Striped Skunk

Striped Skunk

(Mephitis mephitis)

Conservation status:

Least Concern

Origin:

North and South America

Lifespan:

2-4 years

Size:

Striped skunk are middle sized skunks.

Skunks can weigh as little as 1 lb (Spotted Skunks) and as large as 18 lbs (Hognosed Skunk).

Diet:

Omnivore

Insects, larvae, earthworms, grubs, rodents, lizards, salamanders, frogs, snakes, birds, moles, eggs, berries, roots, leaves, grasses, fungi, and nuts.

Activity:

Nocturnal

Reproduction:

Breeding season is April through early June.

They are solitary except during breeding season, the male does not assist with raising the young.

Gestation is about 66 days.

Average litter size is 1-7 young.

Can spray even before their eyes are open.

All skunks are striped from birth, which can vary in size and color and quantity.

Extra facts:

There are four species of skunk, Striped Skunk, Eastern Spotted Skunk, Hooded Skunk, and Hognose Skunk.

Skunks are not true hibernators. They will come out of their dormant sleep, rarely, to feed.

Though they are solitary, they may have communal dens during winter to keep warm (mostly the

females).

They usually spray as a last resort self-defense. Their glands hold up to 5 to 6 uses, which is 15cc

and requires about 10 days to produce more.

Before spraying, they will stamp their feet, charge a few paces and drag their front paws backwards.

Skunk can spray up to 10 ft and be detected up to 1.5 miles by the human nose.

The best formula to remove skunk odor is:

 1 qt Hydrogen Peroxide (3%) + 1/4 cup baking-soda + 1 tsp Dawn dish soap

Their favorite foods to eat are wasps and honey bees.

They have poor eyesight, but great sense of smell and hearing.

A group of skunks are called a surfeit.

Immune to snake venom and have been known to eat venomous snakes (i.e. rattlesnake).

Number one predator, besides humans, are Great Horned Owls. Owls have poor sense of smell, if at all.

So, they are not bothered by the foul odor of skunk spray. One Great Horned Owl nest contained the

remains of about 51 stripe skunks.