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The kit fox (Vulpes macrotis) is a fox species of North America. Its range is primarily in the Southwestern United States and northern and central Mexico. Some mammalogists classify it as conspecific with the swift fox, V. velox, but molecular systematics imply that the two species are distinct.[3]

Contents

1 Range 2 Subspecies 3 Appearance 4 Diet 5 Habitat 6 Mating 7 References 8 External links

Range[edit] The northernmost part of its range is the arid interior of Oregon. Its eastern limit is southwestern Colorado. It can be found south through Nevada, Utah, southeastern California, Arizona, New Mexico, and into western Texas.[4] Subspecies[edit]

San Joaquin kit fox at the California Living Museum in Bakersfield

The endangered San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes macrotis mutica) was formerly very common in the San Joaquin Valley and through much of Central California. Its 1990 population was estimated to be 7,000. This subspecies is still endangered, after nearly 50 years of being on the Endangered Species List. Officially this subspecies was listed March 3, 1967.[5] On September 26, 2007, Wildlands Inc. announced the designation of the 684-acre (2.77 km2) Deadman Creek Conservation Bank, which is intended specifically to protect habitat of the San Joaquin kit fox.[6] However, the population continues to decline mostly due to heavy habitat loss. Other factors include competition from red fox, and the extermination of the gray wolf from California has left the coyote as the dominant meso-predator in kit fox territory bringing an imbalance in ecosystem relationships. The Southern California kit fox (V. m. macrotis) was a population of kit foxes native to desert regions of Southern California which became extinct in 1903. The desert kit fox (V. m. arsipus) lives in the Mojave Desert. Appearance[edit] The kit fox is the smallest species of the family Canidae found in North America (except for specially bred domestic dog breeds like teacup Yorkshire.) It has large ears, between 71 and 95 mm (2.8 and 3.7 in), that help the fox lower its body temperature and give it exceptional hearing (much like those of the fennec fox). This species exhibits sexual dimorphism, with the male being slightly larger. The average species weight is between 1.6 and 2.7 kg (3.5 and 6.0 lb). The body length is 455 to 535 mm (17.9 to 21.1 in). The tail adds another 250–340 mm (9.8–13.4 in) to its length.[4] It usually has a gray coat, with rusty tones, and a black tip to its tail. Unlike the gray fox, it has no stripe along the length of its tail. Its color ranges from yellowish to gray, and the back is usually darker than the majority of its coat; its belly and inner ears are usually lighter. It has distinct dark patches around the nose.[4] Diet[edit] The kit fox is mostly a nocturnal[7] animal, but sometimes ventures out of its den during the day. It usually goes out to hunt shortly after sunset, mostly eating small animals such as kangaroo rats, cottontail rabbits, black-tailed jackrabbits (Lepus californicus), meadow voles, hares, prairie dogs, insects, lizards, snakes, fish, and ground-dwelling birds. It will scavenge carrion. While primarily carnivorous, if food is scarce, it has been known to eat tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum), cactus fruits (Carnegiea gigantea) and other fruits. Different kit fox families can occupy the same hunting grounds, but do not generally go hunting at the same time.[4] Habitat[edit] Kit foxes favor arid climates, such as desert scrub, chaparral, and grasslands. Good examples of common habitats are sagebrush Artemisia tridentata and saltbrush Atriplex polycarpa. They can be found in urban and agricultural areas, too. They are found at elevations of 400 to 1,900 meters (1,300 to 6,200 ft) above sea level.[4] Mating[edit] See also: Fox § Sexual characteristics The kit fox is a socially monogamous species.[8] Male and female kit foxes usually establish monogamous mating pairs during October and November. Polygamous mating relationships have been observed. Pairs can change year to year. They mate from December to February, when they use larger family dens.[clarification needed] Litters are born throughout March and April, usually containing one to seven pups, and average four pups. The gestation is 49 to 55 days. Pups do not leave the den until they are four weeks old. They are weaned after about eight weeks and become independent at five to six months old. They become sexually mature at 10 months. Both parents take part in raising and protecting their young. The average lifespan of a wild kit fox is 5.5 years. In captivity, they can live 12 years[further explanation needed]. One Californian study of 144 kit fox pups showed a 74% mortality rate in pups within the first year.[4][9] References[edit]

