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This is an article about the species. For topics that share the name, see Fox (disambiguation)
Vulpes vulpes sitting.jpg

A red fox (Vulpes vulpes)
Biological hierarchy
GenusVulpes, Cerdocyon, Dusicyon, Lycalopex, Otocyon, Urocyon
Depiction of standard anthropomorphic and nonmorphic red fox fursonas.
Micro vixens. Art by Dustmeat.

Foxes, scientifically referred to as vulpines, is a common name to properly refer to any one of the 27 species of small- to medium-sized omnivorous mammals belonging to the Canidae family, and bearing vulpine characteristics, particularly the sharp features and the brush-like tail.

The female fox is called a vixen, and male is referred to as a tod or dog. Tod (originally todd or todde)[1][2] is often used more frequently than its counterpart, "dog", in that there's less chance for confusion with other varieties of canine (many of which are also colloquially referred to as dogs). Their young are called kits, cubs, or pups. A group of foxes is called a skulk or leash[3].


The most common species associated with a fox is the red fox, belonging to the Vulpes genus. Other fox species include the Arctic foxes, kit foxes, crab-eating foxes, and fennec foxes. Foxes are largely characterized by their long, accentuated muzzles and bottlebrush tails, though other distinguishing features include retractible claws (much like cats and other felines), vertical pupils, and, in the grey fox, the ability to climb trees[3].

From birth, foxes are blind and unable to walk; a vixen, typically the mother of the cub or cubs, remains at all times with her litter from birth until the cubs are able to see, move, and function alone[4]. From this point onward, cubs must begin to wean, search for their first food (often earthworms, insects, and berries), and begin to sleep alone, instead of with parents or other guardians.

Foxes and furry[edit]

Foxes are one of the most popular phenotypes (if not the most popular) in the fandom, with the red fox being the most popular fox species. This may be due to the frequent anthropomorphism of foxes in literature (such as in Aesop's Fables, Disney's Robin Hood, and Roald Dahl's Fantastic Mr. Fox). In addition, foxes are a large archetype in figures of speech, such as "the fox guarding the henhouse", "crazy/sly as a fox", "she's a fox", etc.

As foxes are portrayed frequently and in a myriad of ways,[clarify] they often have a broader appeal to role-players,[citation needed] making them easier to relate to and associate with,[clarify] and making it a popular choice of fursona.[clarify][citation needed]

Characters and fursonas[edit]

In traditional media, foxes are often portrayed as mischievous and cunning (Aesop) or heroic (Robin Hood); in furry fandom, however, foxes have become so universally popular that they are no longer restricted to those traits by any means, most recently with Nick Wilde in the 2016 Disney animated film Zootopia.[clarify]

While many[who?] may prefer a more realistic fursona, reflecting the fox's quiet beauty, intelligence, and cunningness, others may prefer a more cartoon-like fursona (such as being silly, playful, and amorous), or have a more sexually based, or yiffy fursona.

Foxes, in some cultures and beliefs, are frequently associated with gender mutability (Kitsune were traditionally depicted as being able to transform into an old man, a young woman, or a mature fox at will), making it the most common phenotype among transgender furs,[citation needed] with almost one in six being a vulpine of some sort.[clarify][citation needed].


This section is about the female fox. For topics that share the name, see Vixen

Vixens (from Old English fyxen),[5] are often notoriously characterized as hypersexual, attractive, and voluptuous, likely due to the notorious label of the same name given to attractive, voluptuous, or otherwise attractive human females.[citation needed]

The "dumb blonde" stereotype may apply to many vixens, leading to practice of "vixen jokes" (a tongue-in-cheek parody of "blonde jokes". See furry character Sheila Vixen); West Corner Of the Park, a furry webcomic, bases many of its running gags around the "stupidity" of foxes,[citation needed] a contradiction to the "cunning fox" mainstream view (see Räven).


Voop or voopies is a rarer term for vixen; its furry terminology's origin is unknown. Known voop characters include The Voops (Melonie Voop and Edith Voop), fox characters on the Funday PawPet Show, and Richard Hallock's Virtual Vikki, original known as the "Digi-Voop".[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. Tod - A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700) (2001)
  2. Todd. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  3. 3.0 3.1 [1]. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  4. Reproduction and development section on the Red fox's Wikipedia article. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  5. [2] . Retrieved April 1, 2014.

External links[edit]


  • article suggesting foxes catch their prey using the Earth's magnetic field as a form of range-finder.
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