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The striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis) is a skunk of the genus Mephitis that is native to southern Canada, the United States
United States
and northern Mexico. It is currently listed as least concern by the IUCN
IUCN
on account of its wide range and ability to adapt to human-modified environments.[2] It is a polygamous omnivore with few natural predators, save for birds of prey.[3] The striped skunk has a long history of association with humans, having been trapped and captively bred for its fur[4] and kept as an exotic pet.[5] It is one of the most recognizable of North America's animals, and is a popular figure in cartoons and children's books.[6]

Contents

1 Description 2 Naming

2.1 Local and indigenous names

3 Taxonomy and evolution

3.1 Subspecies

4 Life history

4.1 Reproduction and development 4.2 Denning and sheltering behaviors

5 Ecology

5.1 Habitat 5.2 Diet 5.3 Mortality

6 Relationships with humans

6.1 In culture 6.2 Trapping and fur use 6.3 Other uses 6.4 Taming

7 References 8 External links

Description[edit]

Skeleton
Skeleton
on exhibit at The Museum of Osteology, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

The striped skunk is a stoutly-built, short-limbed animal with a small, conical head and a long, heavily furred tail.[7] Adult males are 10% larger than females, with both sexes measuring between 52–77 cm in total body length and usually weighing 1.8–4.5 kg (4.0–9.9 lb), though some may weigh 5.5 kg (12 lb).[8] The feet are plantigrade with bare soles,[8] and are not as broad or flat as those of hog-nosed skunks.[7] The forefeet are armed with five long, curved claws adapted for digging, while those on the hind feet are shorter and straighter.[8] The color patterns of the fur vary greatly, but generally consist of a black base with a white stripe extending from the head which divides along the shoulders, continuing along the flanks to the rump and tail. Some specimens have a white patch on the chest, while others bear white stripes on the outer surface of the front limbs.[8] Brown or cream-colored mutations occasionally occur.[9] Like all skunks, the striped skunk possesses two highly developed scent glands, one on each side of the anus, containing about 15 milliliters of musk each. This oily, yellow-colored musk consists of a mixture of powerfully odorous thiols (sulfur analogues of alcohols, in older sources called "mercaptans"), which can be sprayed at a distance of several meters. If sprayed on the eyes, this compound can cause a temporary burning sensation.[8] The odor of this musk was likened by Ernest Thompson Seton
Ernest Thompson Seton
to a mixture of perfume musk, essence of garlic, burning sulfur and sewer gas "magnified a thousand times",[9] though Clinton Hart Merriam
Clinton Hart Merriam
claimed that it isn't "one tenth" as offensive as that produced by minks and weasels.[10] Naming[edit] The English word "skunk" has two root words of Algonquian and Iroquoian origin, specifically seganku (Abenaki) and scangaresse (Huron).[8][9] The Cree and Ojibwe word shee-gawk is the root word for Chicago, which means 'skunk-land'.[9] Alternative English names for the striped skunk include common skunk,[7] Hudsonian skunk, northern skunk, black-tailed skunk and prairie polecat.[9] The latter name was originally used by English settlers, who noted the animal's similarity to the European polecat. This association likely resulted in the striped skunk's subsequent unfavorable reputation as a poultry thief, despite it being a much less destructive animal than the true polecat.[4] The name "Alaska sable" was employed by furriers during the late 19th century.[10] Local and indigenous names[edit] See also: Wiktionary:striped skunk § Translations

Indigenous names for Mephitis mephitis[9]

Linguistic group or area Indigenous name

Abenaki Seganku

Canadian French Enfant du diable Chinche Moufette Bête puante

Chipewyan Nool'-tsee-a

Cree Ojibwe Shee-gawk'

Tŝilhqot’in (Chilcotin) Guli

Huron Scangaresse

Ogallala Sioux Mah-kah'

Yankton Sioux Mah-cah

Taxonomy and evolution[edit] The earliest fossil finds attributable to Mephitis were found in the Broadwater site in Nebraska, dating back to the early Pleistocene less than 1.8 million years ago. By the late Pleistocene (70,000–14,500 years ago), the striped skunk was widely distributed throughout the southern United States, and it expanded northwards and westwards by the Holocene
Holocene
(10,000–4,500 years ago) following the retreat of the Wisconsin glacier.[11] Phylogenetic analyses of the species' cytochrome b gene and microsatellite data in 2012 indicated that there are four phylogroups of striped skunk. The first emerged from the Texas- Mexico
Mexico
region during the Rancholabrean before the Illinoian glaciation and colonized the southeastern United States. The second, still originating in the Texas- Mexico
Mexico
region, expanded westwards to the Rocky Mountains during the Illinoian glacial period. Two subsequent subclades were formed during the Sangamonian interglacial on either side of the Sierra Nevada. The subclade that colonized the Great Basin later expanded eastwards across the northern Rocky Mountains during the Holocene, recolonising the Great Plains and making contact with the southern phylogroup. A similar, but less significant, secondary contact occurred when the same subclade intermingled with members of the eastern phylogroup east of the Mississippi river.[11] Subspecies[edit] Thirteen subspecies of striped skunk are generally recognized:[1]

