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Western Spotted Skunk

Western Spotted Skunk

Western Spotted Skunk Range Map (N America)
Western Spotted Skunk Range Map (N America)

Latin Name Spilogale gracilis
Conservation Status Least Concern
Location North America
Colour Black & White
Length 23 - 37 cms (9 - 14.5 inches)
Tail 8.5 - 21 cms (3 - 8 inches)
Weight 0.2 - 0.9 Kgs (0.4 - 2 lbs)
Life Expectancy

Up to 9 Yrs (in Captivity)

Main Characteristics

Western Spotted Skunks have a body length between 23 and 37 cms (9 - 14.5 inches), a tail length between 8.5 and 21 cms (2 - 8 inches) and they weigh between 0.2 and 0.9 kgs (0.4 - 2 lbs).

They have a slender, weasel-like body and small, round ears that are set low on the sides of their head. They have a fine, medium length coat with striking black and white colouration and each individual has different markings.

Like all skunks, the Western Spotted Skunk has well developed anal glands that they emit musk from if they are threatened. These glands contain a "nipple" that allows the skunk to aim its spray accurately at its attackers.


Western Spotted Skunks inhabit the rocky areas of western North America.


Western Spotted Skunks are omnivores and they feed on rodents, rabbits, insects, eggs, roots, and fruits.


After a period of delayed implantation of 180 - 200 days and a true gestation period of 28 - 31 days, Western Spotted Skunks give birth to a litter of 2 - 5 young. They are weaned at 54 days and females reach sexual maturity at 4 - 5 months old.


Predators of the Western Spotted Skunk are humans, dogs, cats, bobcats, foxes, coyotes and owls.


Subspecies of the Western Spotted Skunk include:

Spilogale gracilis amphiala
Spilogale gracilis gracilis
Spilogale gracilis latifrons
Spilogale gracilis leucoparia
Spilogale gracilis lucasana
Spilogale gracilis martirensis
Spilogale gracilis phenax

Interesting Facts

Skunks are believed to be one of the principle carriers of rabies in North America.

Similar Animals

Eastern Spotted Skunk
Southern Spotted Skunk
Pygmy Spotted Skunk
Striped Skunk
Hooded Skunk
Striped Hog-Nosed Skunk
Javan Stink Badger
Palawan Stink Badger


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