^ 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. pp. 532–628. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.  ^ IUCN SCC Canid Specialist Group (North America Regional Section) (2008). "Vulpes macrotis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2008. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 22 March 2009.  Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of least concern ^ Mercure, Alan; Ralls, Katherine; Koepfli, Klaus P.; Wayne, Robert K. (1993). "Genetic Subdivisions among Small Canids: Mitochondrial DNA Differentiation of Swift, Kit, and Arctic Foxes" (PDF). Evolution. 47 (5): 1313. doi:10.2307/2410150. ISSN 0014-3820.  ^ a b c d e f ADW: Vulpes macrotis: Information. Animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu (2008-04-05). Retrieved on 2011-09-16. ^ http://ecos.fws.gov/speciesProfile/profile/speciesProfile.action?spcode=A006 ^ Kit fox Gets Some Protection, In California, Environmental News Network, September 27, 2007 ^ "Kit Fox". Digital Desert. Retrieved 2014-07-16.  ^ Ralls, Katherine, Brian Cypher, and Linda K. Spiegel. "Social monogamy in kit foxes: formation, association, duration, and dissolution of mated pairs." Journal of Mammalogy 88.6 (2007): 1439-1446. ^ "Kit Fox (Vulpes macrotis): A Technical Conservation Assessment", 2006

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Vulpes macrotis.

ARKive – images and movies of the kit fox (Vulpes macrotis) NPS - information about Kit Fox in Joshua Tree National Park

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Extant Carnivora species

Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalia Infraclass: Eutheria Superorder: Laurasiatheria

Suborder Feliformia

Nandiniidae

Nandinia

African palm civet (N. binotata)

Herpestidae (Mongooses)

Atilax

Marsh mongoose (A. paludinosus)

Bdeogale

Bushy-tailed mongoose (B. crassicauda) Jackson's mongoose (B. jacksoni) Black-footed mongoose (B. nigripes)

Crossarchus

Alexander's kusimanse (C. alexandri) Angolan kusimanse (C. ansorgei) Common kusimanse (C. obscurus) Flat-headed kusimanse (C. platycephalus)

Cynictis

Yellow mongoose (C. penicillata)

Dologale

Pousargues's mongoose (D. dybowskii)

Galerella

Angolan slender mongoose (G. flavescens) Black mongoose (G. nigrata) Somalian slender mongoose (G. ochracea) Cape gray mongoose (G. pulverulenta) Slender mongoose (G. sanguinea)

Helogale

Ethiopian dwarf mongoose (H. hirtula) Common dwarf mongoose (H. parvula)

Herpestes

Short-tailed mongoose (H. brachyurus) Indian gray mongoose (H. edwardsii) Indian brown mongoose (H. fuscus) Egyptian mongoose (H. ichneumon) Small Asian mongoose (H. javanicus) Long-nosed mongoose (H. naso) Collared mongoose (H. semitorquatus) Ruddy mongoose (H. smithii) Crab-eating mongoose (H. urva) Stripe-necked mongoose (H. vitticollis)

Ichneumia

White-tailed mongoose (I. albicauda)

Liberiictus

Liberian mongoose (L. kuhni)

Mungos

Gambian mongoose (M. gambianus) Banded mongoose (M. mungo)

Paracynictis

Selous' mongoose (P. selousi)

Rhynchogale

Meller's mongoose (R. melleri)

Suricata

Meerkat (S. suricatta)

Hyaenidae (Hyenas)

Crocuta

Spotted hyena (C. crocuta)

Hyaena

Brown hyena (H. brunnea) Striped hyena (H. hyaena)

Proteles

Aardwolf (P. cristatus)

Felidae

Large family listed below

Viverridae

Large family listed below

Eupleridae

Small family listed below

Family Felidae

Felinae

Acinonyx

Cheetah (A. jubatus)

Caracal

Caracal (C. caracal) African golden cat (C. aurata)

