Honshu wolf

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Honshu wolf
Honshu wolf (Canis lupus hodophilax)

Honshu wolf ( Canis lupus hodophilax )

Order : Predators (Carnivora)
Subordination : Canine (Caniformia)
Family : Dogs (Canidae)
Genre : Wolf and jackal species ( Canis )
Type : Wolf ( Canis lupus )
Subspecies : Honshu wolf
Scientific name
Canis lupus hodophilax
( Temminck , 1839)

The Honshū wolf ( Canis lupus hodophilax ) was a subspecies of the wolf and is occasionally referred to together with the Hokkaidō wolf as the Japanese wolf ( Japanese ニ ホ ン オ オ カ ミ , Nihon-Wolfkami , literally: "Japan wolf"). The Honshu wolf is now considered to be extinct, just like the Hokkaido wolf.

The Honshu wolf was endemic and only found in Japan . He lived there on the islands of Honshū , Shikoku and Kyūshū . Its extinction is traced back to human persecution and a rabies epidemic that was first introduced there in the 17th century . The last wolf died in Nara Prefecture in 1905 .

Today, a total of eight preparations of fur or stuffed animals are still kept from the Honshū wolf in various scientific institutions. One stuffed animal is in the Netherlands , three more in Japan and the specimen from the animal that was shot in 1905 is kept in the British Museum .

The Honshu wolf is considered the smallest known subspecies of the wolf. His body length was about 90 cm, his height at the withers about 56 cm. The body size is probably similar to the island gray fox due to the island dwarfing .


  • John Knight: On the Extinction of the Japanese Wolf . In: Asian Folklore Studies . Vol. 56, No. 1, 1997, pp. 129-159. ( PDF; 0.6 MB )

Web links

Commons : Honshu wolf ( Canis lupus hodophilax )  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. [1] Ishiguro, Naotaka (2011). "Phylogenetic analysis of extinct wolves in japan". Gifu University, Japan