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Mephitidae - skunks, stink badgers

Striped SkunkThere are 12 species of in this family. Skunks are found in North, Central, and South America. Stink badgers are found in Indonesia and the Philippines.

Members of this family are black, brown, or gray and have white stripes or spots. Skunks and stink badgers are about the size of a domestic cat and have squat bodies; bushy tails; and powerful, stubby legs. They have a gland under their tails that emits a spray with strong odor. This spray is used to warn away predators. In addition to smelling bad, this spay also causes a stinging sensation.

Skunks and stink badgers are nocturnal and spend the day in a burrow or den or hidden under rocks or a log. They have strong front claws that help them dig into the soil for food. They are omnivores and eat vegetation, insects, larvae, worms, small birds, eggs, small mammals, and reptiles. Skunks and stink badgers are solitary, although some species may gather together in a den in cold weather.

World Status Key
Least ConcernLeast Concern Near ThreatenedNear Threatened VulnerableVulnerable EndangeredEndangered Critically EndangeredCritically Endangered extinct in the wildExtinct in Wild extinctExtinct
Status and range is taken from ICUN Redlist. If no status is listed, there is not enough data to establish status.

US Status Key
Threatened in US Threatened in US Threatened in New Hampshire Threatened in NH Endangered in US Endangered in US Endangered in NH Endangered in NH Introduced Introduced
Status taken from US Fish and Wildlife and NH Fish and Game

  New Hampshire Species

 

 North/Central American Species

Striped Skunk - Mephitis mephitis Least Concern
  Southern Spotted Skunk - Spilogale angustifrons Least Concern
Western Spotted Skunk - Spilogale gracilis Least Concern
Eastern Spotted Skunk - Spilogale putorius Least Concern
Pygmy Spotted Skunk - Spilogale pygmaea Vulnerable

 North/Central American Species

 
American Hog-nosed Skunk - Conepatus leuconotus Least Concern
Striped Hog-nosed Skunk - Conepatus semistriatus Least Concern
Hooded Skunk - Mephitis macroura Least Concern
 

Other Species Around the World

Africa Africa Asia Asia Australia Australia/Oceania Europe Europe North America North/Central America South America South America New Hampshire Species NH Species

Molina's Hog-nosed Skunk - Conepatus chinga Least Concern South America
Humboldt's Hog-nosed Skunk - Conepatus humboldtii Least Concern South America
American Hog-nosed Skunk - Conepatus leuconotus Least Concern North America
Striped Hog-nosed Skunk - Conepatus semistriatus Least Concern North America South America
Hooded Skunk - Mephitis macroura Least Concern North America
Striped Skunk - Mephitis mephitis Least Concern North America New Hampshire Species
  Sunda Stink-badger - Mydaus javanensis Least Concern Asia
Palawan Stink-badger - Mydaus marchei Least Concern Asia
Southern Spotted Skunk - Spilogale angustifrons Least Concern North America
Western Spotted Skunk - Spilogale gracilis Least Concern North America
Eastern Spotted Skunk - Spilogale putorius Least Concern North America
Pygmy Spotted Skunk - Spilogale pygmaea Vulnerable North America

Additional Information

Key: profile Profile Photos Photos Video Video Audio Audio

American Hog-nosed Skunk - Conepatus leuconotus[ in] Photos Least Concern North America
The American hog-nosed skunk is found from southeastern Texas, southern Arizona and southern New Mexico south through Central America to northern Nicaragua.
Source: Audubon Guides Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: No

Eastern Spotted Skunk - Spilogale putorius profile Least Concern North America
Eastern spotted skunks are found throughout much of the eastern United State south through Central America to El Salvador.
Source: Animal Diversity Web Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Eastern Spotted Skunk - Spilogale putorius profile Photos Least Concern North America
Eastern spotted skunks are good climbers.
Source: Audubon Guides Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: No

Hooded Skunk - Mephitis macroura profile Least Concern North America
The hooded skunk is found in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, and in the United States in southwestern Texas, southwestern New Mexico, and southeastern Arizona.
Source: Animal Diversity Web Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Hooded Skunk - Mephitis macroura profile Photos Least Concern North America
Most of the hooded skunk's diet is made up of insects.
Source: Audubon Guides Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: No

Humboldt's Hog-nosed Skunk - Conepatus humboldtii profile Least Concern South America
Humboldt's hog-nose skunk is found in Argentina and Chile.
Source: Animal Diversity Web Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Molina's Hog-nosed Skunk - Conepatus chinga profile Least Concern South America
Molina's hog-nosed skunk is found in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay.
Source: Animal Diversity Web Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Palawan Stink-badger - Mydaus marchei Photos Least Concern Asia
The Palawan stink-badger is found in the Philippines.
Source: Arkive Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Palawan Stink-badger - Mydaus marchei profile Least Concern Asia
Unlike most species in this family, the Palawan stink-badger is diurnal. That means it is active during the day.
Source: Animal Diversity Web Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Pygmy Spotted Skunk - Spilogale pygmaea profile Photos Vulnerable North America
The pygmy spotted skunk is found along the Pacific coast of Mexico.

Source: Animal Diversity Web Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Striped Hog-nosed Skunk - Conepatus semistriatus profile Least Concern North America South America
The striped hog-nosed skunk is found in Belize, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela.
Source: Animal Diversity Web Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Striped Skunk - Mephitis mephitis Photos Video Least Concern North America New Hampshire Species
The striped skunk is found throughout most of the United States. It is also found in Canada and Mexico.
Source: Arkive Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Striped Skunk - Mephitis mephitis profile Photos Least Concern North America New Hampshire Species
Striped skunks are nocturnal. They spend the day sleeping in underground burrows.
Source: Animal Diversity Web Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Striped Skunk - Mephitis mephitis profile Photos Least Concern North America New Hampshire Species
The striped skunk is black with two broad white stripes on back.
Source: Audubon Guides Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: No

Sunda Stink-badger - Mydaus javanensis profile Least Concern Asia
The sunda stink-badger is found on the Indonesian islands of Sumatra, Java, Borneo, and North Natuna Islands.
Source: Animal Diversity Web Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Western Spotted Skunk - Spilogale gracilis profile Least Concern North America
The western spotted skunk is found in the western United States.
Source: Animal Diversity Web Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Western Spotted Skunk - Spilogale gracilis profile Photos Least Concern North America
The western spotted skunk is black, with horizontal white stripes on its neck and and shoulders.
Source: Audubon Guides Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: No