red fox

(Vulpes vulpes)

Conservation Status
red fox
  IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern


N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked


not listed


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.




Total length: 33 to 41

Tail: 11½ to 15






Similar Species


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”.


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








Average 3 years


Life Cycle






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.


Distribution Map



4, 7, 24, 29, 30, 76.




Common and widespread

  Class Mammalia (mammals)  
  Subclass Theria  
  Infraclass Eutheria (placental mammals)  
  Magnorder Boreoeutheria  
  Superorder Laurasiatheria (ungulates, carnivorans, and allies)  
  Order Carnivora (carnivorans)  
  Suborder Caniformia (dog-like carnivores)  


Canidae (canids)  


Vulpes (typical foxes)  

Subordinate Taxa


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.


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


Common Names


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      

Ramona Abrego


Captive Fox

    red fox      

Wild fox on the Gunflint Trail

    red fox   red fox  
    red fox   red fox  

Norm & Peg Dibble


Beautiful Red Fox looking for a treat at our back door January 2018. First sighting ever was Christmas Eve! What a treat. It came by every day for quite a while so we have many photos and films.

  red fox  

Resting in the frozen pond area waiting for another treat. It was strange to watch him curl up and sleep in plain sight, but he probably had one eye open.

  red fox  

He is so gorgeous!

  red fox  
    red fox   red fox  
    red fox   red fox  
    red fox   red fox  



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
  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

Subscribe to Discovery! |

Watch full episodes of North America! |

  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.




Visitor Sightings

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Be sure to include a location.

Location: Cass County

red fox

  John Valo

Location: Burnsville, MN

I was startled awake at 1:25 this morning by a noise in the back yard. It sounded at first like a woman’s scream, about one and a half seconds long. After a ten second pause it was repeated. Again. And again. Then it became a long (one and a half second) scream followed by three shorter ones. After a ten second pause, that was repeated. Again. And again. I thought it may be a squirrel or rabbit being attacked by a red fox I have seen around. It turns out to have been the fox itself. Here is a link to Popular Science article of a screaming fox.

What Sound Does A Fox Really Make?

  Norm & Peg Dibble
January 2018

Location: Maple Grove, MN

Beautiful Red Fox looking for a treat at our back door January 2018. First sighting ever was Christmas Eve! What a treat. It came by every day for quite a while so we have many photos and films.

red fox

  Ramona Abrego

Location: Gunflint Trail

Wild fox on the Gunflint Trail

red fox





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