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Overview

Distribution

Range Description

Conepatus semistriatus is a neotropical species and occurs within a disjunct distribution within Mesoamerica, the northern Andes and eastern Brazil. Its range begins in southern Mexico and continues south into northern Peru along the western Andes and east aacross northern Venezuela and into the llanos of Colombia, with an isolated populations in eastern Brazil (Nowak, 2005).
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Geographic Range

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 )

  • Nowak, R. 1999. Walker's Mammals of the World, Sixth Edition. Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

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

  • Medellin, R., G. Cancino, A. Clemente, R. Guerrero. 1992. Noteworthy records of three mammals from Mexico. The Southwestern Naturalist, 37/4: 427-430.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
In Central America this species occurs along the edges and ion gaps of evergreen forests and seem to be adaptable to some level of human distrurbance (agroforestry, forest edge,grasslands, plantations, etc.). Habitat selection in the llanos 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 (Sunquist et al., 1989). The diet is varied, but mainly concentrated on insects, lizards, and birds. Home range varies with the season probably is a response to greater food availability, and therefore a reduced need to travel to get enough to eat (Medellin et al. 1992).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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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

  • Sunquist, M., F. Sunquist, D. Daneke. 1989. Ecological separation in a Venezuelan llanos carnivore community. Advances in Neotropical Mammalogy: 197-232.
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Trophic Strategy

Food Habits

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

  • Olmos, F. 1993. Notes on the food habits of brazilian "caatinga" carnivores. Mammalia, 57/1: 126-130.
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Associations

Known prey organisms

Conepatus semistriatus preys on:
Arthropoda
Insecta
Reptilia
Aves
Mammalia

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
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Ecosystem Roles

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.

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Predation

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.

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Communication and Perception

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 ; acoustic

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Life Expectancy

Lifespan/Longevity

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.

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Reproduction

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); 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)

  • Nowak, R. 1999. Walker's Mammals of the World, Sixth Edition. Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Conepatus semistriatus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
Cuarón, A.D., Reid, F. & Helgen, K.

Reviewer/s
Duckworth, J.W. (Small Carnivore Red List Authority) & Schipper, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)

Contributor/s

Justification
This species is listed as Least Concern as the species has a wide distribution range, occurs in a variety of habitats, and is tolerant to a degree of human disturbance.
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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

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Population

Population
The species is locally common in appropiate habitats.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
A minor threat is represented by commercial hunting for hides and skin. Use of pesticides can be a threat in some areas.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
It is considered necessary to include species of Conepatus in CITES Appndix II in order to obtain data on the trade in the different species, to estimate the exploitation level, and to enforce a better control of the exports, and to avoid that one of the species exported under the name of any of the other species (IUCN-SSC, 1992).
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

No documentation was found.

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Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

No documentation was found.

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Wikipedia

Striped hog-nosed skunk

Skull

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.[3]

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.

It is a nocturnal solitary animal, feeding mainly on invertebrates, small vertebrates and fruits.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cuarón, A.D., Reid, F. & Helgen, K. (2008). Conepatus semistriatus. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 27 January 2009.
  2. ^ Boddaert P. 1785. Elenchus Animalium.
  3. ^ a b Emmons L. H. & Feer F. 1997 Neotropical Rainforest Mammals, A Field Guide.
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