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Striped Skunk

Striped Skunks
Photographer: Tom Friedel of www.birdphotos.com

Striped Skunk
Photographer: Dan & Lin Dzurisin

Striped Skunk Range Map (North America)
Striped Skunk Range Map (North America)

Latin Name Mephitis mephitis
Conservation Status Least Concern
Location North America
Colour Black & White
Length 55 - 75 cms (22 - 30 inches)
Tail 17.5 - 25 cms (7 - 10 inches)
Weight 2.5 - 6.5 Kgs (5.5 - 14 lbs)
Life Expectancy

6 Yrs

Main Characteristics

Striped Skunks are one of the most distinctive animals found in North America. They have a body length between 55 and 75 cms (22 - 30 inches), a tail length between 17.5 and 25 cms (7 - 10 inches) and they weigh between 2.5 and 6.5 kgs (5.5 - 14 lbs).


Striped Skunks can be found in Canada, the USA and Northern Mexico.


Striped Skunks are opportunistic feeders and they feed on insects, worms, crayfish, small mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, fish, carrion, eggs, seeds, nuts and fruit.


After a gestation period of 59 - 77 days, Striped Skunks give birth to 2 - 10 youngsters. The youngsters are weaned at 6 - 7 weeks old and they become independent between 6 and 12 months old. They reach sexual maturity at 10 months old.


Most mammals tend to avoid Striped Skunks due to their defensive capabilities, however, large birds of prey seem to be unaffected by the musk.

Predators of striped skunks include great horned owls, golden eagles, bald eagles, mountain lions, bobcats, coyotes, grey foxes, red foxes and american badgers.


Subspecies of the Striped Skunk are:

Mephitis mephitis avia
Mephitis mephitis elongata
Mephitis mephitis estor
Mephitis mephitis holzneri
Mephitis mephitis hudsonica
Mephitis mephitis major
Mephitis mephitis mephitis
Mephitis mephitis mesomelas
Mephitis mephitis nigra
Mephitis mephitis notata
Mephitis mephitis occidentalis
Mephitis mephitis spissigrada
Mephitis mephitis varians

Interesting Facts

Skunks are believed to be one of the principle carriers of rabies in North America.

Similar Animals

Hooded Skunk
Humboldt's Hog-Nosed Skunk
Molina's Hog-Nosed Skunk
American Hog-Nosed Skunk
Eastern Spotted Skunk
Southern Spotted Skunk
Pygmy Spotted Skunk
Javan Stink Badger


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