The remaining lower surface of the body is dark, brown or reddish.The upper parts of the limbs are rusty reddish, while the paws are black.

Fossils dating from the Wisconsian are present in 25 sites in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, New Mexico, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wyoming. British red foxes are heavily built, but short, while continental European red foxes are closer to the general average among red fox populations.

Although they ranged far south during the Wisconsinan, the onset of warm conditions shrank their range toward the north, and have only recently reclaimed their former American ranges because of human-induced environmental changes. In the typical red morph, their coats are generally bright reddish-rusty with yellowish tints.

The red fox (Vulpes vulpes) is the largest of the true foxes and one of the most widely distributed members of the order Carnivora, being present across the entire Northern Hemisphere from the Arctic Circle to North Africa, North America and Eurasia. Its range has increased alongside human expansion, having been introduced to Australia, where it is considered harmful to native mammals and bird populations.

Due to its presence in Australia, it is included among the list of the "world's 100 worst invasive species".

Domestication of the Red fox is also underway in Russia, and has resulted in the Domesticated red fox. caucasica, its fur is pale yellow or light grey, sometimes brownish-reddish and is fluffier and denser than that of other Caucasian subspecies. The hairs on the sole of the feet are copiously mixed with softer, woolly hairs. vulpes, it has smaller teeth and more widely spaced premolars.

Although the Arctic fox has a small native population in northern Scandinavia, while the corsac fox's range extends into European Russia, the red fox is the only fox native to Western Europe, and so is simply called "the fox" in colloquial British English. A small subspecies, it measures 76.7–105.3 cm in body length, 30.2–40.1 cm in tail length, and weighs 1.8–3.8 kg. The fur is dull buff, without any yellowish or reddish tints.Red foxes are usually together in pairs or small groups consisting of families, such as a mated pair and their young, or a male with several females having kinship ties.The young of the mated pair remain with their parents to assist in caring for new kits.Gene mapping demonstrates that red foxes in North America have been isolated from their Old World counterparts for over 400,000 years, thus raising the possibility that speciation has occurred, and that the previous binomial name of Vulpes fulva may be valid. They have a stride of 25–35 cm (9.8–13.8 in) when walking at a normal pace.In the far north, red fox fossils have been found in Sangamonian deposits in the Fairbanks District and Medicine Hat. North American red foxes are generally lightly built, with comparatively long bodies for their mass and have a high degree of sexual dimorphism.The frontal part of the face and upper neck is bright brownish-rusty red, while the upper lips are white.