South American fox
Pseudalopex Burmeister, 1856
The South American fox (Lycalopex), commonly called raposa in Portuguese, or zorro in Spanish, are a genus of the family Canidae from South America. Despite their name, they are not true foxes, but are a unique canid genus related to wolves and jackals, which some somewhat resemble foxes due to convergent evolution. The South American gray fox, Lycalopex griseus, is the most common species, and is known for its large ears and a highly marketable, russet-fringed pelt.
The common English words "zorro" and "raposa" are loan words from Spanish and Portuguese, respectively, with both words originally meaning "fox". Current usage lists Pseudalopex (literally: "false fox") as synonymous with Lycalopex ("wolf fox"), with the latter taking precedence. The IUCN, for instance, retains the use of Pseudalopex while also acknowledging Lycalopex as a legitimate alternative.
Species currently included in this genus include:
- Culpeo or Andean fox, Lycalopex culpaeus
- Darwin's fox, Lycalopex fulvipes
- South American gray fox, Lycalopex griseus
- Pampas fox, Lycalopex gymnocercus
- Sechuran fox, Lycalopex sechurae
- Hoary fox, Lycalopex vetulus
Relationship with humans
The zorros are hunted in Argentina for their durable, soft pelts. They are also often labelled 'lamb-killers'.
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- 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. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
- Lucherini, M. & Luengos Vidal, E. M. (2008). "Lycalopex gymnocercus (Carnivora: Canidae)". Mammalian Species: Number 820, pp. 1–9. doi:10.1644/820.1.
- Jiménez, J. E. (2008). "Pseudalopex culpaeus". IUCN. Retrieved May 8, 2012.
- Nowak, Ronald M. (2005). Walker's Carnivores of the World. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press. ISBN 0-8018-8032-7
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