Animal Database

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Animal Database
Animal Database
Striped Skunk
A Striped Skunk
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Family Mephitidae

Mephitidae is a family from the Carnivora order. It's including 12 extanct species of Skunk.


Skunk species vary in size from about 15.6 to 37 in (40 to 94 cm) and in weight from about 1.1 lb (0.50 kg) (spotted skunks) to 18 lb (8.2 kg) (hog-nosed skunks). They have moderately elongated bodies with relatively short, well-muscled legs, and long front claws for digging. Although the most common fur color is black and white, some skunks are brown or grey, and a few are cream-colored. All skunks are striped, even from birth. They may have a single thick stripe across back and tail, two thinner stripes, or a series of white spots and broken stripes (in the case of the spotted skunk). Some also have stripes on their legs.

Types of Mephitdae


Striped Skunk

Spotted Skunk


Striped Badger


Skunks are omnivorous, eating both plant and animal material and changing their diets as the seasons change. They eat insects and larvae, earthworms, grubs, small rodents, lizards, salamanders, frogs, snakes, birds, moles, and eggs. They also commonly eat berries, roots, leaves, grasses, fungi, and nuts. In settled areas, skunks also seek human garbage. Less often, skunks may be found acting as scavengers, eating bird and rodent carcasses left by cats or other animals. Pet owners, particularly those of cats, may experience a skunk finding its way into a garage or basement where pet food is kept. Skunks commonly dig holes in lawns in search of grubs and worms. Skunks are one of the primary predators of the honeybee, relying on their thick fur to protect them from stings. The skunk scratches at the front of the beehive and eats the guard bees that come out to investigate. Mother skunks are known to teach this behavior to their young.


Skunks are crepuscular and solitary animals when not breeding, though in the colder parts of their range, they may gather in communal dens for warmth. During the day, they shelter in burrows which they can dig with their powerful front claws. Males and females occupy overlapping home ranges through the greater part of the year, typically 2 to 4 km2 (0.77 to 1.5 sq mi) for females and up to 20 km2 (7.7 sq mi) for males. Skunks are not true hibernators in the winter, but do den up for extended periods of time. However, they remain generally inactive and feed rarely, going through a dormant stage. Over winter, multiple females (as many as 12) huddle together; males often den alone. Often, the same winter den is repeatedly used. Although they have excellent senses of smell and hearing, they have poor vision, being unable to see objects more than about 3 m (10 ft) away, making them vulnerable to death by road traffic. They are short-lived; their lifespan in the wild is no more than three years, with most living only up to a year. In captivity, they may live for up to 15 years.


Family Mephitidae

Genus Conepatus
 Conepatus chinga, Molina's hog-nosed skunk
 Conepatus humboldtii, Humboldt's hog-nosed skunk
 Conepatus leuconotus, American hog-nosed skunk 
 Conepatus semistriatus, striped hog-nosed skunk
Genus Mephitis
 Mephitis macroura, hooded skunk
 Mephitis mephitis, striped skunk
Genus Mydaus
 Mydaus javanensis, Indonesian or Sunda stink badger (Teledu)
 Mydaus marchei, Palawan stink badger
Genus Spilogale
 Spilogale angustifrons, southern spotted skunk
 Spilogale gracilis, western spotted skunk
 Spilogale putorius, eastern spotted skunk
 Spilogale pygmaea, pygmy spotted skunk