Southern spotted skunk
|Southern spotted skunk|
|Southern spotted skunk range|
The southern spotted skunk (Spilogale angustifrons) is a species of mammal in the skunk family (Mephitidae). It is found in Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Nicaragua. At one time this skunk was considered to be a subspecies of the eastern spotted skunk (Spigale pusorius).
The southern spotted skunk grows to a length of 34 cm (13 in) with a tail length of 23 cm (9.1 in) and weighs between 0.5 and 1 kilogram (1.1 and 2.2 lb). It is conspicuously coloured in black and white and resembles the western spotted skunk in appearance. It has anal glands beneath the tail which secrete musk which can be sprayed with considerable accuracy at a predator.
Distribution and habitat
The southern spotted skunk is native to Central America where its range includes Mexico, Guatamala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Belize. It is present at altitudes of up to 300 metres (980 ft) in dry rocky areas with scrub and open woodland, and also in agricultural areas.
The southern spotted skunk is nocturnal and secretive in its habits. It climbs in trees but mainly forages on the ground for the small mammals, insects, birds, eggs, grain and fruit on which it feeds.
The chief threats faced by the southern spotted skunk are human activities such as road construction, wildfires and agricultural monoculture. Though not very common, it has a large range and is presumed to have a large total population, and it is able to adapt to disturbance to its habitat. For these reasons, the International Union for Conservation of Nature has assessed it as being of "least concern".
- Wozencraft, W. C. (2005). "Order Carnivora". In Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 623. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
- Reid, F.; Timm, R.; Helgen, K. (2008). "Spilogale angustifrons". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2014-09-18.
- Hugh H. Genoways; J. Knox Jones Jr. (1968). "Notes on Spotted Skunks (Genus Spilogale) from Western Mexico". Mammalogy Papers. University of Nebraska State Museum. Retrieved 2014-09-19.
- "Southern spotted skunk". The Animal Files. Retrieved 2014-09-18.