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Western Spotted Skunk (Spilogale gracilis)

Western Spotted Skunk (Spilogale gracilis)

Western Spotted Skunk (Spilogale gracilis)


Class: Mammalia
Family: Mephitidae
Common Name: Western Spotted Skunk
Genus: Spilogale
Species Name: gracilis

About The Western Spotted Skunk

"Eastern and Western Spotted Skunks were for years thought to be one and the same species, but they differ in an important detail of the reproductive process. In the Western Spotted Skunk, a very long period of delayed implantation occurs. The fertilized eggs begin to develop, then stop growing at a very early stage and float freely in the uterus. When they ""implant,"" attaching to the uterine wall, growth begins again. Breeding occurs in September or October and the fertilized eggs remain on hold for 6-7 months. In March or April, development resumes, and two to six kits are born about a month later, coinciding with a plentiful food supply. The skunks are carnivorous, feeding on mice and other small mammals, insects, lizards, birds, and carrion. They also eat some vegetable matter."

Links:
Mammal Species of the World


Rights Holder: Smithsonian Institution

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