Perhaps someday I’ll try to capture this urinary battle in artistic form, but for the time being I’m focusing on a fox of a different color. Literally. I’m talking about melanistic foxes, something I only recently learned about thanks to the wonders of the internet.
Melanistic is a term for a pigmentation abnormality that can occur in a variety of creatures. It’s a sort of reverse albinism. Rather than the white patches of skin and fur that albino animals have, a melanistic animal has black or dark patches of fur and skin. Not long ago I recall seeing a gray squirrel that had jet black fur but did not realize at the time what I was seeing was a melanistic squirrel.
Some melanistic animals have a completely black coat instead of the traditional fur color of their species. Others have a partially melanistic coat where patches of black are interspersed with patches of their standard fur colors, and it can create quite a striking look.
I decided to do some doodling and create a simple illustration of a partially melanistic fox adding some charcoal gray patches to this red fox’s bright orange coat. I love the unique color scheme and hope you do too!
Here’s where you can find my melanistic foxes prowling around: