Two species of skunks are found in Alameda County: the striped skunk and the rarer spotted skunk. The striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis) is more common and is about the size of a cat, 2-3 feet long and weighing 10-15 pounds. The fur is very thick and mostly black with a white stripe on its neck and head extending down the back and through the bushy tail. Sometimes the striping is hard to detect in the striped skunk. The spotted skunk (Spilogale gracilis) is a much smaller skunk, only half the size of the striped skunk and is very rare in Alameda County. Instead of stripes, the spotted skunk has white spots.
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