Pampas fox

(Lycalopex gymnocercus)



The Pampas fox (Lycalopex gymnocercus), also known as grey pampean fox, Pampas zorro, Azara's fox, or Azara's zorro (in Spanish also called aguará chaí, anglicized as aguarachay, in Portuguese also called graxaim), is a medium-sized zorro, or "false" fox, native to the South American Pampas. Azara in some of its alternative common names is a reference to Spanish naturalist Félix de Azara. The Pampas fox resembles the culpeo or Andean fox in appearance and size, but has a proportionately wider snout, reddish fur on the head and neck, and a black mark on the muzzle. Its short, dense fur is grey over most of the body, with a black line running down the back and onto the tail, and pale, almost white, underparts. The ears are triangular, broad, and relatively large, and are reddish on the outer surface and white on the inner surface. The inner surfaces of the legs are similar in color to the underparts, while the outer surface is reddish on the fore limbs, and grey on the hind limbs; the lower hind limb also bears a distinctive black spot. Adults range from 51 to 80 cm (20 to 31 in) in body length, and weigh 2.4 to 8.0 kg (5.3 to 17.6 lb); males are about 10% heavier than females. In the northern part of its range, the pampas fox is more richly colored than in the southern part. The Pampas fox can be found in northern and central Argentina, Uruguay, eastern Bolivia, Paraguay, and southern Brazil. It prefers open pampas habitats, often close to agricultural land, but can also be found in montane or chaco forest, dry scrubland, and wetland habitats. It is most common below 1,000 m (3,300 ft) elevation, but can inhabit puna grasslands up to 3,500 m (11,500 ft). Five subspecies are currently recognised, although the geographic range of each is unclear, and the type localities of three of them lie outside the present-day range of the species: L. g. gymnocercus - northeastern Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil L. g. antiquus - central Argentina L. g. domeykoanus - first described from northern Chile L. g. gracilis - first described from western Argentina L. g. maulinicus - first described from central Chile Fossils of this species are known from the late Pliocene to early Pleistocene of Argentina. In the Spanish-speaking areas of its habitat, the Pampas fox is known by the common names of zorro de las pampas or zorro gris pampeano. In Portuguese-speaking Brazil, it is called by the common names of graxaim or sorro.

Taxonomic tree:

Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Mammalia
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