Ictonyx striatus (Perry, 1810)
Type locality: "South America". This is clearly in error and Hollister (1918) fixed the type locality as "Cape of Good Hope". [South Africa].
* Perry, G. C. 1810. Arcana; or, the Museum of Natural History. G. Smeeton, London, United Kingdom, single unpaged volume, signature YT (not seen, cited in Shortridge 1934): Fig. .
The Striped Polecat (Ictonyx striatus, also called the African Polecat, Zoril, Zorille or Zorilla) is a member of the Mustelidae family (weasels) which somewhat resembles a skunk. It is found in savannahs and open country in sub-saharan Africa excluding the Congo basin and west Africa.
Like other polecats, this carnivore is nocturnal. It has several means of avoiding predators - including the ability to emit foul-smelling secretions from its anal glands, playing dead and climbing trees. The animal is mainly black but has four prominent white stripes running from the head, along the back to the tail. The Striped Polecat is typically 60 centimeters long including a 20-centimeter tail. It lives for up to 13 years.
The Guinness Book of Animal Records claims a zorilla once kept nine lions at bay while it was scavenging their kill, to illustrate the claim it is indeed the worst-smelling animal.
The Striped Polecat is solitary, tolerating contact with others only to mate. Young are generally born between September and December, with one to three young per litter.
The Spanish word for skunk is "zorillo." There is a spotted skunk in Africa which is also called a "zorillo." Their spray smells the same as the spray from other skunks such as the striped skunk because it is the same chemical compound.
^ a b Wozencraft, W. Christopher (16 November 2005). "Ictonyx striatus". In Wilson, Don E., and Reeder, DeeAnn M., eds. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2 vols. (2142 pp.). ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
Larivière, Serge (2002). Ictonyx striatus". Mammalian Species (698):1–5.
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