black squirrel vs fox squirrels

Black Squirrel vs. Fox Squirrel

Squirrels are a common sight in many parts of the world, but did you know there are different types of squirrels? Two of the most common types are the black squirrel and the fox squirrel. Black squirrels are actually a type of gray squirrel and consider the rarest species of gray squirrel. While they may look similar at first glance, there are some critical differences between these two types of squirrels.


Read on to learn how to tell them apart.

Black Squirrel:

Black squirrel Fur color: 

Black fur is often described as melanistic pigmentation.

Geographic distribution:

Black squirrels are commonly found in North America's eastern and central regions.

Black squirrel Size and build:

Slightly smaller, measuring around 17 to 21 inches (43 to 53 cm) in length.

Black squirrel behavior:

Diurnal and arboreal, with excellent climbing abilities.

Black squirrel diet:

Omnivorous, consuming nuts, seeds, berries, and fruits.

Conservation status:

Black squirrels are not globally endangered, but local populations may face threats due to habitat loss.

Fox Squirrel:

In some areas, the red squirrel is called the fox squirrel due to its reddish fur, which resembles the coloration of a fox.

Fox squirrel Fur color:

Varied colors, including reddish-brown and gray.


Geographic distribution:

Widespread across North America, including the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Fox squirrel size and build:

Larger, measuring around 18 to 27 inches (45 to 69 cm) in length.

Fox squirrel behavior:

Diurnal and arboreal, adept at climbing and leaping.

Fox squirrel diet:

Omnivorous, with a broader dietary range, including fungi, insects, and small vertebrates.

Conservation status:

Fox squirrels are not globally endangered, but localized threats exist due to habitat loss and urbanization.


Shared Traits:

black squirrel-fox-squirrel


Both are diurnal, and active during the day.


Arboreal, residing in trees and utilizing their climbing abilities.


Omnivorous, with a preference for nuts, seeds, berries, and fruits.


While black squirrels and fox squirrels are part of the same family, they have distinct characteristics that set them apart. Black squirrels possess striking black fur, are slightly smaller, and are more prevalent in certain regions.

Fox squirrels, on the other hand, exhibit a range of fur colors, are larger, and have a broader distribution. Despite these differences, both species share common behaviors, such as being diurnal, arboreal, and having an omnivorous diet.

fox squirrel and the smoky flying squirrel belong to the order Rodentia and the family Sciuridae, which includes squirrels, chipmunks, and marmots.

By appreciating these unique traits, we can deepen our understanding of these remarkable creatures and the diverse wildlife found in our natural environments.



Are black fox squirrels rare?

Fox squirrels are not considered rare, but their populations have declined in some areas due to habitat loss and fragmentation. They are still found in many parts of North America, particularly in the eastern and central regions of the United States.

Is a black squirrel a fox squirrel?

No, a black squirrel is not a fox squirrel. Fox squirrels are typically gray or brown with a white belly, while black squirrels are a melanistic color phase of the eastern gray squirrel. Black squirrels are more common in certain regions, such as the Northeastern United States and parts of Canada.

Are black squirrels the same as fox squirrels?

Fox squirrels and black squirrels are not the same. Fox squirrels are typically larger and have reddish-brown fur with a white belly, while black squirrels have black fur all over their body. However, both species belong to the same family of tree squirrels.

Can a fox squirrel be black?

Yes, fox squirrels can come in various colors including black, gray, brown, and even red. The black coloration is caused by a genetic mutation and is relatively rare.

What is the fox squirrel's scientific name?

The scientific name for the fox squirrel is Sciurus niger. They are known for their reddish-brown fur and bushy tails and can be found throughout much of North America. Fox squirrels are also known for their ability to adapt to urban environments and are often seen in parks and neighborhoods.


What's the Difference Between Eastern and Sherman's Fox Squirrels?

The main difference between the eastern fox squirrel and the Sherman fox squirrel is their geographic range. Eastern fox squirrels are found in the eastern half of North America, while Sherman's fox squirrels are found in the western half.

Sherman's fox squirrels also tend to have darker fur and more prominent ears than their eastern counterparts.

What Does a Fox Squirrel Sound Like?

Fox squirrels are known for their loud and distinctive vocalizations, which can include barks, chatters, and screeches. They also make a variety of other sounds, such as hisses, whistles, and purrs, depending on their mood and behavior.

It's important to note that the specific vocalizations of squirrels can vary slightly depending on the individual, regional differences, and the context of the situation.


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