Gray above, black beneath; a black band on each side of the head extending from the nose over the eyes to behind the ears.

M. Taxus, Flem. Brit. An. p. 9. M. vulgaris, Desm. Mammal, p. 173. Badger, Penn. Brit. Zool. vol. i. p. 85. pi. 8. no. 13. Shaw, Gen. Zool. vol. I. p. 467. pi. 106.


Length of the head and body two feet six inches; of the head six inches eight lines; of the ears one inch four lines; of the tail seven inches.


Body thick and clumsy: hair rigid and very long; gray on the upper parts, black on the throat, breast, belly, and legs: head above white, with a longitudinal black spot on each side, which takes its origin between the extremity of the nose and the eye, and terminates behind the ear: toes five on each foot: claws long and bent: eyes very small: ears short and rounded, almost concealed in the hair: a transverse glandular pouch between the tail and the anus, secreting a foetid substance.

Found in several parts of the kingdom, but not of very general occurrence. Burrows in the ground, concealing itself during the day, and coming abroad at night. Feeds indiscriminately on animal and vegetable substances.