Conepatus semistriatus is a neotropical species. Its range begins in southern Mexico and continues south and east into northern Peru and eastern Brazil.
Biogeographic Regions: neotropical (Native )
The back of C. semistriatus is black with a white area beginning at the nape of the neck and extending backward, then branching into two stripes separated by a narrow black stripe. The tail is covered with an array of black and white hairs that are shorter than in other species of the genus. The fur is more coarse in Conepatus than in other genera of skunks.
The average wieght of C. semistriatus is 1600 g, and the average length is 570 mm. males are reported otbe larger than females.
The claws of this species are elongated, as is typical of the genus. The species has a broad hog-like nosepad, from which it gets its common name.
Average mass: 1600 g.
Average length: 570 mm.
Other Physical Features: endothermic ; homoiothermic; bilateral symmetry
Sexual Dimorphism: male larger
Habitat selection by C. semistriatus depends on the season. During the dry season, the habitat selection is most diverse and includes grasslands, deciduous forests, shrub woodlands, and open areas, with a majority of the time spent in deciduous forests and shrub woodlands. During the wet season, habitat selection becomes more selective and tends to be restricted to areas of higher elevations, mainly in deciduous forests.
Habitat Regions: tropical ; terrestrial
Terrestrial Biomes: savanna or grassland ; chaparral ; forest ; scrub forest
Habitat and Ecology
The diet of hog-nosed skunks is varied, but mainly concentrated on insects, lizards, and birds. Other items identified from scat samples include seeds, opossums, armadillos, and small rodents. A large portion of the insect remains appeared to be from termites.
Animal Foods: birds; mammals; reptiles; carrion ; insects; terrestrial non-insect arthropods
Plant Foods: seeds, grains, and nuts; fruit
Primary Diet: omnivore
It is likely that this species helps to distribute seeds of the fruits it consumes. In addition, these skunks probably affect populations of smaller animals upon which they prey.
Although no information was found on anti-predator adaptations in this species, most skunks avoid predation by emitting a strong odor from anal glands. This species has no known predators.
Known prey organisms
This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
Life History and Behavior
No documentation was found on the communication patterns of this species. However, as in other mammals it is likely that communication involves tactile, vocal, and visual cues. In addition, as mustelids, we can assume that chemical communication from the well developed anal glands plays some role in this species.
Communication Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic ; chemical
Other Communication Modes: scent marks
Perception Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic ; chemical
There are no reports of longevity in this species. However, another species in the genus is reported to have lived almost 9 years in captivity.
The mating system of these animals has not been documented. However, other members of the subfamily Mephitinae (skunks) are typically polygynous. Males are often larger than females and have larger home ranges. Because of the sexual size dimorphism seen in C. semistriatus, it is likely that this species follows the general pattern of the subfamily.
Reproduction in this species is not well documented. However, in the genus Conepatus, mating is reported to occur in early spring, with birth following after approximately 42 days of gestation. Litters of 2 to 5 young are common. Weaning apparently occurs by about 3 months of age. Sexual maturity occurs by the age of 10 months.
Delayed implantation is common in Mustelids, and in the subfamily Mephitinae, but has not been documented in Conepatus.
In temperate species, reproduction apparently occurs annually, but no information is available for C. semistriatus.
Breeding interval: The breeding interval has not been reported for this species, but for other members of the genus, it is annual.
Breeding season: The breeding season of this species is unknown, but in other species of the genus, mating occurs in the spring.
Range number of offspring: 2 to 5.
Average gestation period: 42 days.
Average weaning age: 3 months.
Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 10 months.
Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 10 months.
Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; fertilization ; viviparous
The parental investment of this species has not been documented. However, in other members of the Mephitinae, females are responsible for the bulk of parental care. They give birth to young in a den or burrow of some sort. The young are altricial, and stay in the den until they are able to follow their mother on foraging trips. It is reasonable to assume that C. conepatus is similar. as in all mammals, the mother provides the offspring with milk.
Parental Investment: no parental involvement; altricial ; pre-fertilization (Protecting: Female); pre-hatching/birth (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female); pre-weaning/fledging (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female); pre-independence (Protecting: Female)
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Conepatus semistriatus
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
This species is not listed by IUCN or CITES.
US Federal List: no special status
CITES: no special status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
No documentation was found.
No documentation was found.
Striped hog-nosed skunk
The striped hog-nosed skunk, Conepatus semistriatus, is a skunk species from Central and South America (from southern Mexico to northern Peru, and in the extreme east of Brazil). It lives in a wide range of habitats including dry forest scrub and occasionally, in rainforest.
These white-backed skunks inhabit mainly the foothills and partly timbered or brushy sections of their general range. They usually avoid hot desert areas and heavy stands of timber. The largest populations occur in rocky, sparsely timbered areas.
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