Striped Skunk Fact Sheet

Striped Skunk





Family: Mephitidae 


Species: mephitis  
Life span:

In the wild they usually do not make it to a year, but can possibly make it to six years;can reach 10 to 12 years under human care


59 to 77 days 

Number of young at birth:

2 to 10

Age of maturity: 10 months 
Size: 18 to 32 in long

1.5 to 14 lbs

Size at birth:

1.2 oz

Description: Black fur marked by two prominent dorsal stripes meeting in a cap on the head and shoulders



  • Striped Skunk gets its name from the Latin word “mephit” meaning “bad odor”
  • Discharges a yellowish, oily, nauseating, sulfur-alcohol compound from two anal scent glands as an intimidation tool
  • Continent: North America
  • Range: Inhabit most of the united states and the southern tier of the Canadian provinces
  • Habitat: can adapt to a variety of habitats including mountain forest, grassy meadows, fencerows, fields supporting abundant and suitable shelter, cultivated land and even suburban backyards.
  • Food: its diet changes depending on the season and availability of food.  During the warm months, the striped skunk will eat insects, beetles, bees, fruit and roots.  During the colder months, the striped skunk will eat small mammals such as mice, shrews and chipmunks.
  • The striped skunk is able to direct the stream of musk up to 10 ft and the smell may carry up to one and a half miles downward.