Subspecies Skin Skull Trinomial authority Description Range Synonyms

Canada
Canada
skunk M. m. mephitis (Nominate subspecies)

Schreber, 1776 A large subspecies with a short and slender tail and a mixed black and white coat with constant markings.[12] Eastern Canada; Nova Scotia, Quebec, and northern Ontario. americana (Desmarest, 1818), chinche (Fischer, 1829), mephitica (Saw, 1792), vulgaris (F. Cuvier, 1842)

Illinois skunk M. m. avia

Bangs, 1898 Similar to M. m. mesomelas, but with a slightly larger skull.[12] Prairie region of Illinois, western Indiana, and eastern Iowa. newtonensis Brown, 1908

Florida skunk M. m. elongata

Bangs, 1895 A medium-sized subspecies with a very long tail. The white markings are usually very broad.[12] Florida to North Carolina, and in the mountains to West Virginia; west on the Gulf coast to the Mississippi River.

Arizona skunk M. m. estor

Merriam, 1890 A small subspecies resembling M. m. varians, but with a shorter tail and smaller skull. The white markings are particularly broad along the back and tail.[12] Arizona, western New Mexico, Sonora, Chihuahua, and northern Lower California; south in the Sierra Madre to southern Chihuahua.

Southern California skunk M. m. holzneri

Mearns, 1898 Similar to M. m. occidentalis, but smaller.[12] Southern California, from vicinity of Monterey Bay south into Lower California; east to the Sierra Nevada and San Bernardino Range.

Northern Plains skunk M. m. hudsonica

Richardson, 1829 A very large subspecies with a heavily furred, medium-sized tail.[12] Western Canada, from Manitoba to British Columbia; south in the United States to Colorado, Nebraska, and Minnesota. americana (Lesson, 1865), chinga (Tiedemann, 1808), minnesotoe (Brass, 1911)

Great Basin skunk M. m. major

Howell, 1901 Probably the largest subspecies, similar to M. m. occidentalis, but with longer hind feet and a heavier skull.[12] Eastern Oregon, northern California, and Nevada; east to the Wasatch Mountains in Utah.

Louisiana skunk M. m. mesomelas

Lichtenstein, 1832 A very small, short-tailed subspecies.[12] West side of Mississippi Valley from southern Louisiana to Missouri; westward along the coast of Texas to Matagorda Island; and up the Red River Valley as far at least as Wichita Falls. mesomeles (Gerrard, 1862) scrutator (Bangs, 1896)

Eastern skunk M. m. nigra

Peale and Palisot de Beauvois, 1796 A medium-sized subspecies, with a longer tail than that of M. m. mephitis.[12] New England and Middle Atlantic States; south to Virginia; west to Indiana. bivirgata (C. E. H. Smith, 1839), dentata (Brass, 1911), fetidissima (Boitard, 1842), frontata (Coues, 1875), olida (Boitard, 1842), putida (Boitard, 1842)

Cascade skunk M. m. notata

Hall, 1936 Similar to M. m. occidentalis, but with a shorter tail, heavier skull, and narrower stripes.[12] Southern Washington and northern Oregon, east of the Cascades.

California skunk M. m. occidentalis

Baird, 1858 A large subspecies resembling M. m. hudsonica, but with a longer tail and narrower skull.[12] Northern and central California, from the vicinity of Monterey Bay northward, west of the Sierra and Cascades, to the Willamette Valley, Oregon. notata (Howell, 1901) platyrhina (Howell, 1901)

Puget Sound skunk M. m. spissigrada

Bangs, 1898 Similar to M. m. occidentalis, but with a shorter tail and more white on the body and tail.[12] Shores of Puget Sound and coastal region of Washington and northern Oregon. foetulenta Elliot, 1899

Long-tailed Texas skunk M. m. varians

Gray, 1837 A large, very long-tailed subspecies whose markings closely approach those of M. m. hudsonica.[12] Southern and western Texas, eastern New Mexico, and adjacent parts of Mexico; north into Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas, and Nebraska. texana (Low, 1879)

Life history[edit] Reproduction and development[edit] The striped skunk is polygamous, and normally breeds once a year, though yearling females who have failed to mate may enter a second estrous cycle a month after the first. The mating season usually occurs between mid-February to mid-April, though it is delayed at higher latitudes. Prior to copulating, the males' testicles swell during the January–February period, with maximum size being attained in March. Males during this period will cover much ground in their search for females, sometimes covering 4 km per night.[8] When a male locates a female, he will approach her from the rear and lick her genitals, then bite her on the nape before copulating. A single male may have a harem of several females, which he mates with and defends against other males for a period of about 35 days. Once the mating period has finished, the impregnated females confine themselves to their dens, while the males attempt to rebuild their fat reserves.[8]

