Striped Skunk

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Striped Skunk


(Mephitis mephitis), a predatory mammal of the family Mustelidae. A relatively clumsy short-legged animal, the striped skunk has a body length of 28-38 cm and a tail length of 18.5–44 cm. The animals have a plantigrade walk; the paws have slightly bent claws. The black and white fur is thick, long, and fluffy, especially on the tail. The skunk has special glands under the base of the tail that emit a disagreeable pungent fluid toward a threatening enemy.

The striped skunk is distributed from southern Canada to central America. It is found in a variety of habitats, from forests to open plains and deserts. A solitary animal, it inhabits burrows and various other types of dens; only in the winter do several females share a den. In the northern part of its range the striped skunk spends the winter in hibernation. The animal is active at dusk and through the night. Its diet consists of rodents, birds, bird eggs, insects, and insect larvae. Four to ten young are born in late winter or in the spring. The striped skunk is commercially hunted and bred in captivity for its fur. The animal is sometimes destructive to the bird population.


Zhizn’zhivotnykh, vol. 6. Moscow, 1971.

I. I. SOKOLOV [23–1596–]

References in periodicals archive ?
Other species detected using these methods included raccoons, opossums, domestic dogs, squirrels, eastern cottontails, striped skunks, turkey vultures (Cathartes aura), black vultures (Coragyps atratus), a woodchuck, a domestic cat, a wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo), and a nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus).
Movements, activity patterns and denning habits of the striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis) in the mixed grass prairie.
Although the helminth fauna of the raccoon (Procyon lotor), Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) and striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis) is fairly well known, great gaps exist in our knowledge concerning the distribution of helminths of these hosts throughout North America.
Rabies challenge of captive striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis) following oral administration of a live vaccinia-vectored rabies vaccine.
Eggshell removal by duck hens following partial nest depredation by striped skunk.
One striped skunk visitation was recorded in Tellico during the period of spatial comparison (April--June 1997).
Although the striped skunk may be trapped and hunted year-around, the spotted skunk is fully protected year-around.
Based on data from 2000-2002, primary predators that were removed included striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis; 84% of predators removed), domestic cats (Felis catus; 9% of predators removed), and non-native red foxes (Vulpes vulpes;5% of predators removed; Meckstroth and Miles, 2005).
The western spotted skunk Spilogale gracilis and the striped skunk Mephitis mephitis occur sympatrically throughout much of western North America (Rosatte and Lariviere, 2003).
These include the striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), mink (Mustela vison) and black bear (Ursus americanus).
These animals included the raccoon, gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), eastern fox squirrel (Sciurus niger), striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana), bobcat (Lynx rufus), and coyote (Canis latrans).