Kit Fox

The kit fox is a species of fox, native to North America. Mammalogists often compare this species with the swift fox. But, these two species are different. Kit foxes are considered for being the smallest foxes of the Americas.

Kit Fox

KitFox

 

Kit Fox Scientific Classifications

Let’s find out some more information about the species.

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class:       Mammalia

Order:     Carnivora

Family:    Canidae

Genus:    Vulpes

Species: V. Macrotis

Kit Fox Scientific Name

Vulpes macrotis

Kit Fox Physical Characteristics

This smallest species of Canidae family feature unusual characteristics. They have large ears measuring 71-95mm that help them maintain lower body temperature. The kit fox exhibits sexual dimorphism. The average weight of the species is between 1.6 – 2.7kg. The body length stretches to 455 to 535mm. The tail adds another 9-13 inches to its length. Their body is covered by a gray coat, with rusty tones. They do not have a stripe along the length of its tail. Their body color ranges from yellowish to gray. The back portion is darker with belly and inner ears appearing lighter. The kit fox has dark patches around the nose.

Physical Description of Kit Fox

Physical Description of Kit Fox

Kit Fox Habitat

Kit foxes prefer arid climates, and thus they are found in desert scrub, grasslands, and chaparral. They are also found in urban and agricultural areas. Kit foxes are found at an elevation of 400 – 1,900 meters, above the sea level.

Habitat of Kit Fox

Habitat of Kit Fox

Kit Fox Distribution

Their range is the arid interior of Oregon. They are also found in the south through Nevada, southeastern California, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and western Texas.

Kit Fox Diet

Nocturnal in nature, kit foxes are sometimes spotted outside den during the day. They start with their hunting activities after sunset. Kit foxes prefer eating small animals like kangaroo rats, black-tailed jackrabbits, cottontail rabbits, hares, prairie dogs, lizards, snakes, and ground-dwelling birds. This species is known to be carnivorous. If there is scarcity in food, they can survive by eating tomatoes, cactus fruits, etc.

Diet of Kit Fox

Diet of Kit Fox

Kit Fox Behavior

  • Kit foxes are inactive during hot desert days.
  • Occasionally, they are crepuscular.
  • They forage alone.
  • This species is not territorial. They prefer to live in underground burrows in pairs.
  • Female kits are relatively sedentary.
  • Male kits disperse more widely.

Kit Fox Reproduction

Kit foxes are monogamous. A single male kit is found to mate with multiple females. When the female kit is ready to reproduce, they search their own den. This happens around September. The male kit is found to join female kit in the month of October and stays with her until the end of the whelping season. They have a gestation period of 49-55 days. Kit foxes produce a litter of 1-7 pups.

Reproduction of Kit Fox

Reproduction of Kit Fox

Kit Fox Lifespan

Kit foxes have a lifespan of 4- 7 years in wild.

 

Kit Fox Predators

Predator of this species includes coyotes, feral dogs, red foxes, and humans.

 

Kit Fox Diseases

Kit foxes are usually attacked by a deadly and highly infectious skin disease called mange. The disease is spreading rapidly. This disease results in the loss of fur. If left untreated, kit foxes can die.

Kit Fox Interesting facts

  • They have large ears for improved thermoregulation.
  • Kit foxes use a hacking growl in intra-specific encounters.
  • Kit foxes are known by other names as well like the desert fox, zorra deldesierto, etc.

Conservation Status for Kit Fox

Their population is stable throughout the range. IUCN categorized this mammal as least concern. Their population is decreasing in some states.

Kit Fox Pictures

Diet of Kit Fox

Habitat of Kit Fox

Physical Description of Kit Fox

Kit Fox

Kit Fox

References

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