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 ?
Whereas some mammalogists suggest that hooded skunks may be extinct in the state (Schmidly & Bradley 2016), other researchers are of the opinion that, at least in some cases, the hooded skunk is sometimes mistaken for the striped skunk in areas where these species are sympatric (Pacheco 2014).
Seasonal and daily activity patterns of striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis) in the Canadian prairies.
mephiditis, parasitizes the striped skunk, the hooded skunk (Mephitis tnacroura Lichtenstein) and, curiously, the island fox (Urocyon littoralis (Baird)) in North America (Price et al.
Left to their own devices and natural habitat, striped skunks are easy-going, peaceable creatures.
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.
On 12 February 2011, a road-killed Striped Skunk was found along Highway 162 in Mendocino National Forest, near the town of Elk Creek, California (UTM: Zone 10S, 552598E, 4388672N, WGS 84).
Rabies challenge of captive striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis) following oral administration of a live vaccinia-vectored rabies vaccine.
One striped skunk visitation was recorded in Tellico during the period of spatial comparison (April--June 1997).
Gray fox (one site) and striped skunk (two sites) were also of interest for further analyses but were not included due to sparse data at multiple sites and their inclusion would lead to non-convergence in the models and inappropriate inference.
Populations of muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus), mink (Musteta vison), eastern spotted skunk (Spilogale putorius), long-tailed weasel (Mustela frenata), and striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis) have decreased.