5 Wolf Colors (What Colors can Wolves Be?)

The colors of the wolf fur can range from gray, brown, tan, white, to even black. These colors will vary on the subspecies of wolves, but the most common color of the wolf is gray.

what colors can wolves be

The arctic wolf has the lightest color of all wolves, as they often have white to white-gray coats. On the other side of the spectrum is the black wolf, which sports an all-black coat, but this coat color is pretty rare – only about 1-3 percent of all wolves have an all-black coat. The wolf colors are thought to be closely related to the habitat of the wolf.

Read Also: Do Wolves Change Color?

What Colors Can Wolves Be?

The most common color of the wolf coat is gray, but there are other variations that tend to be observed with wild wolves.

1. Mixture of Gray, Brown, Black, and White

The vast majority of wolves have a mixture of gray, brown, black, and white mixed in with their coats. That’s why the line between gray and brown wolves is not very clearly defined, because most wolf furs have a mixture of these three main colors.

Gray and brown are most commonly mixed together on the back of the wolf, while white is more commonly present on the underside of the wolf and its head.

Sometimes, dark hues of black are mixed in with the coat, which is especially common for wolves that live in darker wooden areas where they need to protect themselves in order not to get spotted as easily.

2. Gray

The gray wolf is by far the most common wolf species in the world and consequently, the gray color of the coat is also the most widely observed.

Gray can be seen with wolf species that live in North America, Europe, and Asia, and they tend to live in milder habitats where the cold temperatures are not as low as in the Arctic. However, these animals are also capable of surviving very cold temperatures and are sometimes found in tundras and colder habitats.

Wolves with gray fur tend to live in slightly more open rocky areas where they can use their fur to conceal themselves. They will often wander between the forest and the open areas, although their primary ground for killing will be out in the open.

3. Brown

The second most common color of the wolf fur is brown – or a mixture of gray and brown. It is sometimes believed that this mixture is even more common than the gray color, although that hasn’t been proven yet scientifically.

Wolves with the brown coat tend to live in woody areas where they have to use their fur to hide themselves and blend in with the surroundings. They’re capable killers and will hide behind trees and make themselves as invisible as possible with their slightly darker colors of furs.

Brown Wolves are typical for North America and Europe, especially for milder habitats where there’s a lot of wooden areas.

4. Black

The black wolf is the least common coat color for wolves. Only about 1-3% of all wolves have this color on their furs, and it’s likely that some other wolves also have this color mixed in with their furs.

Black wolves predominantly live in forested areas, especially in areas where forests are darker. This is seen in some states in North America, but also in Europe and Asia.

5. White

Arctic wolves are especially typical wearers of the white coat. They’re often called white wolves particularly for the reason they have an all-white coat.

There are around 200.000 arctic wolves in the world, and the vast majority live in the Arctic regions of North America as well as Greenland.

They have several adaptations that help them survive the cold. Firstly, their white fur enables them to stay cloaked and hidden when they are predating on other animals, as they blend in with the environment nicely.

The second adaptation is the thickness of their fur and more importantly, their fat. Because the temperatures get well below freezing, they will have to make sure they can sustain the cold and survive it comfortably. In recent decades, wolves have become an endangered species, so there are efforts to help them survive.

What is the Rarest Wolf Color?

By far the rarest wolf color is red, which is only observed with Red Wolves. The Canis Rufus, which is the Latin name for the red wolf, is an almost extinct species that lives in the southeastern states of the United States.

While their coats are never really red, they have coat colors that are sometimes described as more orange than red.

They are close relatives to the gray wolves, although they are marginally smaller and narrower, but also have larger ears. They are often compared to a coyote, although they are still a different species altogether.

Red wolves live in many different states, like Florida, Pennsylvania, and even Texas. It is often found in forested areas where there’s a lot of vegetation, but sometimes even in areas that are close to inhabited towns and cities.

Even though they tend to avoid human contact, they might sometimes encounter humans even if they don’t want to. Because they have been pushed away by civilization, they have to resort to scavenging and browsing through human waste, which might lead them into trouble, and people often mistake them for coyotes.

White is also pretty rare, as well as black, while brown and grey dominate the colors of the wolf furs.

Read Also: Do Wolves have Webbed Feet?

Conclusion

The main colors of wolves are brown, gray, and white, while black and red are a bit rarer. Gray wolves are by far the most common, and they live in open areas where they can use the color of their furs to conceal themselves.

Brown is also frequently seen, especially with wolves that live in forests. Black wolves are sometimes spotted in darker forests, while white wolves mostly live in colder areas of North America.