captain Sir John Franklin, R.N., by John Richardson, William Swainson, William Kirby, published by J. Murray, 1829
  8. Hunting the Grisly and Other Sketches by Theodore Roosevelt - Full Text Free Book (Part 3/3)
  9. The Natural History of Dogs: Canidæ Or Genus Canis of Authors. Including Also the Genera Hyæna and Proteles by Charles Hamilton Smith, contributor William Home Lizars, Samuel Highley, W. Curry, Junr. & Co, Published by W.H. Lizars, ... S. Highley, ... London; and W. Curry, jun. and Co. Dublin., 1839


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