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The Gray Wolf Taxonomy in Europe

Nature & BioDiversity / Environment / December, 2004

albus:   a large, light-colored wolf from the northern Russian Federation and northern Finland

arabs:   a small, buff-colored wolf from the Arabian peninsula; not recognized as a subspecies until 1934

canpestris:   the central Asian wolf, or steppe wolf

chanco (=laniger):   the wolf of Mongolia and China

cubanensis:  found between the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea; not recognized by some taxonomists

deitanus*:   a small wolf once found in Spain, now extinct; not recognized as a subspecies by some authorities

desertorum (=palies):   Asian desert wolf, found in the arid areas east of the Black Sea; not recognized by some taxonomists

hattai* (=rex):   a wolf once found in Hokkaido, Japan; probably now extinct, although some taxonomists believe that it still survives on Sakhalin Island

hodophilax*:   a wolf once foound in Honshu, Japan; extinct in 1935; much smaller than C.l. hattai

laniger:  ( see chanco )   the wolf of Mongolia and China

lupus:   the most common species throughout Eurasia, and the first named of all subspecies, designated by Linnaeus in 1758

minor*:   a wolf once found in Hungary and Austria; extinct by the early 1900's

palies:   ( see desertorum )  Asian desert wolf, found in the arid areas east of the Black Sea; not recognized by some taxonomists

pallipes:   a small wolf of India and southern Asia; synonomous with arabs, according to some taxonomists

rex:   ( see hattai )  a wolf once found in Hokkaido, Japan; probably now extinct, although some taxonomists believe that it still survives on Sakhalin Island

signatus:   the Iberian wolf of Spain and Portugal; not recognized by some taxonomists, although recent genetic work by Robert Wayne at the University of California suggests that it is a true subspecies

        * indicates an extinct subspecies

It has been suggested by taxonomist Ron Nowak that the subspecies campestris, chanco, and desertorum are synonomous with lupus, and distinguished by a new subspecies, communis, for a race of large wolves found in the northern Russian Federation.