Sunda stink badger
|Sunda stink badger|
|Sunda stink badger range|
The Sunda stink badger (Mydaus javanensis), also called the Javan stink badger, teledu, Malay stink badger and Indonesian stink badger, is a mammal native to Indonesia and Malaysia. Despite the common name, they are not closely related to true badger, and are, instead, Old World relatives of the skunks.
Sunda stink badgers have a similar body shape to badgers, but are significantly smaller, being 37 to 52 cm (15 to 20 in) in total length, and weighing from 1.3 to 3.6 kg (2.9 to 7.9 lb). Their fur is coarse, and black or very dark brown over most of the body, with a white stripe running from the top of the head to the tail. The tail is short, measuring about 3.6 cm (1.4 in), and is covered in pure white fur. The width of the stripe varies considerably between individuals, but is usually narrow, and may be discontinuous. As the name indicates, stink badgers have an anal scent gland that secretes a foul-smelling substance, which the animal can spray up to 15 cm (5.9 in). Females have six teats.
Distribution and habitat
Sunda stink badgers are found in Java, Sumatra, Borneo, and the northern Natuna Islands. They typically inhabit forest edges or areas of secondary forest, often at elevations of over 2,000 m (6,600 ft), and only rarely on lowland plains. However, they have been reported as low as 250 m (820 ft) above sea level on Java, and also at relatively low elevations in Sarawak. Three subspecies are recognised:
- M. j. javanensis - Java and mainland Sumatra
- M. j. lucifer - Borneo
- M. j. ollula - Natuna Islands
Behaviour and biology
Sunda stink badgers are omnivorous and nocturnal. The animal portion of their diet consists of invertebrates, eggs, and carrion. At night, they root through soft soil using their snout and claws, searching for worms and ground-dwelling insects. During the day, they sleep in short burrows, less than 60 cm (24 in) in length, which they may either dig themselves or take over from other animals, such as porcupines. They have been reported to give birth to litters of two or three young.
- Long, B., Hon, J., Azlan J. & Duckworth, J. W. (2008). Mydaus javanensis. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 27 January 2009.
- Dragoo, J. W.; Honeycutt, R. L. (1997). "Systematics of mustelid-like carnivores". Journal of Mammalogy 78 (2): 426–443. doi:10.2307/1382896.
- Hwang, Y. T.; Larivière, S. (2003). "Mydaus javanensis". Mammalian Species (723): 1–3. doi:10.1644/723.