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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals

  Carnivora · Canidae · Vulpes macrotis

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Vulpes macrotis

Kit Fox

Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae

Image of Vulpes macrotis
Vulpes macrotis - Kit Fox
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Conservation Status: Least Concern.

The kit fox has been thought by some to be a subspecies of the swift fox. This fox currently inhabits desert and semi-arid regions between the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Rocky Mountains and on down into Baja California and the North Central states of Mexico; it is also found in the San Joaquin Valley of California.

Several features distinguish the kit fox from the swift fox. Kit fox ears are larger and set closer together than the swift fox. The head of the kit fox is slightly broader between the eyes and the snout is narrower. The kit fox has a longer tail, relative to the body, than the swift fox.

Their diet consists of the most readily available small mammals in the region, especially rodents and rabbits. The relationship of kit fox populations to populations of banner-tailed kangaroo rats (Dipodomys spectabilis) in the San Joaquin Valley and to black-tailed jack rabbits (Lepus californicus) in Utah have been well documented.


Range: 730-840 mm


Range: 1.4-2.7 kg


Merriam, C.H., 1888.  Description of a new fox from southern California, p. 136.  Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 4:135-138.


Mammal Species of the World (opens in a new window).  (see Vulpes velox)

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists species account * (opens in a new window).
* PDF reader available here (opens in a new window).

Distribution of Vulpes macrotis

Image of Vulpes macrotis
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