In North America there is a second distinct smaller species, called the coyote or prairie-wolf (Canis latrans), and perhaps the Japanese wolf (C. hodophylax) may be distinct, although, except for its smaller size and shorter legs, it is scarcely distinguishable from the common species.
The reindeer, arctic fox (Canis lagopus), hare, wolf, lemming (Myodes obensis), collar lemming (Cuniculus torquatus) and two species of voles (Arvicolae) are the most common on land.
The so-called foxes of South America, such as the crab-eating fox (C. thous), Azara's fox (C. azarae), and the colpeo (C. magellanicus), are aberrant members of the typical genus Canis.
The word is apparently from a Norman-French kenil (this form does not occur, but is seen in the Norman kinet, a little dog), modern French chenil, from popular Latin canile, place for a dog, canis, cf.
Coyotes or prairie wolves (of which there is a local sub-species, Canis nebracensis texensis), grey wolves, prairie dogs (gophers), and jack rabbits are common on the plains; less common are the grey wolf or lobo (Canis griseus) and the timber wolf; and there are several species of foxes, including the swift.