Striped Skunk

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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–]

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Key words: Didelphis virginiana, Procyon lotor, Mephitis mephitis, Dermacentor variabilis, Didelphilichus serrifer, Pulex simulans, Euhoplopsyllus glacialis affins, Neotrichodectes mephiditis, ectoparasites, Nebraska
2000: Variation in home range and use of habitat in the striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis).--Journal of Zoology (London) 251: 525-533.
Mammalian predators (Mustela erminea, Blarina brevicauda, Procyon lotor, and Mephitis mephitis) were removed from control and removal grids whenever caught.
These areas are also used by upland-oriented mammals like the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis) as they travel, as well as hunt, around wetlands.
Most samples (69) were American Martens, 2 were Short-tailed Weasels, 1 was Striped Skunk (Mephitis mephitis), 3 were American Mink (Neovison vison), and 18 were deer, also likely from the bait in the hair traps.
Denning ecology in sympatric populations of skunks (Spilogale gracilis and Mephitis mephitis) in west-central Texas.
Due to a low number of occurrences, mountain lions (P concolor), gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), raccoons (Procyon lotor), striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis), house cats (Felis catus), cattle (Bos taurus), horses (Equus caballus), and burros (Equus africanus asinus) were not included in our analyses.
Other prey occurred in 12% of scats; these included nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus nouemcinctus), opossum (Didelphis virginiana), snake, raccoon, striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), and vegetation.
Vulture (Catharses spp.), coyote (Canis latrans), raccoon (Procyon lotor), striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), bobcat (Lynx rufus), gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), and Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) were among the consumers recorded.
Seasonal and daily activity patterns of striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis) in the Canadian prairies.
Nine raccoons (Procyon lotor), 6 Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana), and 1 striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis) collected from Keith County, Nebraska were examined for helminth parasites.
Other mammals in the HMNS collection showing albinism include an entirely albino bobcat (Felis rufus HMNS VM 1285) and partially albino specimens of striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis HMNS VM 1175) and plains pocket gopher (Geomys bursarius HMNS VM 381).