Spilogale putorius Photo Chris Wemmer ©
The spotted skunk is small, the size of a gray squirrel, and an agile climber. It is marked with a ‘stay-away’ black-and-white coat. If you disregard the warning and get too close it will raise its tail and spray you with a foul-smelling fluid. Bathing with tomato juice may help to wash away the smell. You rarely see a live skunk but they occasionally appear as roadkills; you can smell the distinctive odor as you drive by.
The other species of skunk in Florida, the striped skunk, is the size of a house cat, and rather slow moving. It is also marked with black-and-white warning coloration. Both species usually emerge at dusk to forage, rooting through leaf litter and soil in search of insects, eggs and small vertebrates.
Striped Skunk Photo Fiona Sunquist ©
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