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1 October 2015 Melanism of Coyotes (Canis latrans) in Florida
Gretchen Caudill, Danny Caudill
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Abstract

Occurrence of melanism in the coyote (Canis latrans) has been poorly documented. We collected 244 coyote carcasses throughout Florida during 2011–2014 and documented 18 cases of melanism (7.4%). Melanistic individuals were positively correlated with tree canopy cover (βcanopy mean  =  0.11, se  =  0.03, P < 0.001) and consequently observed only in northern portions of Florida. However, geographic trends (e.g., northing, easting, north-westing) did not explain variation in our data as well as habitat. Melanism varied through space from locally abundant to absent, but the drivers perpetuating variation in frequency of melanism are likely complex as the mechanisms for polymorphic maintenance are unclear.

© 2015 American Midland Naturalist
Gretchen Caudill and Danny Caudill "Melanism of Coyotes (Canis latrans) in Florida," The American Midland Naturalist 174(2), 335-342, (1 October 2015). https://doi.org/10.1674/0003-0031-174.2.335
Received: 6 November 2014; Accepted: 1 June 2015; Published: 1 October 2015
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