Scientific Name: Mephitis mephitis mephitis
Classification: Mammalia, Order Carnivora, Family Mephitidae
Distribution: This subspecies of striped skunk is found in the west half of the state only. This species prefers brushy fields and forest borders. Deciduous vegetation is preferred to be low, second growth, with more open areas over dense forests. They are normally found within 2 miles of water.
This species is the size of a house cat, with small rounded ears and black eyes. The triangular head tapers to a bulbous nose pad and the tail is long and bushy. The coarse long black fur has a thin white stripe from the nose to the forehead and a broad stripe from the crown of the head which may branch at the shoulders, continuing toward the tail. They have highly developed musk glands. The total length is from 600-700 mm, with males being larger than the females. Breeding is from February-March, with a litter averaging 5-8 young born in May. The young may follow the mother single file on hunting trips. They are nocturnal, and are most active at dawn and dusk. Longevity is 2-3.5 years, seldom over 5-6 years in the wild.
Last updated: August 18, 2023
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