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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals

  Carnivora · Canidae · Vulpes vulpes

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Vulpes vulpes

Red Fox

Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae

Image of Vulpes vulpes
Vulpes vulpes - typical coloration, top; silver fox, lower left; cross fox, lower right
Click to enlarge this image. (114 kb)

Conservation Status: Least Concern.


Red foxes are the most widely distributed wild carnivores in the world, occurring in North America, Asia, Europe, and North Africa. They are also widespread in Australia, where they were introduced in about 1850 so that fox-hunters would have something to hunt. Their range in North America has expanded since colonial times as their competitors, wolves, were eliminated, but their range has also contracted in areas where they are in competition with coyotes. Red foxes prey on voles, rabbits, hares, and other small mammals, and also eat birds, fruits, and invertebrateseven beetles and earthworms. A malefemale pair typically inhabits a territory, and older, usually female, siblings help care for the younger offspring by bringing them food. Red foxes are among the main carriers and victims of rabies.

Sexual Dimorphism:

Males can be 15%-25% heavier than females.

Length:

Range: 827-1,097 mm

Weight:

Range: 3-7 kg

References:

Linnaeus, C., 1758.  Systema Naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classis, ordines, genera, species cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis, Tenth Edition, Laurentii Salvii, Stockholm, 1:40, 824 pp.

Links:

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

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 vulpes

Image of Vulpes vulpes
Vulpes vulpes - kits
Click to enlarge this image. (141kb)

Image of Vulpes vulpes
Vulpes vulpes (Red Fox), MidAtlantic
Click to enlarge this image. (396kb)

Image of Vulpes vulpes
Vulpes vulpes (Red Fox), MidAtlantic
Click to enlarge this image. (400kb)

Image of Vulpes vulpes
Click to enlarge this image. (90kb)

 
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