Catopuma

Bay cat (C. badia) Asian golden cat (C. temminckii)

Felis

European wildcat (F. silvestris) African wildcat (F. lybica) Jungle cat (F. chaus) Black-footed cat (F. nigripes) Sand cat (F. margarita) Chinese mountain cat (F. bieti) Domestic cat (F. catus)

Leopardus

Ocelot (L. pardalis) Margay (L. wiedii) Pampas cat (L. colocola) Geoffroy's cat (L. geoffroyi) Kodkod (L. guigna) Andean mountain cat (L. jacobita) Oncilla (L. tigrinus) Southern tigrina (L. guttulus)

Leptailurus

Serval (L. serval)

Lynx

Canadian lynx (L. canadensis) Eurasian lynx (L. lynx) Iberian lynx (L. pardinus) Bobcat (L. rufus)

Otocolobus

Pallas's cat (O. manul)

Pardofelis

Marbled cat (P. marmorata)

Prionailurus

Fishing cat (P. viverrinus) Leopard cat (P. bengalensis) Sundaland leopard cat (P. javanensis) Flat-headed cat (P. planiceps) Rusty-spotted cat (P. rubiginosus)

Puma

Cougar (P. concolor)

Herpailurus

Jaguarundi (H. yagouaroundi)

Pantherinae

Panthera

Lion (P. leo) Jaguar (P. onca) Leopard (P. pardus) Tiger (P. tigris) Snow leopard (P. uncia)

Neofelis

Clouded leopard (N. nebulosa) Sunda clouded leopard (N. diardi)

Family Viverridae (includes Civets)

Paradoxurinae

Arctictis

Binturong (A. binturong)

Arctogalidia

Small-toothed palm civet (A. trivirgata)

Macrogalidia

Sulawesi palm civet (M. musschenbroekii)

Paguma

Masked palm civet (P. larvata)

Paradoxurus

Golden wet-zone palm civet (P. aureus) Asian palm civet (P. hermaphroditus) Jerdon's palm civet (P. jerdoni) Golden palm civet (P. zeylonensis)

Hemigalinae

Chrotogale

Owston's palm civet (C. owstoni)

Cynogale

Otter civet (C. bennettii)

Diplogale

Hose's palm civet (D. hosei)

Hemigalus

Banded palm civet (H. derbyanus)

Prionodontinae (Asiatic linsangs)

Prionodon

Banded linsang (P. linsang) Spotted linsang (P. pardicolor)

Viverrinae

Civettictis

African civet (C. civetta)

Genetta (Genets)

Abyssinian genet (G. abyssinica) Angolan genet (G. angolensis) Bourlon's genet (G. bourloni) Crested servaline genet (G. cristata) Common genet (G. genetta) Johnston's genet (G. johnstoni) Rusty-spotted genet (G. maculata) Pardine genet (G. pardina) Aquatic genet (G. piscivora) King genet (G. poensis) Servaline genet (G. servalina) Haussa genet (G. thierryi) Cape genet (G. tigrina) Giant forest genet (G. victoriae)

Poiana

African linsang (P. richardsonii) Leighton's linsang (P. leightoni)

Viverra

Malabar large-spotted civet (V. civettina) Large-spotted civet (V. megaspila) Malayan civet (V. tangalunga) Large Indian civet (V. zibetha)

Viverricula

Small Indian civet (V. indica)

Family Eupleridae

Euplerinae

Cryptoprocta

Fossa (C. ferox)

Eupleres

Eastern falanouc (E. goudotii) Western falanouc (E. major)

Fossa

Malagasy civet (F. fossana)

Galidiinae

Galidia

Ring-tailed mongoose (G. elegans)

Galidictis

Broad-striped Malagasy mongoose (G. fasciata) Grandidier's mongoose (G. grandidieri)

Mungotictis

Narrow-striped mongoose (M. decemlineata)

Salanoia

Brown-tailed mongoose (S. concolor) Durrell's vontsira (S. durrelli)

Suborder Caniformia (cont. below)

Ursidae (Bears)

Ailuropoda

Giant panda (A. melanoleuca)

