Photo by Bob Gress
Total Length: 22-32 inches
Tail Length: 8-12 inches
Weight: 4-9 pounds
Stocky and short-legged, striped skunks have long, black fur with a
white head patch that extends down the neck and splits into two stripes as it fans toward
the tail. Striped skunks usually live in dens excavated by other mammals. They forage
alone at night and are common victims of vehicles. They are normally docile and prefer to
retreat rather than fight. If provoked, they face the challenger, bend their back and
spray them with a mist of musk from two anal glands causing temporary blindness. They can
spray accurately up to 12 feet. Females produce litters of 6-7 kits in spring. They can
live up to 5 years in the wild.
Striped skunks are found from central Mexico to central Canada. They are found
throughout Kansas in woodlands, shrublands, prairies and urban areas.
Striped skunks feed on insects, mice, rats, bird eggs, turtle eggs, earthworms,
frogs, crayfish, fruits, berries and grain crops.
Return to the Mammal's Den!
Text: George Potts and Bob Gress
Design: Jim Mason