STRIPED SKUNK

Striped Skunk
Photo by Bob Gress

 

Striped Skunk
Mephitus mephitus

Measurements:
Total Length: 22-32 inches
Tail Length: 8-12 inches
Weight: 4-9 pounds

  • Comments:   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.
  • Distribution:   Striped skunks are found from central Mexico to central Canada. They are found throughout Kansas in woodlands, shrublands, prairies and urban areas.
  • Food:   Striped skunks feed on insects, mice, rats, bird eggs, turtle eggs, earthworms, frogs, crayfish, fruits, berries and grain crops.

Other Kansas Carnivores

RACCOON SWIFT FOX
RED FOX AMERICAN MINK
AMERICAN BADGER COYOTE
BOBCAT

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Mammal's Den
Text: George Potts and Bob Gress
Design: Jim Mason