image catesbyrs vol278
Image number: RS.18822
Credit: ©The Royal Society

Common gray fox




Mark Catesby (1683-1749, British), Naturalist

Object type

Library reference






Zoological study of a common gray fox, Urocyon cinereoargenteus, referred to here as Vulpis cinereus Americanus, shown in right profile, looking to the left, beside a woodland pinkroot specimen Spigelia marilandica.

Signed and inscribed: 'Gentiana Vulpis'

Written in the associated description: 'These Foxes are all over of a grisly gray Colour, in Shape and Size little different from those in Europe. They live not in Holes under Ground, but in hollow Trees, to which they retreat when hunted, affording the Hunter seldom above a Mile Chase before they enter their Hole'.

Plate 78 from volume II of Mark Catesby’s The natural history of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands (London, 1731).

Mark Catesby (1683-1749), British naturalist was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1733. Travelling under the auspices of the Royal Society, Catesby recorded the earliest western scientific descriptions of the flora and fauna of the ‘New World’. He was the first naturalist to use folio-sized colour plates in a natural history book, and etched the copper plates himself before hand-colouring each individual print with watercolours.

Associated place

<The World>
   > North America
      > United States
<The World>
   > North America
      > Bahamas