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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals

  Carnivora · Mephitidae · Mephitis macroura

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Mephitis macroura

Hooded Skunk

Order: Carnivora
Family: Mephitidae

Image of Mephitis macroura
Mephitis macroura - double, thin-striped variant, upper right; single wide-striped variant, lower left
Click to enlarge. (89 kb)

Conservation Status: Least Concern.

The Hooded Skunk is a desert animal, preferring rocky canyons and valleys, and the vegetation along stream edges. It lives at elevations of less than 2,000 m above sea level. It forages at night for meals that may include small mammals, birds, and some plants, and it digs for beetles and other insects, which seem to be its preferred food. Striped, Spotted, and Hog-nosed skunks are all found within the Hooded Skunk's range. The four species coexist by adopting different behavioral and ecological strategies.

Also known as:

White Sided Skunk, Southern Skunk, Zorrillo

Sexual Dimorphism:

Males are larger than females.


Range: 560-790 mm


Range: 820-1,200 g


Lichtenstein, H., 1832.  ber die Springm use oder die Arten der Gattung Dipus. Abhandlungen der Koniglichen Akademie der Wissenschaften in Berlin, pl. 46.


Mammal Species of the World (opens in a new window).

Distribution of Mephitis macroura

Image of Mephitis macroura
Click to enlarge. (95kb)

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