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Common Hog-nosed Skunk Conepatus mesoleucus


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Common Hog-nosed Skunk
credit: Caspian

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Family: Mephitidae, Skunks view all from this family

Description A distinctively patterned skunk. White on top of head, back, and tail; black lower portions. Broad nose pad on long snout, naked on top. Enlarged foreclaws. Male slightly larger than female.

Dimensions 500-900 mm; 2.3-4.5 kg

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.

Habitat Scrub, shrub & brushlands, Forests & woodlands

Range Plains, Rocky Mountains, Southwest, Texas

Discussion Recent work has concluded that the western hog-nosed skunk or common hog-nosed skunk (formerly Conepatus mesoleucus) is the same species as the American hog-nosed skunk, and that Conepatus leuconotus is the correct name of the merged populations. Primarily nocturnal, as are other skunks, this Skunk is known to forage by day in winter, rooting for the insects that are its chief food. This habit gives it its nickname of "Rooter Skunk" It's also knows to eat reptiles, arachnids, mollusks, small mammals, and vegetation. It often makes dens in rocky crevices.