Common Name

Scientific Name

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Photo by Unknown Photographer
Photo Courtesy of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

The striped skunk, Mephitis mephitis, occurs throughout much of North America; it is a common species in Utah, where it can be found state-wide. Striped skunks prefer open areas, especially grasslands and meadows, but may be found in urban settings as well. Striped skunks are active year-round, are nocturnal, and are generally solitary. They are a major carrier of rabies.

Striped skunks breed during the late winter. Females may have two to ten young during late spring; the young may be on their own by fall. Striped skunks are opportunistic omnivores, with diets consisting of small vertebrate animals, insects, plants matter, eggs, and carrion.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Burt, W. H. and R. P. Grossenheider. 1980. A field guide to the mammals. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 289 pp.