The Two Haunches
Star Name

The Two Haunches

Part of the Lion celestial complex


Star Names

The Two Haunches (al-warikan)

The Two Haunches (al-warikan) are part of the Arabian megaconstellation of the Lion (al-asad). They come right after the bright star that represents the Sheath of the Penis of the Lion (qunb al-asad).

The Two Haunches (al-warikan) as they appear in the west about 45 minutes before sunrise in early March.

The Two Haunches (al-warikan) as they appear in the west about 45 minutes before sunrise in early March. Sky simulations made with Stellarium.


A grouping of four or five stars that resembles either the Arabic letter kaf in its medial form (ىكى) or the Arabic letter alif in its final form (ىا). For English readers, it could be said to look like a tilted capital L, or perhaps a less-than sign (<).

Modern Identification

β VIR (Zavijava), yellow star, magnitude 3.6
η VIR (Zaniah), blue-white star, magnitude 3.9
γ VIR (Porrima), double yellow-white stars, magnitude 2.8
δ VIR (Minelauva), red giant star, magnitude 3.4
ε VIR (Vindemiatrix), yellow giant star, magnitude 2.8


Ibn Qutayba (d. 879 CE) reported that the Howling Dogs were said to rise on the morning of September 23 and set on the morning of March 23. On account of the precession of the equinoxes, today we can expect to observe the Two Haunches setting from early to late April and rising from late September to mid-October, as seen from the latitude of Tucson. (See How to Observe on the About page for more on this topic.)

Rain Stars

The Two Haunches of the Lion do not figure in the calendar of the rains stars. However, as the Howling Dogs, the same stars set during the warm spring rainy season (ad-dafa’i).

Lunar Stations

The Two Haunches of the Lion are not one of the lunar stations, but in early listings of the lunar stations, the Howling Dogs are the 13th station of the year.

 Related Stars and Celestial Complexes

The Two Haunches (al-warikan, الوركان) are part of the Lion (al-asad, الأسد) folkloric celestial complex, which extends from the Two Forearms (adh-dhira’an, الذراعان) to the Two Shanks (as-saqan, الساقان).

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