World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Hoary fox

Article Id: WHEBN0003243363
Reproduction Date:

Title: Hoary fox  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Canidae, Blanford's fox, Culpeo, Maned wolf, Wildlife of Brazil
Collection: Endemic Fauna of Brazil, Foxes, Mammals of Brazil, South American Foxes
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Hoary fox

Hoary fox[1]
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Genus: Lycalopex
Species: L. vetulus
Binomial name
Lycalopex vetulus
(Lund, 1842)
Hoary fox range

Pseudoalopex vetulus
Dusicyon vetulus

The hoary fox (Lycalopex vetulus), also called raposinha-do-campo (Portuguese for "meadow fox") or the hoary zorro, is a species of zorro or "false" fox endemic to Brazil. Unlike many other foxes, it feeds primarily on small invertebrates such as insects.


  • Description 1
  • Behaviour and diet 2
  • Range 3
  • Reproduction 4
  • References 5


The hoary fox has a short muzzle, small teeth, a short coat, and slender limbs. The upper part of the body is grey, and the underside of the body is cream or fawn. The tail is black on the tip with a marked dark stripe along the upper surface, which in male animals, may extend all the way along the back to the nape of the neck. The ears and outside part of the legs are reddish or tawny, and the lower jaw is black. Some melanistic individuals have also been reported.[3][4]

It is small for a fox, weighing only 3 to 4 kilograms (6.6 to 8.8 lb), with a head and body length of 58 to 72 centimetres (23 to 28 in), and a tail 25 to 36 centimetres (9.8 to 14.2 in). Together with its slender form, the small size of the hoary fox makes it an agile and fast-running animal, while its relatively weak teeth adapt it to feeding on invertebrates, rather than larger prey.[4]

Behaviour and diet

Hoary foxes are nocturnal,[5] and largely solitary outside of the breeding season. It mainly eats insects, especially termites and dung beetles, but also may eat rodents, small birds, and fruit. Individuals have widely varying home ranges, depending on the local environment, but an average of 48 hectares (120 acres) has been reported from pastures in Mato Grosso.[4]


The hoary fox is native to south-central Brazil, although there are some recorded sightings from the north of the country, and Pleistocene fossils are known from Argentina. Although they may be found in more marginal habitats, they usually live in the cerrado, between 90 and 1,100 metres (300 and 3,610 ft) elevation, where there are open woodlands, bushlands, and savannahs that are smooth or scattered with trees.[4]

There are no recognised subspecies.


Females usually give birth to two to four pups in August to September, after a gestation period of around 50 days. The female prepares a den in which to give birth, sometimes using the burrows of other animals. Weaning occurs at around four months of age.[4]


  1. ^ Wozencraft, W.C. (2005). "Order Carnivora". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press.  
  2. ^ Dalponte, J. & Courtenay, O. (2008). Pseudalopex vetulus. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 26 February 2009. Database entry includes justification for why this species is listed as of least concern
  3. ^ "Lycalopex vetulus". University of Michigan Museum of Zoology. Animal Diversity Web. Retrieved 30 October 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Dalponte, J.C. (2009). (Carnivora: Canidae)"Lycalopex vetulus". Mammalian Species 847: 1–7.  
  5. ^ Courtenay, O.; et al. (2006). "First observations on South America's largely insectivorous canid: the hoary fox (Pseudalopex vetulus)". Journal of Zoology 268 (1): 45–54.  
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.