Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals
Search the Archive

  Carnivora · Mephitidae · Spilogale pygmaea
  Smithsonian Institution
  Copyright Notice
  Privacy Notice
 
Spilogale pygmaea

Pygmy Spotted Skunk

Order: Carnivora
Family: Mephitidae

 

Conservation Status: Vulnerable. Habitat loss, habitation and dogs and cats put this species at some risk.


Pygmy Spotted Skunks live along the tropical Pacific coast of Mexico, an area of booming tourism. These tiny skunks are sometimes trapped, killed, stuffed, and sold as souvenirs. Left to their own devices, they inhabit forest and desert scrub habitat, and den underground or under cover of rocks, vegetation, or other shelter. They eat insects, spiders, crayfish, small mammals - including an occasional bat - and birds, eggs, and some fruit and seeds. Probably their acute sense of smell helps them locate prey as they patrol pathways and streambeds at night. They are solitary: males defend their territories from other males. Females can have more than one litter a year, of one to six pups. The newborn skunks are covered with fine white hair. Their eyes and ears remain closed for about a month.

Length:
Average: Tail: 70 mm males; 63 mm females
Range: Total Length: 240-282 mm

Weight:
Range: 150-320 g

References:

Thomas, O., 1898. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, 1897:898 [1898].

Links:

Mammal Species of the World

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account

Distribution of Spilogale pygmaea