Striped Skunks

Striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis) are similar in size to domestic cats, weighing 6 to 10 pounds. They have pointed snouts and small, triangular heads with a white stripe on the nose and forehead. 

Typically the coat is black, with white stripes that extend down their nape and split into two white stripes on the back. These white stripes are as unique as human fingerprints; they vary for each individual. The tails of skunks are wide, long and bushy, and can be all black or have varying amounts of white. 

Due to their short legs, they appear to waddle when they walk and are generally poor climbers. However, they have strong forefeet and long nails, which make them excellent diggers.


The striped skunk is a common mammal found throughout the United States and southern Canada, except for some desert areas of the Southwest. Striped skunks are found throughout most of Massachusetts, except for the Elizabeth Islands and Nantucket. 

They are highly adaptable and use a variety of habitats including fields, open woodlands, wetlands, beaches, salt marshes, and agricultural areas, as well as urban and suburban developments. More