Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

Feeding habits of Molina's hog-nosed skunk, Conepatus chinga (Carnivora: Mephitidae) in the extreme south of Brazil

Bortolotto Peters, FelipeRicardo de Oliveira Roth, PauloUarth Christoff, Alexandre

Feeding habits of the Molina's hog-nosed skunk, Conepatus chinga (Molina, 1782) in the extreme south of Brazil. We analyzed 60 stomachs of road-kills of C. chinga in the extreme south of Brazil. The contents revealed 808 prey parts, including invertebrates (frequency of occurrence - FO = 96.7% and relative abundance - RA = 94.7%), vertebrates (FO = 18.3% and RA = 2.8%) and plants (FO = 31.7% and RA = 2.3%). We identified 18 kinds of food, including the invertebrate order Coleoptera which showed the highest FO (86.7%) and RA (75.2%). Other important orders were Orthoptera (FO = 35% and RA = 10.4%) and Araneae (FO = 41.7% and RA = 4%). The combination of occurrence and abundance of the preys consumed allowed classifying C. chinga as an omnivorous with a predominance of insects, especially Coleoptera, consuming other invertebrates, vertebrates and plants in smaller numbers. Behavioral and morphological adaptations of C. chinga favor the predation of insects, which are preys that offer low physical resistance and are available in all terrestrial environments.

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