Crab-eating fox Cerdocyon thous, copyright

Belongs within: Carnivora.
Contains: Urocyon, Vulpes, Canis, Pseudalopex.

The Canidae are the dogs and foxes. Members of this family are found in all continents except Antarctica (though the single wild species in Australia, the dingo Canis dingo, is present due to prehistoric human introduction). All living species are placed in the subfamily Caninae; the remaining subfamilies are extinct. Living canids may be divided between three lineages (Faurby & Svenning 2015). Vulpes and its relatives are smaller fox-like canids; a second lineage including the genus Canis includes most of the larger dogs. The third lineage, including Dusicyon and its relatives, represents the South American canids. Many of these are small and fox-like; most of these species have been included in the past in the genus Dusicyon though the somewhat atypical nature of the effective type species of that genus, D. australis, has led to its division into a number of genera.

See also: Dog's life.

Characters (from Macdonald 1984): Skull with long muzzle; jaws well-developed, dental formula usually I3/3, C1/1, P4/4, M2/3 = 42, carnassial teeth and molars well developed, heel of carnassial teeth usually with two cusps (one in some species). Legs long; radius and ulna locked, preventing rotation; scaphoid and lunar fused; feet four-toed, digitigrade, claws usually non-retractile, vestigial first toe on front feet in most species, vestigial first claws on hind legs in Canis familiaris and C. dingo. Tail long and bushy. Male with well-developed baculum; blood trapped in penis up to an hour or more during mating, preventing withdrawal and forming copulatory tie.

<==Canidae [Cynoidea]
    |  i. s.: Cynodictis M84
    |         Nothocyon geismarianus V91
    |         Phlaocyon leucosteus V91
    |         Xenocyon lycaonoides Kretzoi 1938 ME05
    |--Cynarctinae V91
    |--Hesperocyoninae V91
    |    |--Enhydrocyon crassidens V91
    |    |--Brachyrhynchocyon intermedius V91
    |    |--Hesperocyon Scott 1890 D07
    |    |    |--H. coloradensis D07
    |    |    `--H. gregarius V91
    |    |--Cynodesmus Scott 1893 V91, D07
    |    |    |--C. brachypus D07
    |    |    |--C. iamonensis V91
    |    |    |--C. martini D07
    |    |    `--C. thooides D07
    |    `--Mesocyon V91
    |         |--M. coryphaeus V91
    |         |--M. geringensis V91
    |         |--M. josephi V91
    |         `--M. venator V91
    |--Borophaginae V91
    |    |--Euoplocyon spissidens V91
    |    |--Tomarctus canavus V91
    |    |--Carpocyon cuspidatus V91
    |    |--Strobodon stirtoni V91
    |    |--Aeleurodon taxoides V91
    |    |--Borophagus diversidens V91
    |    |--Epicyon Leidy 1858 V91, D07
    |    |    |--E. haydeni V91
    |    |    |--E. saveus V91
    |    |    `--E. validus D07
    |    `--Osteoborus Martin 1928 D07
    |         |--O. cynoides V91
    |         |--O. direptor D07
    |         |--O. galushai D07
    |         |--O. hilli D07
    |         `--O. secundus D07
    `--Caninae M84
         |  i. s.: Leptocyon vafer V91
         |--+--Urocyon FS15
         |  `--+--+--Nyctereutes Temminck 1839 FS15, VG78
         |     |  |    `--N. procyonoides (Gray 1834) M76
         |     |  `--Otocyon Müller 1836 FS15, VG78 [Otocyoninae]
         |     |       |--O. megalotis (Desmarest 1822) VG78
         |     |       `--O. recki S78
         |     `--Vulpes FS15
         `--+--+--Lupulella Hilzheimer 1906 D15
            |  |    |--L. adusta (Sundevall 1847) D15 [=Canis adustus FS15]
            |  |    `--L. mesomelas (Schreber 1775) D15 [=Canis mesomelas FS15]
            |  `--+--+--Lycaon Brookes 1827 FS15, VG78
            |     |  |    `--L. pictus (Temminck 1820) VG78
            |     |  `--+--Cynotherium Studiati 1857 FS15, AC98
            |     |     |    `--*C. sardous Studiati 1857 AC98
            |     |     `--Cuon Hodgson 1838 FS15, VG78
            |     |          |--C. alpinus (Pallas 1811) VG78
            |     |          |    |--C. a. alpinus J84
            |     |          |    |--C. a. dukhunensis J84
            |     |          |    |--C. a. hesperius J84
            |     |          |    |--C. a. laniger J84
            |     |          |    `--C. a. primaevus J84
            |     |          `--C. stehlini Thenius 1954 ME05
            |     `--Canis FS15
            `--+--+--Speothos Lund 1839 FS15, C57 (see below for synonymy)
               |  |    |--*S. pacivorus C57
               |  |    `--S. venaticus (Lund 1842) [=Cynogale venatica, Icticyon venaticus] C57
               |  |         |--S. v. venaticus [incl. Melictis baskii Schinz 1849, Cynalicus melanogaster Gray 1846] C57
               |  |         |--S. v. panamensis C57
               |  |         `--S. v. wingei Ihering 1911 C57
               |  `--+--Chrysocyon Hamilton Smith 1839 FS15, C57
               |     |    `--C. brachyurus (Illiger 1815) C57 (see below for synonymy)
               |     `--Dusicyon Smith 1839 FS15, VG78 (see below for synonymy) C57
               |          |--D. australis (Kerr 1792) VG78 (see below for synonymy)
               |          `--D. avus V91
               `--+--+--+--Theriodictis Mercerat 1899 FS15, V66
                  |  |  |    |--T. platensis V91
                  |  |  |    `--T. tarijensis V91
                  |  |  `--Cerdocyon Smith 1839 FS15, VG78 [=incl. Carcinocyon Allen 1905 C57]
                  |  |       |--C. thous (Linnaeus 1766) VG78 [=Canis thous C57, Dusicyon (Cerdocyon) thous C57]
                  |  |       |    |--C. t. thous (see below for synonymy) C57
                  |  |       |    |--C. t. aquilus (Bangs 1898) (see below for synonymy) C57
                  |  |       |    |--C. t. azarae (Wied 1824) (see below for synonymy) C57
                  |  |       |    |--C. t. entrerianus (Burmeister 1861) (see below for synonymy) C57
                  |  |       |    `--C. t. germanus Allen 1923 C57
                  |  |       `--C. ensenadensis V91
                  |  `--+--Protocyon FS15
                  |     |    |--P. orcesi V91
                  |     |    |--P. scagliarum V91
                  |     |    `--P. troglodytes V91
                  |     `--Atelocynus Cabrera 1940 FS15, C57
                  |          `--*A. microtis (Sclater 1882) (see below for synonymy) C57
                  `--Pseudalopex FS15

