The genus Spilogale includes all skunks commonly known as spotted skunks. Currently, there are four accepted extant species: S. gracilis, S. putorius, S. pygmaea, and S. angustifrons. New research, however, proposes that there may be up to seven.
The western spotted skunk (Spilogale gracilis) can be found west of the Continental Divide from southern British Columbia to Central America, as well as in some parts of Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, and western Texas. Eastward, its range borders that of the eastern spotted skunk (Spilogale putorius). Spilogale gracilis generally occupies lowland areas but they are sometimes found at higher elevations (2600 m). Although the western spotted skunk is now recognized as S. gracilis, previously, skunks west of the Cascade Crest in British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon were recognized as a distinct subspecies (S. p. latifrons).
Spilogale putorius is found throughout the central and southeastern United States, as well as northeastern Mexico. In Mississippi, S. putorius is found throughout the whole state, except for the northwestern corner by the Mississippi River. In the Great Plains, there has been an observed increase in the geographical range of these skunks, and the cause of this is thought to be a result of an increase in agriculture. This would lead to an increase in mice, which happen to be one of the primary prey for S. putorius.
Spilogale usually like to reside in covered thickets, woods, riparian hardwood, shrubbery, and areas that are located near streams. However, S. putorius usually enjoy staying in rocky and woody habitats that have copious amounts of vegetation. These sly creatures prefer to dwell in a den or natural cavities such as stumps or hollow logs. Spotted skunks have been found to adjust well to a wide array of dry prairie ecosystems in shallow dens. They take on a negative relationship with elevation, particularly in regions such as the Northern and Southern Appalachians of the United States. Although they have very effective digging claws, they prefer to occupy dens that are made by gophers, wood rats, pocket gophers, striped skunks, or armadillos. They occupy dens that are positioned to be completely dark inside. Spilogale are very social creatures and frequently share dens with up to seven other skunks. Although skunks often live in this way, maternal dens are not open to non-maternal skunks.