Foxes are small dog-like mammals in the Canidae family.
It includes the genus Vulpes and several others. V. vulpes is the world-wide Red Fox, often taken to be the fox.
Foxes are not pack-hunting animals, but are solitary hunters that encroach on each others' territories usually only during the mating season.
Foxes include members of the following genera:
- Vulpes ("foxes" in the strict sense, ten species)
- Alopex (Arctic Fox)
- Fennecus (Fennec)
- Urocyon (two species: Gray Fox and Island Fox)
- Lycalopex (Hoary Fox)
- Pseudalopex (South American foxes, four species, e.g. Culpeo)
- Dusicyon (Falkland Island Fox)
- Cerdocyon (Crab-eating Fox)
The red fox most commonly has red fur on its back and sides with white on the underside. However, it can also have black fur on its underside instead of white, or silver/grey fur on its back. These color variations can even happen within a single litter.
Red Fox, colour variation
In some countries foxes are a serious pest. In Australia, for example, feral Red Foxes are probably the single most harmful invasive animal, being responsible for more extinctions than even cats and rabbits. Ironically, certain varieties of fox in other parts of the world are an endangered species.