Pseudalopex Burmeister, 1856
The South American foxes (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; some of them 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 word "zorro" is a loan word from Spanish, with the word 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:
|Lycalopex culpaeus||Culpeo or Andean fox||Ecuador and Peru to the southern regions of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego|
|Lycalopex fulvipes||Darwin's fox||Nahuelbuta National Park (Araucanía Region), the Valdivian Coastal Range (Los Ríos Region) in mainland Chile and Chiloé Island|
|Lycalopex griseus||South American gray fox||Argentina and Chile|
|Lycalopex gymnocercus||Pampas fox||northern and central Argentina, Uruguay, eastern Bolivia, Paraguay, and southern Brazil.|
|Lycalopex sechurae||Sechuran fox||the Sechura Desert in southwestern Ecuador and northwestern Peru|
|Lycalopex vetulus||Hoary fox||south-central Brazil|
The following phylogenetic tree shows the evolutionary relationships between the Lycalopex species, based on molecular analysis of mitochondrial DNA control region sequences.
The zorros are hunted in Argentina for their durable, soft pelts. They are also often labelled 'lamb-killers'.