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Eastern Spotted Skunk Spilogale putorius


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Eastern Spotted Skunk
credit: Legionarius

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Family: Mephitidae, Skunks view all from this family

Description Small skunk with thin white spots and a small white tip to a mostly black tail. Larger than Western Spotted Skunk in area of overlap. Primarily nocturnal, secretive, and rarely seen.

Dimensions 31-61cm, 8-28cm, 276-885g; / 27-54cm, 9-21cm, 207-475g

Warning All skunks are highly developed for defense and can spray their foul-smelling musk distances of up to 15 feet. Besides its overpowering odor, the musk can burn the eyes and cause momentary loss of vision.

Similar Species Larger than Western Spotted Skunk in area of overlap.

Breeding Breeding is in spring, with short delayed implantation, unlike S. gracilis.

Habitat Cities, suburbs & towns, Deserts, Forests & woodlands, Grasslands & prairies, Meadows & fields, Scrub, shrub & brushlands, Swamps, marshes & bogs

Range Plains, Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic, Rocky Mountains, Southeast, Florida, Texas

Discussion Feed heavily on mice, birds, bird eggs, and insects, as well as occasional fruits and vegetables if available. Cracks eggs by hiking them back between the hind legs like a football center. Avoids open areas, preferring habitats with extensive cover, especially riparian woodlands.