Hooded skunk

The hooded skunk (Mephitis macroura) is a species of mammal in the family Mephitidae. Mephītis in Latin means "foul odor", μακρός (makrós) in Greek translates to "long" and οὐρά (ourá) translates to "tail".

Hooded skunk
Skunkhooded
Hooded skunk
Scientific classification
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Phylum:
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Species:
M. macroura
Binomial name
Mephitis macroura
Hooded Skunk area
Hooded skunk range

Morphology

It can be distinguished from the similar striped skunk (M. mephitis) by its longer tail and longer, much softer coat of fur, and larger tympanic bullae.[2] A ruff of white fur around its neck gives the animal its common name. Three color phases are known and in all three, a thin white medial stripe is present between the eyes: black-backed with two lateral white stripes, white-backed with one dorsal white stripe, or entirely black with a few white hairs in the tail.[3][4]

Ecology

The hooded skunk ranges from the Southwestern United States to Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and northwest Costa Rica.[1] It is more abundant in Mexico. These skunks are found to be more than 50% smaller in size in southern Mexico than in the Southwestern United States.[5] It is found in grasslands, deserts, and in the foothills of mountains, avoiding high elevations. It tends to live near a water source, such as a river. The females tend to be 15% smaller in size than the males[6] and their breeding season is between February and March.[4] The litter size ranges from three to eight.[7]

Diet

The diet of the hooded skunk consists mostly of vegetation, especially prickly pear (Opuntia spp.), but it will readily consume insects, small vertebrates, and bird eggs [4] as well. No cases of rabies are reported,[8][9] but they host a range of parasites, including nematodes, roundworms, and fleas.[4]

Behavior

Hooded skunks are solitary, but they might interact at a feeding ground without showing any signs of aggression.[10] They shelter in a burrow or a nest of thick plant cover during the day and are active at night. Like M. mephitis, for self-defense, they spray volatile components from their anal glands.![11]

Characteristics

Hooded skunks are currently not endangered. They are very abundant in Mexico and can live in human suburban areas mostly on pastures and cultivated fields.[12] Their fur has low economic value.[7] However, their fat[11] and scent glands[10] can be used in local folk medicine. In some parts of their range, their flesh is considered a delicacy.[13] Other common names for the hooded skunk include: mofeta rayada (Spanish), moufette à capuchon (French), pay (Maya), southern skunk, white-sided skunk, and zorillo.[14]

References

  1. ^ a b Cuarón, A.D.; Reid, F. & Helgen, K. (2008). "Mephitis macroura". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2008. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 27 January 2009.
  2. ^ Hall, E. R. (1981). The mammals of North America (Second ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons. pp. 601–1181.
  3. ^ Hoffmeister, D. F. (1986). Mammals of Arizona. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.
  4. ^ a b c d Patton, R. F. (1974). Ecological and behavioral relationships of the skunks of Trans Pecos Texas. Ph.D. dissertation. Texas A&M University. p. 199.
  5. ^ Janzen, D. H. and W. Hallwachs (1982). The hooded skunk, Mephitis macroura, in lowland northwestern Costa Rica. Brenesia. pp. 19/20:549–552.
  6. ^ Rosatte, R. C. (1987). Striped, spotted, hooded, and hog-nosed skunk. Toronto, Canada: Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.
  7. ^ a b Bailey, V. (1932). "Mammals of New Mexico". North American Fauna. 53: 1–412. doi:10.3996/nafa.53.0001.
  8. ^ Aranda, M.; L. Lopez-De Buen (1999). "Rabies in skunks from Mexico". Journal of Wildlife Diseases. 35: 574–577. doi:10.7589/0090-3558-35.3.574.
  9. ^ Ceballos, G., And A. Miranda (1986). Los mamiferos de Chmela, Jalisco: manual de campo. Mexico City, Mexico: Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico.
  10. ^ a b Reid, F. A. (1997). A field guide to the mammals of Central America and south east Mexico. New York: Oxford University Press.
  11. ^ a b Dalquest, W. W. (1953). Mammals of the Mexican state of San Luis Potosi. Balton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press.
  12. ^ Yeen, Ten Hwang; Serge Lariviere (26 December 2001). "Mephitis macroura". Mammalian Species. 686: 1–3. doi:10.1644/1545-1410(2001)686<0001:mm>2.0.co;2.
  13. ^ Davis, W. B. (1944). "Notes on Mexican mammals". Journal of Mammalogy. 25: 370–402. doi:10.2307/1374900.
  14. ^ Borror, D. J. (1960). Dictionary of word roots and combining forms. Palo Alto, California: National Press Books.