Striped skunk
Striped skunk
pair

The gestation period lasts around 59–77 days, with kits being born at about mid-May to early June. Litters generally consist of 2–12 kits, though a litter of 18 is known from Pennsylvania. Kits are born blind and sparsely furred, weighing 25–40 grams. The eyes open after around three weeks, and are weaned after 42–56 days.[8] Although their musk is still undeveloped, kits of this age will instinctively assume the defensive stand position when threatened.[9] At this point, the kits may accompany their mother outside the den, becoming independent after 2½ months.[8] Denning and sheltering behaviors[edit] The striped skunk may dig its own dens, though it will appropriate those abandoned by other animals should the opportunity present itself. These dens are normally used only in late fall, winter, and early spring, while females with unweaned kits make use of them in late spring and summer. In cultivated areas, striped skunks will dig their dens in fencerows, likely because they are less likely to be disturbed by machinery or livestock. In winter it is common for a single den to be occupied by multiple females and a single male.[3] During this period, the striped skunk saves its energy by lowering its body temperature from 38 °C to 32 °C. Although it will forage for short periods in winter, it primarily depends on its fat reserves in cold weather, and can lose as much as 50% of its body weight.[13] Ecology[edit]

Skunk
Skunk
in Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Habitat[edit] The striped skunk inhabits a wide variety of habitats, particularly mixed woodlands, brushy corners and open fields interspersed with wooded ravines and rocky outcrops. Some populations, particularly in northwestern Illinois, prefer cultivated areas over uncultivated ones.[3] Diet[edit] While primarily an insectivore, the striped skunk is adaptable enough to incorporate other animals and even vegetable matter into its diet. The most frequently consumed insects include grasshoppers, beetles, crickets, and caterpillars. In the winter and spring months, the striped skunk will supplement its diet with vertebrates such as white-footed mice, voles, eggs and the chicks of ground nesting birds.[3] Striped skunks inhabiting California's coastal areas will feed on crabs and beached fish.[14] While not adapted for chasing fleet-footed prey, at least one specimen was observed pursuing gray cottontails into their burrows.[9] When in season, the skunk will also consume vegetable matter, such as apples, blueberries, black cherries, ground cherries, corn and nightshade.[3] Mortality[edit] Because of its formidable defensive capability, the striped skunk has few natural enemies. Mammalian predators typically avoid skunks, unless they're starving. Such predators include cougars, coyotes, bobcats, badgers, and red and gray foxes. Predatory birds, including golden and bald eagles, and great horned owls tend to have greater success in hunting skunks, though they still risk being blinded by their prey's musk.[3] The striped skunk is one of the major carriers of the rabies virus, second only to raccoons in the US where skunks are 25% of annual cases. Skunks are the primary hosts in the north- and south-central US as well as in Canada. Cases of rabies in this species are generally epizootic and recurrent. They are also host for the Canine parvovirus and may also suffer from leptospirosis.[15] Relationships with humans[edit] In culture[edit] The striped skunk is commonly featured in the myths and oral traditions of Native Americans. Some stories try to explain its striped pattern or how it got its smell. Skunks fill various roles in legends and may be featured as heroes, tricksters, villains or monsters. For the Muscogee
Muscogee
people, the skunk represented family loyal and defense of loved ones. The Winnebago people used the skunk to symbolize vanity, being beautiful on the outside but ugly on the inside.[16] The striped skunk was once called the "emblem of America" by Ernest Thompson Seton. It has been prevalent in modern popular culture, being the subject of various jazz and funk songs like Cab Calloway's Skunk Song and the Breaker Brother's Some Skunk
Skunk
Funk. The skunk connection these genres may be due to the term "funk" being a term for strong odor. Skunks are also popular characters in children's stories, comics and cartoons, most notably the Warner Bros character Pepé Le Pew, their musky odor making them a source of fear and ostracization.[16] Trapping and fur use[edit]

Striped skunk
Striped skunk
peltries.

The striped skunk is one of North America's most sought after furbearers, and was once the second most harvested after the muskrat. Its fur is intrinsically valuable, being durable and having rich luster, though this trait decreases with wear and exposure to sunlight. Skunk
Skunk
pelts are divided into four grades, with the most prized being the ones with a greater amount of black. These grades are further subdivided in value according to their locality, with the most valuable occurring in northern regions, where the fur is finer and darker.[4] Skunks are notable for being easy to trap, even approaching traps they'd been previously caught in. Because skunks are difficult to kill without having them discharge their musk (and thus ruin their fur) they were typically dispatched with a paralyzing blow to the lower back or drowned if caught in a box trap.[9] Skunk
Skunk
farming largely began during the late 1890s, when there was much foreign demand for their skins, and intensive trapping had largely extirpated the more valuable mostly black-colored specimens. Captive breeding of skunks proved relatively simple when compared to mink and marten farming, as skunks are easier to tame and have less specialized dietary needs.[4] Emphasis was placed on selectively breeding the tamest and darkest colored skunks.[9] Prior to the First World War, skunk pelts were primarily shipped to Europe until better methods of deodorizing and processing the skins lead to increased interest in selling them for North American consumption.[4] Despite being easy to breed and manage, skunk farming wasn't overly profitable, as the relatively low price of the pelts didn't compensate for the costs in maintaining them. Nevertheless, raising skunks was considered good practice for amateur fur farmers wishing to later move on to more valuable furbearers like martens, sable, mink and silver foxes.[9] Other uses[edit]

A tame skunk being cuddled.

