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Conepatus leuconotus (Carnivora: Mephitidae)

Jerry W. Dragoo, Steven R. Sheffield
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1644/827.1 1-8 First published online: 3 June 2009


Conepatus leuconotus (Lichtenstein, 1832) is a mephitid commonly called the white-backed or American hog-nosed skunk. It is a sexually dimorphic species with a single white stripe along the back, and is 1 of 4 species in the genus Conepatus. It has been reported as far north as Colorado and throughout the southwestern United States including southern Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. The species occurs throughout Mexico and as far south as northern Costa Rica. It has been reported in a variety of habitats from canyons, stream sides, rocky terrain, various grasslands, tropical areas, mountains, and coastal plains. Several populations have been extirpated and others may be declining throughout the range.

Key words
  • American hog-nosed skunk
  • badger skunk
  • carnivore
  • Oryctogale
  • rooter skunk
  • white-backed hog-nosed skunk