Lower Rio Grande Valley Coyote (Canis latrans microdon)
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Coyote Subspecies Map. North American Subspecies Map. See also: world species map.
Lower Rio Grande Valley Coyote
Southern Texas and northern Tamaulipas.
The Lower Rio Grande Valley coyote is the smallest of all coyote subspecies, easily distinguished from its neighbor, the Texas Plains Coyote by size alone. These coyotes tend to have similar coloration, being dusky gray-yellow in color, with typical coyote patterns of a darker backside and lower underside. They are petite and very small, usually weighing no more than 30 pounds (13.6 kg).
A Canis latrans microdon in north central Texas. From texaseagle@Flickr
Strangely enough, these coyotes are the most sociable and the most strongly pack-oriented subspecies of Canis latrans. Perhaps due to their size, the Lower Rio Grande Valley coyote certainly appreciates safety in numbers, generally keeping to groups of between five and twenty individuals. Though their social structure isn't nearly as organized or strict as wolves', they are easily the social butterflies of the coyote world.
These coyotes were in quite good shape prior to 1988; though they had yet to develop the close-knit behavior they possess today, they had already adapted quite well to human areas and living right next door to people. Following 1988, they began to display far more territorial and pack behavior as a survival mechanism, as other competitive canines moved into their home range.
Some of these coyotes are Luperci; regardless, they prefer feral lifestyles, keeping primarily to their four-legged forms and refraining from use of human technology. Some human adaptations have begun to flow from the East Coast as well as up from Mexico, however, and these coyotes are slowing finding themselves at a crossroads of two cultures, absorbing both the European-influences on the Northeastern Coyote and the culture of the Mexican Coyote.