The striped skunk was regularly eaten by trappers and indigenous peoples, provided the animal wasn't too old or hadn't sprayed before being killed.[9] American zoologist Clinton Hart Merriam
Clinton Hart Merriam
described skunk meat as white, tender and sweet, and more delicate than chicken.[10] The meat was prized by Chinese immigrants, who also bought skunk gall bladders for medicinal purposes.[14] The fat was once reputed to make an excellent lubricant.[9] The musk was once used as a folk remedy for asthma, despite its very strong odor.[7] Taming[edit] Main article: Pet skunk The striped skunk is easily tamed, and was often kept in barns to kill rats and mice during the 19th century.[4] Selective breeding
Selective breeding
has resulted in the emergence of various color mutations, including black, chocolate-brown or smokey gray and white, apricot, albino, white, lavender, champagne and mahogany.[5] References[edit]

^ a b Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M., eds. (2005). Mammal
Mammal
Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.  ^ a b Reid, F. & Helgen, K. (2008). "Mephitis mephitis". IUCN
IUCN
Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2009.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2010-01-18.  ^ a b c d e f Wade-Smith, J. & Verts, B. J. (1982). "Mephitis mephitis" (PDF). Mammalian Species 173 : 1–7. ^ a b c d e f Lantz, D. E. (1923). Economic value of North American skunks. Washington, D.C. : U.S. Dept. of Agriculture ^ a b Cipriani, D. (2011) "Skunks are affectionate, intelligent pets for owners who offer the proper care." Critters USA. pp. 2-6 ^ Feinstein, J. (2011). Field Guide to Urban Wildlife. Stackpole Books. p. 67. ISBN 0811705854 ^ a b c d Coues, E. (1877). Fur-bearing animals: a monograph of North American Mustelidae, in which an account of the wolverene, the martens or sables, the ermine, the mink and various other kinds of weasels, several species of skunks, the badger, the land and sea otters, and numerous exotic allies of these animals, is contributed to the history of North American mammals. Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories (U.S.). pp. 195-235. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Rosatte, R. & Lawson, S. (2003). Skunks. In G. Feldhamer, B. Thompson, & J. Chapman (Eds., Wild Mammals of North America; biology, management and conservation (2nd ed.) Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 692-707. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Seton, E. T. (1909). Life-histories of northern animals : an account of the mammals of Manitoba. New York City: Scribner. pp. 966-994 ^ a b c Merriam, C. H. (1886). The mammals of the Adirondack region, northeastern New York. New York : Henry Holt and Co. pp. 69-87. ^ a b Barton, H. D., and S. M. Wisely. 2012. Phylogeography of striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis) in North America: Pleistocene dispersal and contemporary population structure. Journal of Mammalogy 93(1):38-51. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Howell, A. H. (1901). Revision of the skunks of the genus Chincha. U. S. Department of Agriculture. Washington, Government Printing Office. ^ Kurta, A. (1995). Mammals of the Great Lakes Region. University of Michigan Press. p. 246. ISBN 0472064975 ^ a b Ingles, L. G. (1947). Mammals of California. Stanford University Press. pp. 69-76 . ISBN 080471195X ^ Newman, C.; Byrne, A. W. (2018). "Musteloid diseases: implications for conservation and species management". In Macdonald, D. W.; Newman, C.; Harrington, L. A. Biology and Conservation of Musteloids. Oxford University Press. p. 249. ISBN 978-0198759805. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link) ^ a b Miller, Alyce L. (2015). Skunk. Reaktion Books LDT. pp. 97, 134–146, 117–121. ISBN 9781780234908. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mephitis mephitis.

Wikispecies
Wikispecies
has information related to Mephitis mephitis

Striped Skunk
Skunk
at Animal
Animal
Diversity Web Striped Skunk
Skunk
Tracks Smithsonian Institution – North American Mammals: Mephitis mephitis Smithsonian Wild: Mephitis mephitis

v t e

Extant species of family Mephitidae

Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalia Order: Carnivora Suborder: Caniformia

Conepatus

Western hog-nosed skunk
Western hog-nosed skunk
(Conepatus mesoleucus) Eastern hog-nosed skunk
Eastern hog-nosed skunk
(Conepatus leuconotus) Striped hog-nosed skunk
Striped hog-nosed skunk
(Conepatus semistriatus) Molina's hog-nosed skunk
Molina's hog-nosed skunk
(Conepatus chinga) Humboldt's hog-nosed sskunk (Conepatus humboldtii)

Mydaus

Javan stink badger
Javan stink badger
( Mydaus
Mydaus
javanensis) Palawan stink badger
Palawan stink badger
( Mydaus
Mydaus
marchei)

Mephitis

Striped skunk
Striped skunk
(Mephitis mephitis) Hooded skunk
Hooded skunk
(Mephitis macroura)

Spilogale

Western spotted skunk
Western spotted skunk
(Spilogale gracilis) Eastern spotted skunk
Eastern spotted skunk
(Spilogale putorius) Pygmy spotted skunk
Pygmy spotted skunk
(Spilogale pygmaea)

Category

v t e

Extant Carnivora
Carnivora
species

Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalia Infraclass: Eutheria Superorder: Laurasiatheria

Suborder Feliformia

Nandiniidae

Nandinia

African palm civet
African palm civet
(N. binotata)

Herpestidae (Mongooses)

Atilax

Marsh mongoose
Marsh mongoose
(A. paludinosus)

