Skip Navigation

Species Search:
FieldGuidesthreatened and/or endangered search resultsthreatened and/or endangered

previous  | next

Western Spotted Skunk Spilogale gracilis


enlarge +

Western Spotted Skunk
credit: Bradypus

All Images

1 article:

Get Our Newsletters


Advanced Search

Family: Mephitidae, Skunks view all from this family

Description A small spotted skunk with large white spots on the face, back, and tail. Faster, more agile, and weasel-like than most skunks, and highly carnivorous.

Dimensions 35-58cm, 10-21cm, 500-900g; / 32-47cm, 200-600g

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.

Breeding Breeding is in the fall, and delayed implantation results in 2-6 young born in spring.

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

Range Rocky Mountains, Southwest, Texas, California, Northwest, Western Canada

Discussion Diet includes small mammals, birds, lizards, insects, and carrion. Pungent anal scent glands provide a defensive spray, which is accompanied by a curious handstand and tail display. Uses rocky and brushy areas in woodlands, grasslands, farmlands, and deserts.