The debate: what to call African wild dogs, (if not just that….!)
We are honoured to have viable packs of Lycaon pictus, (African wild dogs, aka Painted Wolves, aka Painted Dogs), in Zimbabwe. Although generally endangered over Africa, they are at least holding their own in Mana Pools, Hwange, Gonarezhou National Park and the Save Valley Conservancy where I live. At Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge on the edge of Gonarezhou, we host tourists from all over the world to see these charismatic animals…and many weeks of my year are spent watching and sketching these fabulous predators and their pups…
We even host a yearly event called “Wine and Wild dogs Weekend ” at Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge…embracing our love for these amazing animals, with presentations by the African Wildlife Conservation Fund who monitor and protect our lowveld wild dogs, and sharing delicious Painted Wolf Wines with our guests!
“Tip” was a young dog I watched for a few years in the Save Valley Conservancy...
African wild dogs is the widely accepted English-use name for the unique species Lycaon pictus, literally meaning painted, wolf-like animal. But they are known variously as Painted Wolves, Painted dogs, Ornate wolves, and of course the local names for these enigmatic and charismatic creatures varies from community to community over Africa..such as Iganyana (Ndebele), Mhumi, Bhumi or Bhumhi (Shona), wildehond (South Africa), Mabeco (Mozambique), Mbwa mwitu (Swahili), Hlowa (Tsonga),Lekanyana (Tswana), Dalerwa (Venda), Ixhwili (Xhosa), Inkentshane (Zulu)
David Attenborough and the BBC have produced a series called “Dynasties” which follows, among other animals, the life of a particular Alpha female in a wild dog pack. Referred to by David Attenborough as ‘Painted Wolves”, this will hugely help to raise awareness and concern for these fragile and endangered canids.
What’s in a name?
Thinking of all the wonderful names that can be attributed to Lycaon pictus, in collusion with Nick Dyer, here is my mixed media painting which appears in the gorgeous book, Painted Wolves, a Wild Dogs Life, by Nicholas Dyer and Peter Blinston
I have worked into the original image used for the book publication and added metallic gold and silver to create a medieval manuscript look….. and of course the colours echo those of the glorious wild dog coats, everyone different. This is a stand-alone painting that i am proud of, with lots of food for thought in reading all those enticing names..
A rose by any other name would smell as sweet….(Shakespeare said it…!)
This list contains all of the currently recognised dog species. In the case of the Grey Wolf(Canis Lupus), included are two well-known subspecies: the Dingo (Canis lupus dingo), and the Domestic Dog (Canis lupus familiaris). A list of dog species would be incomplete without them! However, these are the only subspecies* included.
* Subspecies are very closely-related animals, and are able to interbreed. They’re different ‘types’ of the same species, and are often only separated geographically.
- African Golden Wolf (Canis anthus)
- African Wild Dog (African Hunting Dog / African Painted Dog) (Lycaon pictus)
- Arctic Fox (Vulpes lagopus)
- Bat-Eared Fox (Otocyon megalotis)
- Bengal Fox (Vulpes bengalensis)
- Black-Backed Jackal (Canis mesomelas)
- Blanford’s Fox (Vulpes cana)
- Bush Dog (Speothos venaticus)
- Cape Fox (Vulpes chama)
- Corsac Fox (Vulpes corsac)
- Coyote / Prairie Wolf (Canis latrans)
- Cozumel Fox (Undescribed Species)
- Crab-Eating Fox (Cerdocyon thous)
- Culpeo (Lycalopex culpaeus)
- Darwin’s Fox (Lycalopex fulvipes)
- Dhole / Asian Wild Dog (Cuon alpinus / Canis alpinus)
- Ethiopian Wolf / Abyssinian Wolf / Simien Fox / Simien Jackal (Canis simensis)
- Fennec Fox (Vulpes zerda)
- Golden Jackal (Canis aureus)
- Grey Fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus)
- Grey Wolf Subspecies: Dingo (Canis lupus dingo)
- Grey Wolf Subspecies: Domestic Dog (Canis lupus familiaris)
- Grey Wolf (Gray Wolf / Timber Wolf) (Canis lupus)
- Hoary Fox (Lycalopex vetulus)
- Island Fox (Urocyon littoralis)
- Kit Fox (Vulpes macrotis)
- Maned Wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus)
- Pale Fox (Vulpes pallida)
- Pampas Fox (Lycalopex gymnocercus)
- Raccoon Dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides)
- Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes)
- Red Wolf (Canis rufus)
- Rüppell’s Fox (Vulpes rueppelli)
- Sechura Fox (Lycalopex sechurae)
- Short-Eared Dog (Atelocynus microtis)
- Side-Striped Jackal (Canis adustus)
- South American Gray Fox / Patagonian Fox / Chilla (Lycalopex griseus)
- Swift Fox (Vulpes velox)
- Tibetan Sand Fox (Vulpes ferrilata)
plus, for ten “biggest” wild dogs, view: