image catesbyrs vol262
Image number: RS.18806
Credit: ©The Royal Society

Eastern spotted skunk




Mark Catesby (1683-1749, British), Naturalist

Object type

Library reference





Content object

   > animal
      > skunk


Zoological study of an eastern spotted skunk, Spilogale putorius, referred to here as Putorius americanus striatus, shown in left profile, above a white mouth dayflower Commelina erecta specimen.

Signed and inscribed: 'Pseudo-Phalangium Putorius'

Written in the associated description: 'When one of them is attacked by a Dog, to appear formidable, it so changes its usual Form, by bristling up its Hairs, and contracting its Length into a round Form, that it makes a very odd and terrible Appearance.'

Plate 62 from volume II of Mark Catesby’s The natural history of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands (London, 1731).

Mark Catesby (1683-1749), British naturalist was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1733. Travelling under the auspices of the Royal Society, Catesby recorded the earliest western scientific descriptions of the flora and fauna of the ‘New World’. He was the first naturalist to use folio-sized colour plates in a natural history book, and etched the copper plates himself before hand-colouring each individual print with watercolours.

Associated place

<The World>
   > North America
      > United States
<The World>
   > North America
      > Bahamas