Bdeogale

Bushy-tailed mongoose
Bushy-tailed mongoose
(B. crassicauda) Jackson's mongoose
Jackson's mongoose
(B. jacksoni) Black-footed mongoose
Black-footed mongoose
(B. nigripes)

Crossarchus

Alexander's kusimanse
Alexander's kusimanse
(C. alexandri) Angolan kusimanse
Angolan kusimanse
(C. ansorgei) Common kusimanse
Common kusimanse
(C. obscurus) Flat-headed kusimanse
Flat-headed kusimanse
(C. platycephalus)

Cynictis

Yellow mongoose
Yellow mongoose
(C. penicillata)

Dologale

Pousargues's mongoose
Pousargues's mongoose
(D. dybowskii)

Galerella

Angolan slender mongoose
Angolan slender mongoose
(G. flavescens) Black mongoose
Black mongoose
(G. nigrata) Somalian slender mongoose
Somalian slender mongoose
(G. ochracea) Cape gray mongoose
Cape gray mongoose
(G. pulverulenta) Slender mongoose
Slender mongoose
(G. sanguinea)

Helogale

Ethiopian dwarf mongoose
Ethiopian dwarf mongoose
(H. hirtula) Common dwarf mongoose
Common dwarf mongoose
(H. parvula)

Herpestes

Short-tailed mongoose
Short-tailed mongoose
(H. brachyurus) Indian gray mongoose
Indian gray mongoose
(H. edwardsii) Indian brown mongoose
Indian brown mongoose
(H. fuscus) Egyptian mongoose
Egyptian mongoose
(H. ichneumon) Small Asian mongoose
Small Asian mongoose
(H. javanicus) Long-nosed mongoose
Long-nosed mongoose
(H. naso) Collared mongoose
Collared mongoose
(H. semitorquatus) Ruddy mongoose
Ruddy mongoose
(H. smithii) Crab-eating mongoose
Crab-eating mongoose
(H. urva) Stripe-necked mongoose
Stripe-necked mongoose
(H. vitticollis)

Ichneumia

White-tailed mongoose
White-tailed mongoose
(I. albicauda)

Liberiictus

Liberian mongoose
Liberian mongoose
(L. kuhni)

Mungos

Gambian mongoose
Gambian mongoose
(M. gambianus) Banded mongoose
Banded mongoose
(M. mungo)

Paracynictis

Selous' mongoose
Selous' mongoose
(P. selousi)

Rhynchogale

Meller's mongoose
Meller's mongoose
(R. melleri)

Suricata

Meerkat
Meerkat
(S. suricatta)

Hyaenidae (Hyenas)

Crocuta

Spotted hyena
Spotted hyena
(C. crocuta)

Hyaena

Brown hyena
Brown hyena
(H. brunnea) Striped hyena
Striped hyena
(H. hyaena)

Proteles

Aardwolf
Aardwolf
(P. cristatus)

Felidae

Large family listed below

Viverridae

Large family listed below

Eupleridae

Small family listed below

Family Felidae

Felinae

Acinonyx

Cheetah
Cheetah
(A. jubatus)

Caracal

Caracal
Caracal
(C. caracal) African golden cat
African golden cat
(C. aurata)

Catopuma

Bay cat
Bay cat
(C. badia) Asian golden cat
Asian golden cat
(C. temminckii)

Felis

European wildcat
European wildcat
(F. silvestris) African wildcat
African wildcat
(F. lybica) Jungle cat
Jungle cat
(F. chaus) Black-footed cat
Black-footed cat
(F. nigripes) Sand cat
Sand cat
(F. margarita) Chinese mountain cat
Chinese mountain cat
(F. bieti) Domestic cat (F. catus)

Leopardus

Ocelot
Ocelot
(L. pardalis) Margay
Margay
(L. wiedii) Pampas cat
Pampas cat
(L. colocola) Geoffroy's cat
Geoffroy's cat
(L. geoffroyi) Kodkod
Kodkod
(L. guigna) Andean mountain cat
Andean mountain cat
(L. jacobita) Oncilla
Oncilla
(L. tigrinus) Southern tigrina
Southern tigrina
(L. guttulus)

Leptailurus

Serval
Serval
(L. serval)

Lynx

Canadian lynx (L. canadensis) Eurasian lynx
Eurasian lynx
(L. lynx) Iberian lynx
Iberian lynx
(L. pardinus) Bobcat
Bobcat
(L. rufus)

Otocolobus

Pallas's cat
Pallas's cat
(O. manul)

Pardofelis

Marbled cat
Marbled cat
(P. marmorata)

Prionailurus

Fishing cat
Fishing cat
(P. viverrinus) Leopard cat
Leopard cat
(P. bengalensis) Sundaland leopard cat (P. javanensis) Flat-headed cat
Flat-headed cat
(P. planiceps) Rusty-spotted cat
Rusty-spotted cat
(P. rubiginosus)

Puma

Cougar
Cougar
(P. concolor)

Herpailurus

Jaguarundi
Jaguarundi
(H. yagouaroundi)

