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Red Fox

Red Fox

Red Fox Range Map
Red Fox Range Map

Red Fox Pup

Red Fox
Latin Name Vulpes vulpes
Conservation Status Least Concern
Location Arctic, N America, Europe, Asia, N Africa, Australia
Colour Red/Brown
Length 58 - 90 cms (23 - 35 inches)
Tail 32 - 49 cms (12.5 - 19.5 inches)
Weight 3 - 11 Kgs (6.5 - 24 lbs)
Life Expectancy

7 Yrs (Wild)
15 Yrs (in Captivity)

Main Characteristics

Red Foxes have over taken grey wolves to be the most wide spread dog in the wild. They have a body length between 58 and 90 cms (23 - 35 inches), a tail length between 32 and 49 cms (12.5 - 19.5 inches) and they weigh between 3 and 11 Kgs (6.5 - 24 lbs).

Red Foxes have red/brown coloured fur of various shades depending on habitat. They can also be coloured black, grey or there can be cross morphs. They moult twice a year, once in Spring when they get their short summer coat and again in late autumn when they get their longer, thicker coat.

They have a long bushy tail, known as a brush, which is tipped with white fur and the backs of their ears and parts of their legs are coloured black. They tend to have a white chest and underside, and white fur on the top lip of their slender muzzle.

Their eyes are coloured yellow/gold and they have distinctive vertical pupils that are similar to felines rather than rounded pupils like other canines.

Red Foxes are very agile and they are able to run at speeds of up to 70 Km/h (45 mph).

The size of Red Foxes varies greatly over their range but generally males tend to be approximately 20% larger than females.


Red Foxes have the widest range of any terrestrial carnivore. They are found in Europe, Canada, USA, Asia, Australia and North Africa. They have dens in forests, scrubland and prairies and they are becoming increasingly common in urban environments in Europe and North America.

Red Foxes tend to be solitary although they have been known to group together in a pack. They are mainly active at dusk and during the night where they will forage around in their home territory.

Their territories can range from 25 - 5000 acres (10 - 2000 hectares) and they mark them with urine and faeces.


Red Foxes are omnivores and their diet mainly consists of rodents, insects, worms, eggs, birds, fruit and other small mammals.

Urban foxes scavenge through household waste and will eat from pet food bowls that have been left outside.

Red Foxes consume on average 0.5 - 1 Kg (1 - 2 lbs) of food per day and they will keep any surplus food near to their den to eat later.

Red Foxes have an excellent sense of hearing and they will stalk and pounce on their prey. To kill their prey they will severe the spinal cord with their teeth.


After a gestation period of 51 - 53 days, 4 - 7 cubs are born in a den. When they are born they are blind and weigh approximately 150 g (5.3 oz). They open their eyes by the time they reach 2 weeks old and by 5 weeks they have left the den for the first time.

The cubs are weaned when they are 7 - 9 weeks old and by the autumn they all move away to find their own territories. They reach sexual maturity by the time they are one year old.


Predators of the Red Fox include humans, bears, wolves, and coyotes.


As Red Foxes have such a wide range, they have many subspecies. Below are a list of subspecies and their locations:

Vulpes vulpes abietorum - Western Canada
Vulpes vulpes aeygptica - Egypt
Vulpes vulpes alascensis - Alaska
Vulpes vulpes alpherakyi - Turkestan
Vulpes vulpes alticola
Vulpes vulpes anatolica - Asia
Vulpes vulpes arabica - Muscat
Vulpes vulpes atlantica
Vulpes vulpes barbara - North West Africa
Vulpes vulpes beringiana - North East Siberia
Vulpes vulpes cascadensis - NW coast of USA
Vulpes vulpes caucasica - Caucasian Mount. area
Vulpes vulpes crucigera - Germany
Vulpes vulpes daurica
Vulpes vulpes diluta
Vulpes vulpes dolichocrania - Russia
Vulpes vulpes dorsalis
Vulpes vulpes flavescens - North Iran
Vulpes vulpes fulva - Eastern USA
Vulpes vulpes fulvus
Vulpes vulpes griffithi - Afghanistan
Vulpes vulpes harrimani - Alaska
Vulpes vulpes hoole - South China
Vulpes vulpes ichnusae - Sardinia
Vulpes vulpes induta - Cyprus
Vulpes vulpes jakutensis - Yakutsk
Vulpes vulpes japonica - Japan
Vulpes vulpes karagan - Khirgizia
Vulpes vulpes kenaiensis - Alaska
Vulpes vulpes krimeamontana - Crimea
Vulpes vulpes kurdistanica
Vulpes vulpes macroura - Rocky Mts, USA
Vulpes vulpes montana - Himalayas
Vulpes vulpes necator - Western USA
Vulpes vulpes ochroxanta
Vulpes vulpes palaestina - Palestine
Vulpes vulpes peculiosa - Korea
Vulpes vulpes pusilla - India
Vulpes vulpes regalis
Vulpes vulpes rubricosa - Canada
Vulpes vulpes schrencki - Sakhalin
Vulpes vulpes septentrionalis
Vulpes vulpes silacea - Spain
Vulpes vulpes splendidissima - Kurile Is.
Vulpes vulpes stepensis
Vulpes vulpes topolica
Vulpes vulpes tschiliensis - North East China
Vulpes vulpes vulpecula
Vulpes vulpes vulpes
Vulpes vulpes waddelli - Tibet

Interesting Facts

Foxes are often included in tales and folklore with a reputation of being sly and cunning.

Red Foxes are often known just by the name "Fox"

Similar Animals

Arctic Fox
Swift Fox
Cape Fox
Kit Fox
Pale Fox
Rueppell's Fox
Blanford's Fox
Tibetan Sand Fox


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