Also known as the Azara's Zorro.
The Azara's zorro ranges throughout central South America, with populations in Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. They occur in a wide range of habitats, from deserts to forests, but are most commonly found in lowland prairie areas. Physical Appearance
The Azara's zorro is a medium-sized fox. Their coat is generally greyish, with paler undersides. The head, ears and backs of the legs have a ruddy cast. They have black markings on the sides of their muzzle, and this distinguishes them from the similar culpeo. Their thick, bushy tail has two black areas, one at the base of the tail where the caudal gland is, and a black tip. Foxes from the northern areas of their range tend to be more vividly colored than those to the south. Males are approximately 10% larger than the females. Diet
Approximately 75% of their diet consists of rodents, rabbits and birds. They will also feed on frogs, lizards, and sometimes fruits and sugar cane. They have been known to feed on domestic poultry and young lambs. Reproduction and Life Cycle
They have a relatively solitary lifestyle. Mating season is from July to October. After a gestation period of 55 - 60 days, the mother gives birth to 3-5 kits in a den. The male provides for the family by bringing food to his mate, which stays at the den. The kits will hunt with their parents when they are 3 months old. They can live for 13 years. The Azara's zorro lives in monogamous pairs. The male helps to raise the young by providing food and protection. Behavior
They are primarily nocturnal, but have been seen active during the day in areas with low human populations.
The Azara's zorro exhibits two interesting and unusual behaviors. They collect useless human objects such as pieces of cloth and leather which they keep in their dens. They will play dead when approached by humans. When they are startled, they lay rigid on the ground with their eyes closed until the intruder has passed. Threats
Azara's foxes are hunted heavily in their range, for their fur and because they kill young sheep. They are hunted on horseback, on foot, poisoned, shot and trapped. The Azara's fox, for some reason, does not have a fear of people, and will not run away when people are present. Instead, they freeze on the spot, which is part of their problem. Subspecies
* P. g. gymnocerus * P. g. antiquus * P. g. inca
Their genus-species name is interesting, because though these names usually describe the animal in Greek or Latin, the description of this species' name is enigmatic. Pseudalopex means “false fox” (“pseudo” = false[Latin], “lopex” = fox[Greek]), which is the genus name for the South American foxes. It is the species name that makes little sense. Gymnocercus means “naked tail” in Greek (“gymno” = naked, “cercus” = tail), yet like all foxes, the Azara's zorro possesses a thick, bushy tail.
Like the other species of South American fox, commonly called zorros, the Azara's was formerly classified in the genus Dusicyon.