External links

American hog-nosed skunk

The American hog-nosed skunk (Conepatus leuconotus) is a species of hog-nosed skunk from Central and North America, and is one of the largest skunks in the world, growing to lengths of up to 2.7 feet (82 cm). Recent work has concluded the western hog-nosed skunk (formerly Conepatus mesoleucus) is the same species, and Conepatus leuconotus is the correct name of the merged populations.In Texas, it is commonly known as the rooter skunk for its habit of rooting and overturning rocks and debris in search of food.

Asiatic linsang

The Asiatic linsang (Prionodon) is a genus comprising two species native to Southeast Asia: the banded linsang (Prionodon linsang) and the spotted linsang (Prionodon pardicolor). Prionodon is considered a sister taxon of the Felidae.

Eastern spotted skunk

The eastern spotted skunk (Spilogale putorius) is a small, relatively slender skunk found throughout the eastern United States and in small areas of Canada and Mexico.

This small skunk is more weasel-like in body shape than the more familiar striped skunk. The eastern spotted skunk has four stripes on its back which are broken in pattern, giving it a "spotted" appearance. They have a white spot on their forehead. They are found in Canada (southeast Manitoba and northwestern Ontario), the United States and northeastern Mexico. Males, at 46.3–68.8 cm (18.2–27.1 in) in total length, are large than females, at 35–54.4 cm (13.8–21.4 in). The tail accounts for roughly a third of their total length. Body mass can range from 0.2 to 1.8 kg (0.44 to 3.97 lb), with males averaging around 700 g (1.5 lb) against the female's average of 450 g (0.99 lb). Skull length is 43–55 mm (1.7–2.2 in). The Eastern spotted skunk is a very small skunk, which (for comparison sake) is no larger than a good-sized tree squirrel.They are much more active than any other type of skunk. They have mostly the same predators as any other skunk (big cats, bobcats, owls, humans, etc.). Up to eight skunks may share an underground den in the winter. They can also climb and take shelter in trees.Eastern spotted skunks seem to prefer forest edges and upland prairie grasslands, especially where rock outcrops and shrub clumps are present. In western counties, it relies heavily on riparian corridors where woody shrubs and woodland edges are present. Woody fencerows, odd areas, and abandoned farm buildings are also important habitat for Eastern Spotted Skunks.

Hog-nosed skunk

The hog-nosed skunks belong to the genus Conepatus and are members of the family Mephitidae (skunks). They are native to the Americas. They have white backs and tails and black underparts.

Humboldt's hog-nosed skunk

Humboldt's hog-nosed skunk, also known as the Patagonian hog-nosed skunk (Conepatus humboldtii) is a type of hog-nosed skunk indigenous to the open grassy areas in the Patagonian regions of Argentina and Chile. It belongs to the order Carnivora and the family Mephitidae.

Lutrogale

Lutrogale is a genus of otters, with only one extant species—the smooth-coated otter.

Mephitidae

Mephitidae is a family of mammals comprising the skunks and stink badgers. They are noted for the great development of their anal scent glands, which they use to deter predators.

There are twelve extant species of mephitids in four genera: Conepatus (hog-nosed skunks, four species); Mephitis (the hooded and striped skunks, two species); Mydaus (stink badgers, two species); and Spilogale (spotted skunks, four species). The two stink badgers in the genus Mydaus inhabit Indonesia and the Philippines; the other members of the family inhabit the Americas, ranging from Canada to central South America. All other mephitids are extinct, known through fossils, including those from Eurasia.Skunks were formerly classified as a subfamily of the Mustelidae (the weasel family); however, recent genetic evidence has caused skunks to be treated as a separate family. Similarly, the stink badgers had been classified with badgers, but genetic evidence shows they share a more recent common ancestor with skunks, so they are now included in the skunk family. In alphabetical order, the living species of Mephitidae are:

Family Mephitidae

Genus: Conepatus

Conepatus chinga – Molina's hog-nosed skunk

Conepatus humboldtii – Humboldt's hog-nosed skunk

Conepatus leuconotus – American hog-nosed skunk

Conepatus semistriatus – striped hog-nosed skunk

Genus: Mephitis

Mephitis macroura – hooded skunk

Mephitis mephitis – striped skunk

Genus: Mydaus

Mydaus javanensis – Indonesian or Sunda stink badger (Teledu)

Mydaus marchei – Palawan stink badger

Genus: Spilogale

Spilogale angustifrons – southern spotted skunk

Spilogale gracilis – western spotted skunk

Spilogale putorius – eastern spotted skunk

Spilogale pygmaea – pygmy spotted skunk

Mephitis (genus)

The genus Mephitis is one of several genera of skunks, which has two species and a North American distribution.

