Lutra 57(1)_Bijlsma_2014

Copulatory lock of wild red fox (Vulpes vulpes) in broad daylight

On 1 February 2014, at 9:20 a.m. local time, a male red fox (Vulpes vulpes) closely trailed a female onto a small heath in Berkenheuvel, western Drenthe, northern Netherlands. It was clearly the bigger mammal, with darker fur and slightly bushier tail. Halfway the heath, at a distance of 50 m from my observation site (a solitary house in the edge of the forest, overlooking the heath), the female suddenly crouched, and was immediately mounted by the male. The initial copulation took about 25 seconds of pelvic thrusting of the male after intromission, upon which he lifted his right hind leg over the female’s back and remained locked back to back to the female for 29 minutes. During this prolonged period of time....