A female wolf is either called a She-wolf or a luna wolf, depending on the status of the female in the pack.
The term “she-wolf” is sometimes used for female members of the pack. This name has no specific connotation and is used as a general term for female wolves.
Luna wolves, on the other hand, are the leading females of the pack. These females are also sometimes called alpha females, although they’re almost never on the same level as the alpha male.
What is a She-Wolf?
A she-wolf is another name for a female wolf.
She-wolf is often used to describe female members of a wolf pack. This name found its way into the American English dictionary where it carries the meaning of a “female wolf”. There is no negative or positive connotation with the word she-wolf on its own, although the word has been twisted and used for different means, too.
Female wolves are important members of the pack, especially the alpha female. They’re mainly important for reproduction, as they aim to provide the alpha male with every possible chance for reproduction.
Younger she-wolves are sometimes present in hunts when the entire pack goes out hunting, although it’s not expected of the she-wolf to take the primary role in these hunts. Often, it’s the alpha male that takes this role.
But there’s another usage of the word she-wolf.
A she-wolf, in colloquial terms, is another term for a predatory woman – or so specifies the dictionary.
This nickname is believed to have come from the predatory behavior of wolves, which is what they’re famous for. They’re used for predatory women, as the dictionary says, which is believed to be women who go voraciously after men, and “predate” on one after another.
While it’s believed that this term doesn’t have a specific connotation, some people also use it derogatory.
She-Wolf in Roman Mythology
The she-wolf plays an important role in the Roman foundation myth.
The Lupa, or the she-wolf, was responsible for taking care of and feeding Romulus and Remus, the twin brothers that were later responsible for founding the city of Rome, and also the Roman Empire.
This is the creation story of the Roman Empire that all Roman Emperors embraced and emphasized as an important part of Roman history.
In this creation story, the Lupa found the two brothers abandoned by the order of King Amulius in the wild. The she-wolf showed the mercy and the human character to care for the two brothers and take them into her den, which is also called the Lupercal.
There, she fed them with her milk until they were strong and old enough to care for themselves. This image with the two brothers suckling onto the she-wolf’s nipples still remains the main image of Rome as the city, and it was also one of the most important symbols of the Roman Empire.
The she-wolf is often described as having a merciful character, and it emphasized the importance of giving and caring for your people, which became one of the staples of Roman society.
What is a Luna Wolf?
A luna wolf is the most important female member of a wolf pack. It is also often called the alpha female of the pack.
As the most important female, she is responsible for taking care of the younger members of the pack and ensuring that they can grow up comfortably.
While she is also sometimes called the alpha female, she doesn’t take the same responsibilities as the alpha male. Rather, she’s called the alpha female because she’s known as the partner of the alpha male.
The term luna wolf is sometimes also used in various werewolf stories, although the implications of the luna wolf are very much different in them. The luna wolf plays a more romantic role in those stories where the main purpose of the luna wolf is to seduce the main character of the story.
What Does a Luna Wolf Do?
The luna wolf has the following responsibilities in a wolf pack:
- The primary purpose of the luna wolf is to be the alpha male’s partner and bear children to him. The two will mate during the mating season which lasts between January and April every year, although not every year will they have wolf pups.
- As a part of her responsibilities as a partner, she is also supposed to take care of the wolf pups until they’re big enough to walk on their own and take care of themselves.
- Another important role of the luna wolf is to take charge of the pack when the alpha male is not around. This doesn’t happen often but when the alpha male wanders off on his own, the alpha female will lead the pack.
- Rarely, she will participate in hunts although she will not play the most important role there. More often, she will be an observer in the hunts.
What’s the Difference Between a She-Wolf and a Luna Wolf?
So a she-wolf and a luna wolf are two different concepts.
The term she-wolf is any female member of the wolf pack, while the term luna wolf is only used for alpha female members of the pack.
This is the main difference between the two, although the responsibilities of the two will also be very different.
She-wolf will not have the same credentials as the luna wolf, while the alpha female will also be sometimes responsible for leading the wolf pack, although that will not happen very often.
A she-wolf will rarely be the partner of the alpha male, while the luna wolf is the only female partner of the alpha male.
To summarize, the female wolf is often called a she-wolf but the alpha female is also called the luna wolf. This is the main difference between the two.
The term she-wolf is sometimes used for other purposes like for a predatory woman, although it’s sometimes seen as a slightly derogatory term.