Molina's hog-nosed skunk

Molina’s hog-nosed skunk, Conepatus chinga, is similar to the common skunk with scent glands used to spray an odorous liquid to offend potential predators. They have a resistance to pit viper venom, distinct thin white markings and a pink, hog-like, fleshy nose.

Mustelinae

Mustelinae is a subfamily of family Mustelidae, which includes weasels, ferrets amd minks.It was formerly defined in a paraphyletic manner to also include wolverines, martens, and many other mustelids, to the exclusion of the otters (Lutrinae).

Nyctereutes

Nyctereutes is an Old World genus of the family Canidae, consisting of just one living species, the raccoon dog of East Asia. Nyctereutes appeared about 9.0 million years ago (Mya), with all but one species becoming extinct before the Pleistocene.

Native to East Asia, the raccoon dog has been intensively bred for fur in Europe and especially in Russia during the twentieth century. Specimens have escaped or have been introduced to increase production and formed populations in Eastern Europe. It is currently expanding rapidly in the rest of Europe, where its presence is undesirable because it is considered to be a harmful and invasive species.

Palawan stink badger

The Palawan stink badger (Mydaus marchei), or pantot, is a carnivoran of the western Philippines named for its resemblance to badgers, its powerful smell, and the largest island to which it is native, Palawan. Like all stink badgers, the Palawan stink badger was once thought to share a more recent common ancestor with badgers than with skunks. Recent genetic evidence, however, has led to their re-classification as one of the Mephitidae, the skunk family of mammals. It is the size of a large skunk or small badger, and uses its badger-like body to dig by night for invertebrates in open areas near patches of brush. While it lacks the whitish dorsal patches typical of its closest relatives, predators and hunters generally avoid the powerful noxious chemicals it can spray from the specialized anal glands characteristic of mephitids.

Pygmy spotted skunk

The pygmy spotted skunk (Spilogale pygmaea) is a species of mammal in the family Mephitidae. It is endemic to Mexico.

Skunk

Skunks are North and South American mammals in the family Mephitidae. While related to polecats and other members of the weasel family, the closest Old World relatives of skunks are the stink badgers. The animals are known for their ability to spray a liquid with a strong, unpleasant smell. Different species of skunk vary in appearance from black-and-white to brown, cream or ginger colored, but all have warning coloration.

Spotted skunk

The genus Spilogale includes all skunks commonly known as spotted skunks and is composed of four extant species: S. gracilis, S. putorius, S. pygmaea, S. angustifrons.

Stink badger

Stink badgers (Mydaus) are a genus of the skunk family of carnivorans, the Mephitidae. They resemble the better know members of family Mustelidae also termed 'badgers' (which are themselves a polyphyletic group). There are only two extant species - the Palawan stink badger (M. marchei), and the Sunda stink badger or Teledu (M. javanensis). They live only on western islands of the Malay Archipelago: Sumatra, Java, Borneo and (in the case of the Palawan stink badger) on the Philippine island of Palawan; as well as many other, smaller islands in the region.

Stink badgers are named for their resemblance to other badgers and for the foul-smelling secretions that they expel from anal glands in self-defense (which is stronger in the Sunda species).Stink badgers were traditionally thought to be related to Eurasian badgers in the subfamily Melinae of the weasel family of carnivorans (the Mustelidae), but recent DNA analysis indicates they share a more recent common ancestor with skunks, so experts have now placed them in the skunk family (the Mephitidae, which is the sister group of a clade composed of Mustelidae and Procyonidae, with the red panda also assigned to one of the sister clades). The two existing species are different enough from each other for the Palawan stink badger to be sometimes classified in its own genus, Suillotaxus.

Striped hog-nosed skunk

The striped hog-nosed skunk, Conepatus semistriatus, is a skunk species from Central and South America (from southern Mexico to northern Peru, and in the extreme east of Brazil). It lives in a wide range of habitats including dry forest scrub and occasionally, in rainforest.These white-backed skunks inhabit mainly the foothills and partly timbered or brushy sections of their general range. They usually avoid hot desert areas and heavy stands of timber. The largest populations occur in rocky, sparsely timbered areas.

It is a nocturnal solitary animal, feeding mainly on invertebrates, small vertebrates and fruits.

Sunda stink badger

The Sunda stink badger (Mydaus javanensis), also called the Javan stink badger, teledu, Malay stink badger, Malay badger, Indonesian stink badger and Sunda skunk, is a mammal native to Indonesia and Malaysia. Despite the common name, stink badgers are not closely related to true badgers, and are, instead, Old World relatives of the skunks.

Western spotted skunk

The western spotted skunk (Spilogale gracilis) is a spotted skunk of western North America

Extant species of family Mephitidae
Conepatus
Mydaus
Mephitis
Spilogale
Extant Carnivora species

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