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

The western spotted skunk, Spilogale gracilis, is one of Utah's two native skunk species, occurring in brushy areas throughout the state. The overall range of the western spotted skunk includes parts of western Canada, much of the western United States, much of Mexico, and northern Central America. Although not as well known as the striped skunk, the spotted skunk is the more attractive of the two species, its body being black with white spots and irregular white stripes.

Western spotted skunks are primarily carnivorous, eating small birds, rodents, and insects. They also eat fruits, berries, and bird eggs, however. The western spotted skunk mates in the early fall, and females give birth to a litter of four to six young in the spring. Although not uncommon in Utah, western spotted skunks are rarely seen in the state because of their nocturnal behavior. The western spotted skunk is trapped for its fur in Utah and in many other areas.


  • 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.