Inorganic: Dusicyon gymnocereus protominilorientalus Okamura 1987 O87

*Atelocynus microtis (Sclater 1882) [=Canis microtis, Canis microtus Gragory 1933 non Reichenbach 1846, Cerdocyon (Atelocynus) microtis, Dusicyon microtis; incl. Carcinocyon sclateri Allen 1905, Canis thous sclateri] C57

Cerdocyon thous aquilus (Bangs 1898 [=Urocyon aquilus; incl. C. apollinaris Thomas 1918, Dusicyon (Cerdocyon) thous apollinaris] C57

Cerdocyon thous azarae (Wied 1824) [=Canis azarae, Canis azarai, Pseudalopex azarae, Vulpes azarae; incl. Canis thous angulensis Thomas 1903, Canis brachyteles Blainville 1843, Canis brasiliensis Wied 1824 non Schinz 1821, Canis cancrivorus var. brasiliensis, *Cerdocyon guaraxa Hamilton Smith 1839, Canis thous guaraxa, Canis melampus Wagner 1841, Canis melanostomus Wagner 1843, Canis robustior Lund 1843] C57

Cerdocyon thous entrerianus (Burmeister 1861) [=Canis entrerianus, Lycalopex entrerianus; incl. Cerdocyon thous affinis Marelli 1931, Ce. thous fronto Lönnberg 1919, Lycalopex thous fulvogriseus Zukowsky 1950, Ce. thous jucundus Thomas 1921, Cardocyon mimax Thomas 1914, Canis thous riograndensis Ihering 1911, Cerdocyon thous tucumanus Thomas 1921] C57