Pantherinae

Panthera

Lion
Lion
(P. leo) Jaguar
Jaguar
(P. onca) Leopard
Leopard
(P. pardus) Tiger
Tiger
(P. tigris) Snow leopard
Snow leopard
(P. uncia)

Neofelis

Clouded leopard
Clouded leopard
(N. nebulosa) Sunda clouded leopard
Sunda clouded leopard
(N. diardi)

Family Viverridae
Viverridae
(includes Civets)

Paradoxurinae

Arctictis

Binturong
Binturong
(A. binturong)

Arctogalidia

Small-toothed palm civet
Small-toothed palm civet
(A. trivirgata)

Macrogalidia

Sulawesi palm civet
Sulawesi palm civet
(M. musschenbroekii)

Paguma

Masked palm civet
Masked palm civet
(P. larvata)

Paradoxurus

Golden wet-zone palm civet (P. aureus) Asian palm civet
Asian palm civet
(P. hermaphroditus) Jerdon's palm civet (P. jerdoni) Golden palm civet
Golden palm civet
(P. zeylonensis)

Hemigalinae

Chrotogale

Owston's palm civet
Owston's palm civet
(C. owstoni)

Cynogale

Otter civet
Otter civet
(C. bennettii)

Diplogale

Hose's palm civet
Hose's palm civet
(D. hosei)

Hemigalus

Banded palm civet
Banded palm civet
(H. derbyanus)

Prionodontinae (Asiatic linsangs)

Prionodon

Banded linsang
Banded linsang
(P. linsang) Spotted linsang
Spotted linsang
(P. pardicolor)

Viverrinae

Civettictis

African civet
African civet
(C. civetta)

Genetta (Genets)

Abyssinian genet
Abyssinian genet
(G. abyssinica) Angolan genet
Angolan genet
(G. angolensis) Bourlon's genet
Bourlon's genet
(G. bourloni) Crested servaline genet
Crested servaline genet
(G. cristata) Common genet
Common genet
(G. genetta) Johnston's genet
Johnston's genet
(G. johnstoni) Rusty-spotted genet
Rusty-spotted genet
(G. maculata) Pardine genet
Pardine genet
(G. pardina) Aquatic genet
Aquatic genet
(G. piscivora) King genet
King genet
(G. poensis) Servaline genet
Servaline genet
(G. servalina) Haussa genet
Haussa genet
(G. thierryi) Cape genet
Cape genet
(G. tigrina) Giant forest genet
Giant forest genet
(G. victoriae)

Poiana

African linsang
African linsang
(P. richardsonii) Leighton's linsang
Leighton's linsang
(P. leightoni)

Viverra

Malabar large-spotted civet
Malabar large-spotted civet
(V. civettina) Large-spotted civet
Large-spotted civet
(V. megaspila) Malayan civet
Malayan civet
(V. tangalunga) Large Indian civet
Large Indian civet
(V. zibetha)

Viverricula

Small Indian civet
Small Indian civet
(V. indica)

Family Eupleridae

Euplerinae

Cryptoprocta

Fossa (C. ferox)

Eupleres

Eastern falanouc
Eastern falanouc
(E. goudotii) Western falanouc (E. major)

Fossa

Malagasy civet
Malagasy civet
(F. fossana)

Galidiinae

Galidia

Ring-tailed mongoose
Ring-tailed mongoose
(G. elegans)

Galidictis

Broad-striped Malagasy mongoose
Broad-striped Malagasy mongoose
(G. fasciata) Grandidier's mongoose
Grandidier's mongoose
(G. grandidieri)

Mungotictis

Narrow-striped mongoose
Narrow-striped mongoose
(M. decemlineata)

Salanoia

Brown-tailed mongoose
Brown-tailed mongoose
(S. concolor) Durrell's vontsira (S. durrelli)

Suborder Caniformia
Caniformia
(cont. below)

Ursidae (Bears)

Ailuropoda

Giant panda
Giant panda
(A. melanoleuca)

Helarctos

Sun bear
Sun bear
(H. malayanus)

Melursus

Sloth bear
Sloth bear
(M. ursinus)

Tremarctos

Spectacled bear
Spectacled bear
(T. ornatus)

Ursus

American black bear
American black bear
(U. americanus) Brown bear
Brown bear
(U. arctos) Polar bear
Polar bear
(U. maritimus) Asian black bear
Asian black bear
(U. thibetanus)

Mephitidae

Conepatus (Hog-nosed skunks)

Molina's hog-nosed skunk
Molina's hog-nosed skunk
(C. chinga) Humboldt's hog-nosed skunk
Humboldt's hog-nosed skunk
(C. humboldtii) American hog-nosed skunk
American hog-nosed skunk
(C. leuconotus) Striped hog-nosed skunk
Striped hog-nosed skunk
(C. semistriatus)

Mephitis

Hooded skunk
Hooded skunk
(M. macroura) Striped skunk
Striped skunk
(M. mephitis)

Mydaus

Sunda stink badger
Sunda stink badger
(M. javanensis) Palawan stink badger
Palawan stink badger
(M. marchei)

Spilogale (Spotted skunks)

Southern spotted skunk
Southern spotted skunk
(S. angustifrons) Western spotted skunk
Western spotted skunk
(S. gracilis) Eastern spotted skunk
Eastern spotted skunk
(S. putorius) Pygmy spotted skunk
Pygmy spotted skunk
(S. pygmaea)