Helarctos

Sun bear (H. malayanus)

Melursus

Sloth bear (M. ursinus)

Tremarctos

Spectacled bear (T. ornatus)

Ursus

American black bear (U. americanus) Brown bear (U. arctos) Polar bear (U. maritimus) Asian black bear (U. thibetanus)

Mephitidae

Conepatus (Hog-nosed skunks)

Molina's hog-nosed skunk (C. chinga) Humboldt's hog-nosed skunk (C. humboldtii) American hog-nosed skunk (C. leuconotus) Striped hog-nosed skunk (C. semistriatus)

Mephitis

Hooded skunk (M. macroura) Striped skunk (M. mephitis)

Mydaus

Sunda stink badger (M. javanensis) Palawan stink badger (M. marchei)

Spilogale (Spotted skunks)

Southern spotted skunk (S. angustifrons) Western spotted skunk (S. gracilis) Eastern spotted skunk (S. putorius) Pygmy spotted skunk (S. pygmaea)

Procyonidae

Bassaricyon (Olingos)

Eastern lowland olingo (B. alleni) Northern olingo (B. gabbii) Western lowland olingo (B. medius) Olinguito (B. neblina)

Bassariscus

Ring-tailed cat (B. astutus) Cacomistle (B. sumichrasti)

Nasua (Coatis inclusive)

White-nosed coati (N. narica) South American coati (N. nasua)

Nasuella (Coatis inclusive)

Western mountain coati (N. olivacea) Eastern mountain coati (N. meridensis)

Potos

Kinkajou (P. flavus)

Procyon

Crab-eating raccoon (P. cancrivorus) Raccoon (P. lotor) Cozumel raccoon (P. pygmaeus)

Ailuridae

Ailurus

Red panda (A. fulgens)

Suborder Caniformia (cont. above)

Otariidae (Eared seals) (includes fur seals and sea lions) (Pinniped inclusive)

Arctocephalus

South American fur seal (A. australis) Australasian fur seal (A. forsteri) Galápagos fur seal (A. galapagoensis) Antarctic fur seal (A. gazella) Juan Fernández fur seal (A. philippii) Brown fur seal (A. pusillus) Guadalupe fur seal (A. townsendi) Subantarctic fur seal (A. tropicalis)

Callorhinus

Northern fur seal (C. ursinus)

Eumetopias

Steller sea lion (E. jubatus)

Neophoca

Australian sea lion (N. cinerea)

Otaria

South American sea lion (O. flavescens)

Phocarctos

New Zealand sea lion (P. hookeri)

Zalophus

California sea lion (Z. californianus) Galápagos sea lion (Z. wollebaeki)

Odobenidae (Pinniped inclusive)

Odobenus

Walrus (O. rosmarus)

Phocidae (Earless seals) (Pinniped inclusive)

Cystophora

Hooded seal (C. cristata)

Erignathus

Bearded seal (E. barbatus)

Halichoerus

Gray seal (H. grypus)

Histriophoca

Ribbon seal (H. fasciata)

Hydrurga

Leopard seal (H. leptonyx)

Leptonychotes

Weddell seal (L. weddellii)

Lobodon

Crabeater seal (L. carcinophagus)

Mirounga (Elephant seals)

Northern elephant seal (M. angustirostris) Southern elephant seal (M. leonina)

Monachus

Mediterranean monk seal (M. monachus) Hawaiian monk seal (M. schauinslandi)

Ommatophoca

Ross seal (O. rossi)

Pagophilus

Harp seal (P. groenlandicus)

Phoca

Spotted seal (P. largha) Harbor seal (P. vitulina)

Pusa

Caspian seal (P. caspica) Ringed seal (P. hispida) Baikal seal (P. sibirica)

Canidae

Large family listed below

Mustelidae

Large family listed below

Family Canidae (includes dogs)

Atelocynus

Short-eared dog (A. microtis)

Canis

Side-striped jackal (C. adustus) African golden wolf (C. anthus) Golden jackal (C. aureus) Coyote (C. latrans) Gray wolf (C. lupus) Black-backed jackal (C. mesomelas) Red wolf (C. rufus) Ethiopian wolf (C. simensis)

