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Mephitis mephitis

Common Name: Striped Skunk
Mephitis mephitis
Mephitis mephitis

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Mephitidae
Genus: Mephitis
Species: Mephitis

Conservation Status

Identifying Features

Striped skunks have a distinct black coat with two white stripes running from the back of the head down through the tail. They are between 12-18" in length. Their hind tracks are 1 1/2" and front tracks are 1". They live in dens from 5-6" wide.

Habitat & Range

Striped skunks are found in a variety of habitats including woods, prairie, and other open areas. They are common throughout the United States, Northern Mexico, and Southern Canada.


Skunks are nocturnal, foraging for food at night. Often they will dig small holes in the ground to look for grubs and other insects. They will also eat a variety of plant material, smaller animals, and eggs when available.

Life Cycle

Striped skunks are solitary. They mate between February and April, and give birth in late spring to early summer. Females give birth to one litter a year, and the young leave their mother when they are 2.5 months old. In the wild the upper age range of their lifespan is 6 years.

Featured image by Eric Schmuttenmaer.


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