Procyonidae

Bassaricyon (Olingos)

Eastern lowland olingo
Eastern lowland olingo
(B. alleni) Northern olingo
Northern olingo
(B. gabbii) Western lowland olingo
Western lowland olingo
(B. medius) Olinguito
Olinguito
(B. neblina)

Bassariscus

Ring-tailed cat
Ring-tailed cat
(B. astutus) Cacomistle
Cacomistle
(B. sumichrasti)

Nasua (Coatis inclusive)

White-nosed coati
White-nosed coati
(N. narica) South American coati
South American coati
(N. nasua)

Nasuella (Coatis inclusive)

Western mountain coati (N. olivacea) Eastern mountain coati (N. meridensis)

Potos

Kinkajou
Kinkajou
(P. flavus)

Procyon

Crab-eating raccoon
Crab-eating raccoon
(P. cancrivorus) Raccoon
Raccoon
(P. lotor) Cozumel raccoon
Cozumel raccoon
(P. pygmaeus)

Ailuridae

Ailurus

Red panda
Red panda
(A. fulgens)

Suborder Caniformia
Caniformia
(cont. above)

Otariidae (Eared seals) (includes fur seals and sea lions) ( Pinniped
Pinniped
inclusive)

Arctocephalus

South American fur seal
South American fur seal
(A. australis) Australasian fur seal (A. forsteri) Galápagos fur seal
Galápagos fur seal
(A. galapagoensis) Antarctic fur seal
Antarctic fur seal
(A. gazella) Juan Fernández fur seal
Juan Fernández fur seal
(A. philippii) Brown fur seal
Brown fur seal
(A. pusillus) Guadalupe fur seal
Guadalupe fur seal
(A. townsendi) Subantarctic fur seal
Subantarctic fur seal
(A. tropicalis)

Callorhinus

Northern fur seal
Northern fur seal
(C. ursinus)

Eumetopias

Steller sea lion
Steller sea lion
(E. jubatus)

Neophoca

Australian sea lion
Australian sea lion
(N. cinerea)

Otaria

South American sea lion
South American sea lion
(O. flavescens)

Phocarctos

New Zealand sea lion
New Zealand sea lion
(P. hookeri)

Zalophus

California sea lion
California sea lion
(Z. californianus) Galápagos sea lion
Galápagos sea lion
(Z. wollebaeki)

Odobenidae ( Pinniped
Pinniped
inclusive)

Odobenus

Walrus
Walrus
(O. rosmarus)

Phocidae (Earless seals) ( Pinniped
Pinniped
inclusive)

Cystophora

Hooded seal
Hooded seal
(C. cristata)

Erignathus

Bearded seal
Bearded seal
(E. barbatus)

Halichoerus

Gray seal (H. grypus)

Histriophoca

Ribbon seal
Ribbon seal
(H. fasciata)

Hydrurga

Leopard
Leopard
seal (H. leptonyx)

Leptonychotes

Weddell seal
Weddell seal
(L. weddellii)

Lobodon

Crabeater seal
Crabeater seal
(L. carcinophagus)

Mirounga (Elephant seals)

Northern elephant seal
Northern elephant seal
(M. angustirostris) Southern elephant seal
Southern elephant seal
(M. leonina)

Monachus

Mediterranean monk seal
Mediterranean monk seal
(M. monachus) Hawaiian monk seal
Hawaiian monk seal
(M. schauinslandi)

Ommatophoca

Ross seal
Ross seal
(O. rossi)

Pagophilus

Harp seal
Harp seal
(P. groenlandicus)

Phoca

Spotted seal
Spotted seal
(P. largha) Harbor seal
Harbor seal
(P. vitulina)

Pusa

Caspian seal
Caspian seal
(P. caspica) Ringed seal
Ringed seal
(P. hispida) Baikal seal
Baikal seal
(P. sibirica)

Canidae

Large family listed below

Mustelidae

Large family listed below

Family Canidae
Canidae
(includes dogs)

Atelocynus

Short-eared dog
Short-eared dog
(A. microtis)

Canis

Side-striped jackal
Side-striped jackal
(C. adustus) African golden wolf
African golden wolf
(C. anthus) Golden jackal
Golden jackal
(C. aureus) Coyote
Coyote
(C. latrans) Gray wolf
Gray wolf
(C. lupus) Black-backed jackal
Black-backed jackal
(C. mesomelas) Red wolf
Red wolf
(C. rufus) Ethiopian wolf
Ethiopian wolf
(C. simensis)

Cerdocyon

Crab-eating fox
Crab-eating fox
(C. thous)

Chrysocyon

Maned wolf
Maned wolf
(C. brachyurus)

Cuon

Dhole
Dhole
(C. alpinus)

Lycalopex

Culpeo
Culpeo
(L. culpaeus) Darwin's fox
Darwin's fox
(L. fulvipes) South American gray fox
South American gray fox
(L. griseus) Pampas fox
Pampas fox
(L. gymnocercus) Sechuran fox
Sechuran fox
(L. sechurae) Hoary fox
Hoary fox
(L. vetulus)