Cerdocyon

Crab-eating fox (C. thous)

Chrysocyon

Maned wolf (C. brachyurus)

Cuon

Dhole (C. alpinus)

Lycalopex

Culpeo (L. culpaeus) Darwin's fox (L. fulvipes) South American gray fox (L. griseus) Pampas fox (L. gymnocercus) Sechuran fox (L. sechurae) Hoary fox (L. vetulus)

Lycaon

African wild dog (L. pictus)

Nyctereutes

Raccoon dog (N. procyonoides)

Otocyon

Bat-eared fox (O. megalotis)

Speothos

Bush dog (S. venaticus)

Urocyon

Gray fox (U. cinereoargenteus) Island fox (U. littoralis)

Vulpes (Foxes)

Bengal fox (V. bengalensis) Blanford's fox (V. cana) Cape fox (V. chama) Corsac fox (V. corsac) Tibetan sand fox (V. ferrilata) Arctic fox (V. lagopus) Kit fox (V. macrotis) Pale fox (V. pallida) Rüppell's fox (V. rueppelli) Swift fox (V. velox) Red fox (V. vulpes) Fennec fox (V. zerda)

Family Mustelidae

Lutrinae (Otters)

Aonyx

African clawless otter (A. capensis) Oriental small-clawed otter (A. cinerea)

Enhydra

Sea otter (E. lutris)

Hydrictis

Spotted-necked otter (H. maculicollis)

Lontra

North American river otter (L. canadensis) Marine otter (L. felina) Neotropical otter (L. longicaudis) Southern river otter (L. provocax)

Lutra

Eurasian otter (L. lutra) Hairy-nosed otter (L. sumatrana)

Lutrogale

Smooth-coated otter (L. perspicillata)

Pteronura

Giant otter (P. brasiliensis)

Mustelinae (including badgers)

Arctonyx

Hog badger (A. collaris)

Eira

Tayra (E. barbara)

Galictis

Lesser grison (G. cuja) Greater grison (G. vittata)

Gulo

Wolverine (G. gulo)

Ictonyx

Saharan striped polecat (I. libyca) Striped polecat (I. striatus)

Lyncodon

Patagonian weasel (L. patagonicus)

Martes (Martens)

American marten (M. americana) Yellow-throated marten (M. flavigula) Beech marten (M. foina) Nilgiri marten (M. gwatkinsii) European pine marten (M. martes) Japanese marten (M. melampus) Sable (M. zibellina)

Pekania

Fisher (P. pennanti)

Meles

Japanese badger (M. anakuma) Asian badger (M. leucurus) European badger (M. meles)

Mellivora

Honey badger (M. capensis)

Melogale (Ferret-badgers)

Bornean ferret-badger (M. everetti) Chinese ferret-badger (M. moschata) Javan ferret-badger (M. orientalis) Burmese ferret-badger (M. personata)

Mustela (Weasels and Ferrets)

Amazon weasel (M. africana) Mountain weasel (M. altaica) Stoat (M. erminea) Steppe polecat (M. eversmannii) Colombian weasel (M. felipei) Long-tailed weasel (M. frenata) Japanese weasel (M. itatsi) Yellow-bellied weasel (M. kathiah) European mink (M. lutreola) Indonesian mountain weasel (M. lutreolina) Black-footed ferret (M. nigripes) Least weasel (M. nivalis) Malayan weasel (M. nudipes) European polecat (M. putorius) Siberian weasel (M. sibirica) Back-striped weasel (M. strigidorsa) Egyptian weasel (M. subpalmata)

Neovison (Minks)

American mink (N. vison)

Poecilogale

African striped weasel (P. albinucha)

Taxidea

American badger (T. taxus)

Vormela

Marbled polecat (V. peregusna)

Taxon identifiers

Wd: Q745751 ARKive: vulpes-macrotis EoL: 311511 EPPO: VULPMA Fossilworks: 52685 GBIF: 5219311 iNaturalist: 42070 ITIS: 180606 IUCN: 41587 MSW: 14000878 NCBI: 9630

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