Evaluating the Reproductive Habits and the Breeding Season of the Hog-nosed Skunk (Conepatus leuconotus)
Ellsworth, Zachary Tate
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I collected data to assess the times when the hog-nosed skunk, Conepatus leuconotus, is reproductively active and compared these times to its reported breeding season. I analyzed data from 752 museum collection specimens from six countries to determine sex ratio and discern in which months hog-nosed skunks had the highest activity, as indicated by collection date. Collection peaks were different for males and females, but were not exclusively seen during the reported breeding period. Testes measurements were analyzed for a smaller subset of 100 males from the United States collected throughout the year. Data were compared by collection month to determine if there was a significant difference in size of the testes and reported mating season. There was neither a difference in relative testis size among months, nor between the months of the reported breeding period and non-reproductive months. Reproductive behavior occurs outside the reported breeding period for C. leuconotus.