Lycaon

African wild dog
African wild dog
(L. pictus)

Nyctereutes

Raccoon
Raccoon
dog (N. procyonoides)

Otocyon

Bat-eared fox
Bat-eared fox
(O. megalotis)

Speothos

Bush dog
Bush dog
(S. venaticus)

Urocyon

Gray fox
Gray fox
(U. cinereoargenteus) Island fox
Island fox
(U. littoralis)

Vulpes (Foxes)

Bengal fox
Bengal fox
(V. bengalensis) Blanford's fox
Blanford's fox
(V. cana) Cape fox
Cape fox
(V. chama) Corsac fox
Corsac fox
(V. corsac) Tibetan sand fox
Tibetan sand fox
(V. ferrilata) Arctic fox
Arctic fox
(V. lagopus) Kit fox
Kit fox
(V. macrotis) Pale fox
Pale fox
(V. pallida) Rüppell's fox
Rüppell's fox
(V. rueppelli) Swift fox
Swift fox
(V. velox) Red fox
Red fox
(V. vulpes) Fennec fox
Fennec fox
(V. zerda)

Family Mustelidae

Lutrinae (Otters)

Aonyx

African clawless otter
African clawless otter
(A. capensis) Oriental small-clawed otter
Oriental small-clawed otter
(A. cinerea)

Enhydra

Sea otter
Sea otter
(E. lutris)

Hydrictis

Spotted-necked otter
Spotted-necked otter
(H. maculicollis)

Lontra

North American river otter
North American river otter
(L. canadensis) Marine otter
Marine otter
(L. felina) Neotropical otter
Neotropical otter
(L. longicaudis) Southern river otter
Southern river otter
(L. provocax)

Lutra

Eurasian otter
Eurasian otter
(L. lutra) Hairy-nosed otter
Hairy-nosed otter
(L. sumatrana)

Lutrogale

Smooth-coated otter
Smooth-coated otter
(L. perspicillata)

Pteronura

Giant otter
Giant otter
(P. brasiliensis)

Mustelinae (including badgers)

Arctonyx

Hog badger
Hog badger
(A. collaris)

Eira

Tayra
Tayra
(E. barbara)

Galictis

Lesser grison
Lesser grison
(G. cuja) Greater grison
Greater grison
(G. vittata)

Gulo

Wolverine
Wolverine
(G. gulo)

Ictonyx

Saharan striped polecat
Saharan striped polecat
(I. libyca) Striped polecat
Striped polecat
(I. striatus)

Lyncodon

Patagonian weasel
Patagonian weasel
(L. patagonicus)

Martes (Martens)

American marten
American marten
(M. americana) Yellow-throated marten
Yellow-throated marten
(M. flavigula) Beech marten
Beech marten
(M. foina) Nilgiri marten
Nilgiri marten
(M. gwatkinsii) European pine marten
European pine marten
(M. martes) Japanese marten
Japanese marten
(M. melampus) Sable
Sable
(M. zibellina)

Pekania

Fisher (P. pennanti)

Meles

Japanese badger
Japanese badger
(M. anakuma) Asian badger
Asian badger
(M. leucurus) European badger
European badger
(M. meles)

Mellivora

Honey badger
Honey badger
(M. capensis)

Melogale (Ferret-badgers)

Bornean ferret-badger
Bornean ferret-badger
(M. everetti) Chinese ferret-badger
Chinese ferret-badger
(M. moschata) Javan ferret-badger
Javan ferret-badger
(M. orientalis) Burmese ferret-badger
Burmese ferret-badger
(M. personata)

Mustela (Weasels and Ferrets)

Amazon weasel
Amazon weasel
(M. africana) Mountain weasel
Mountain weasel
(M. altaica) Stoat
Stoat
(M. erminea) Steppe polecat
Steppe polecat
(M. eversmannii) Colombian weasel
Colombian weasel
(M. felipei) Long-tailed weasel
Long-tailed weasel
(M. frenata) Japanese weasel
Japanese weasel
(M. itatsi) Yellow-bellied weasel
Yellow-bellied weasel
(M. kathiah) European mink
European mink
(M. lutreola) Indonesian mountain weasel
Indonesian mountain weasel
(M. lutreolina) Black-footed ferret
Black-footed ferret
(M. nigripes) Least weasel
Least weasel
(M. nivalis) Malayan weasel
Malayan weasel
(M. nudipes) European polecat
European polecat
(M. putorius) Siberian weasel
Siberian weasel
(M. sibirica) Back-striped weasel
Back-striped weasel
(M. strigidorsa) Egyptian weasel
Egyptian weasel
(M. subpalmata)

Neovison (Minks)

American mink
American mink
(N. vison)

Poecilogale

African striped weasel
African striped weasel
(P. albinucha)

Taxidea

American badger
American badger
(T. taxus)

Vormela

Marbled polecat
Marbled polecat
(V. peregusna)

Taxon identifiers

Wd: Q368495 ADW: Mephitis_mephitis ARKive: mephitis-mephitis EoL: 328593 EPPO: MEPHME Fossilworks: 48141 GBIF: 5219380 iNaturalist: 41880 ITIS: 180562 IUCN: 41635 MSW: 14

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