Cerdocyon thous thous (Linné 1766) [incl. Viverra cancrivora Brongniart 1792, Canis cancrivorus, Thous cancrivorus, Cerdocyon thous lunaris Thomas 1914, Canis rudis Günther 1879, Canis cancrivorus savannarum Thomas 1901, Canis thous savannarum] C57

Chrysocyon brachyurus (Illiger 1815) C57 [=Canis brachyurus C57; incl. Canis (Chrysocyon) isodactylus Ameghino 1905 C57, A05, Canis jubatus Desmarest 1820 C57, Canis (*Ch.) jubatus C57]

Dusicyon Smith 1839 FS15, VG78 [incl. Angusticeps Hilzheimer 1906 C57, Viverriceps (l. c.) non Gray 1867 C57, Microcyon Trouessart 1906 C57]

Dusicyon australis (Kerr 1792) VG78 [=Canis vulpes australis C57; incl. C. antarcticus Bechstein non Kerr 1792 C57, *Dusicyon antarcticus C57]

Speothos Lund 1839 V91, C57 [incl. Cynalicus Gray 1846 C57, Icticyon Lund 1843 C57, Melictis Schinz 1849 C57]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[AC98] Alcover, J. A., X. Campillo, M. Macias & A. Sans. 1998. Mammal species of the world: additional data on insular mammals. American Museum Novitates 3248: 1–29.

[A05] Ameghino, F. 1905. Le perforación astragaliana en Priodontes, Canis (Chrysocyon) y Typotherium. Anales del Museo Nacional de Buenos Aires, serie 3, 6: 1–19.

[C57] Cabrera, A. 1957. Catalogo de los mamiferos de America del Sur. I (Metatheria—Unguiculata—Carnivora). Revista del Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales “Bernardino Rivadavia” e Instituto Nacional de Investigacion de Las Ciencias Naturales, Ciencias Zoológicas 4 (1): 1–307.

[D15] Dinets, V. 2015. The Canis tangle: a systematics overview and taxonomic recommendations. Vavilovskii Zhurnal Genetiki i Selektsii 19 (3): 286–291.

[D07] Dixon, D. 2007. The Complete Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs & Prehistoric Creatures. Hermes House: London.

[FS15] Faurby, S., & J.-C. Svenning. 2015. A species-level phylogeny of all extant and late Quaternary extinct mammals using a novel heuristic-hierarchical Bayesian approach. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 84: 14–26.

[J84] Johnsingh, A. J. T. 1984. Dhole. In: Macdonald, D. (ed.) All the World’s Animals: Carnivores pp. 72–73. Torstar Books Inc.: New York.

[M84] Macdonald, D. W. 1984. The dog family. In: Macdonald, D. (ed.) All the World’s Animals: Carnivores pp. 48–49. Torstar Books Inc.: New York.

[M76] Masui, M. 1976. Nihon no Doobutsu. Kogakukan: Tokyo.

[ME05] Moullé, P.-E., A. Echassoux, F. Lacombat, E. Desclaux & S. Bailon. 2005. L’environnement animal des premiers habitants de l’Europe méditerranéenne: les grands mammifères contemporains de l’homme du Vallonnet, données taxonomiques et biostratigraphiques pour la deuxième moitie du Pléistocène inférieur. BAR International Series 1364: 105–113.

[O87] Okamura, C. 1987. New facts: Homo and all Vertebrata were born simultaneously in the former Paleozoic in Japan. Original Report of the Okamura Fossil Laboratory 15: 347–573.

[S78] Savage, R. J. G. 1978. Carnivora. In: Maglio, V. J., & H. B. S. Cooke (eds) Evolution of African Mammals pp. 249–267. Harvard University Press: Cambridge (Massachusetts).

[V91] Valkenburgh, B. van. 1991. Iterative evolution of hypercarnivory in canids (Mammalia: Carnivora): evolutionary interactions among sympatric predators. Paleobiology 17 (4): 340–362.

[VG78] Van Gelder, R. G. 1978. A review of canid classification. American Museum Novitates 2646: 1–10.

[V66] Van Valen, L. 1966. Deltatheridia, a new order of mammals. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 132 (1): 1–126.

Last updated: 9 August 2018.

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