The Hooded Skunk (Mephitis macroura) is a species of skunk similar to the Striped Skunk. It is most abundant in Mexico, but its range extends south into central America and north into the Southwestern United States. Its habitat is grassland, high desert, and in the foothills of mountains. It avoids high elevation however. It prefers areas near water, such as rivers.
Although similar to the Striped Skunk, the hooded skunk has a longer tail and longer coat of fur. The fur is very soft. The ruff of white fur around its neck gives this animal its common name. It is more white dorsally and black ventrally. Two color variants exist. One has an all-white back, while the other has a black back with two white stripes running longitudinally down its back.
The hooded skunk lives mostly on vegetation, especially prickly pear, but will also consume insects and small rodents. It shelters in a burrow or a nest with thick plant cover during the day. It is nocturnal and does most of its foraging at night. It breeds in late winter and the female births an average of three young in the springtime.