red fox

(Vulpes vulpes)

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern


No Image Available


N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked


not listed


Common and widespread


A variety of habitats, usually semi-open to mature forest.


Average 3 years


Total length: 33 to 41

Tail: 11½ to 15


Northern plains fox (Vulpes Vulpes regalis), the Minnesota subspecies, is the largest North American subspecies of red fox. The fur (pelage) is yellowish-red. All four feet are black, appearing as black “socks”. The tail is very long and has a white tip The ears are very large and broad.


Gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) pellage is mostly grizzled gray with areas of rusty-yellow. A black stripe runs down the top of the back and tail. The tip of the tail is black. The feet do not have black “socks”.


Mostly mice and voles, but also other small animals, including rabbits and hares, woodchucks, ground and tree squirrels, muskrats, song and game birds, snakes, turtles, and frogs. In warm months they also eat insects and fruits.

Life Cycle




Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 7, 15, 29, 76.


As of 2015 there are 46 recognized subspecies of red fox (Vulpes Vulpes) worldwide. Only one, northern plains fox (Vulpes Vulpes regalis), is found in Minnesota. There is one report of American red fox (Vulpes Vulpes fulvus), the eastern subspecies, in Minnesota. However, this report is from a museum specimen in 1892 and the location where it was collected was not recorded.



Carnivora (carnivores)



Caniformia (caniform carnivores)



Canidae (dog, coyote, wolf, fox )






Canini (true dogs)

Subordinate Taxa

Afghan red fox (Vulpes Vulpes griffithi)

American red fox (Vulpes Vulpes fulvus) (?)

Anadyr fox (Vulpes Vulpes beringiana)

Anatolian fox (Vulpes Vulpes anatolica)

Arabian fox (Vulpes Vulpes arabica)

Atlas fox (Vulpes Vulpes atlantica)

Barbary fox (Vulpes Vulpes barbara)

British Columbian fox (Vulpes Vulpes abietorum)

Cascade Mountain fox (Vulpes Vulpes cascadensis)

Cyprus fox (Vulpes Vulpes indutus)

eastern trans-Caucasian fox (Vulpes Vulpes alpherakyi)

European fox (Vulpes Vulpes crucigera)

hill fox (Vulpes Vulpes montana)

Iberian fox (Vulpes Vulpes silacea)

Japanese fox (Vulpes Vulpes japonica)

Karaganka fox (Vulpes Vulpes karagan)

Kenai Peninsula fox (Vulpes Vulpes kenaiensis)

Kodiak fox (Vulpes Vulpes harrimani)

Korean fox (Vulpes Vulpes peculiosa)

Kurile Island fox (Vulpes Vulpes splendidissima)

Labrador fox (Vulpes Vulpes bangsi)

Newfoundland fox (Vulpes Vulpes deletrix)

Nile fox (Vulpes Vulpes niloticus)

north Caucasian fox (Vulpes Vulpes caucasica)

northern Alaskan fox (Vulpes Vulpes alascensis)

northern Chinese fox (Vulpes Vulpes tschiliensis)

northern plains fox (Vulpes Vulpes regalis)

Nova Scotia fox (Vulpes Vulpes rubricosa)

Palestinian fox (Vulpes Vulpes palaestina)

red fox fox (Vulpes Vulpes dorsalis)

Sacramento Valley red fox (Vulpes Vulpes patwin)

Sakhalin fox (Vulpes Vulpes schrencki)

Sardinian fox (Vulpes Vulpes ichnusae)

Scandinavian red fox (Vulpes Vulpes vulpes)

Sierra Nevada red fox (Vulpes Vulpes necator)

southern Chinese fox (Vulpes Vulpes hoole)

Steppe fox (Vulpes Vulpes stepensis)

Tobol'sk fox (Vulpes Vulpes tobolica)

Trans-Baikal fox (Vulpes Vulpes daurica)

Trans-Caucasian montane fox (Vulpes Vulpes kurdistanica)

Turkestan fox (Vulpes Vulpes ochroxantha)

Turkmenian fox (Vulpes Vulpes flavescens)

Ussuri fox (Vulpes Vulpes dolichocrania)

Wasatch Mountain fox (Vulpes Vulpes macroura)

white-footed fox (Vulpes Vulpes pusilla)

Yakutsk fox (Vulpes Vulpes jakutensis)


Canis vulpes


red fox









The coat of a mammal, consisting of fur, wool, or hair, and including a soft undercoat and stiff guard hairs.




Visitor Photos

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  Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes)
Bill Keim
  Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes)  
  Vulpes vulpes (Red Fox)
Allen Chartier
  Vulpes vulpes (Red Fox)  
  Red Fox
Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren
  Red Fox  




Visitor Videos

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Other Videos

  Dmitry Belyaev and Fox Experiments
O Kit

Published on May 8, 2013

In the 1950s, Belyaev and his team spent years breeding the silver fox (Vulpes vulpes) and selecting only those that showed the least fear of humans.

After about ten generations of controlled breeding, the domesticated silver foxes no longer showed any fear of humans and often wagged their tails and licked their human caretakers to show affection. They also started to have spotted coats, floppy ears, and curled tails.

As a result of domestication, the adrenaline levels of the domesticated foxes were significantly lower than normal. The presence of their multicolor coats is theorized by the scientists to be related to changes in melanin, which controls pigment production and shares a biochemical pathway with adrenaline. It could also be that it was a result of hormonal changes that occurred as the foxes became increasingly tame.

The changes to the foxes' coats as they became domesticated may have helped solve the biological riddle of how dogs evolved to have coats different from wolves.

  Fox Dives Headfirst Into Snow | North America

Published on Jul 5, 2013

A red fox pinpoints field mice buried deep beneath the snow, using his sensitive hearing and the magnetic field of the North Pole to plot his trajectory. | For more North America, visit

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  Moocher Red Fox at Minnesota Scenic State Park.
douginda44's channel

Uploaded on Aug 28, 2011

  Scream of the red fox
dan izzo

Uploaded on Feb 26, 2008

Scream of the red fox

  North Dakota Red Fox pups

Published on May 8, 2012

Recorded on May 8, 2012 using a Flip Video camera. There are five little guys here! If you watch some of my newer videos you can see these pups all grown up. Two of them I believe didn't survive.





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