Mephitidae

Mephitidae is a family of mammals comprising the skunks and stink badgers. They are noted for the great development of their anal scent glands, which they use to deter predators.

Mephitidae
Temporal range: Middle Miocene to present
Striped Skunk.jpg
Striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Superfamily: Musteloidea
Family: Mephitidae
Bonaparte, 1845
Genera

Conepatus
Mydaus
Mephitis (type)
Spilogale
Brachyprotoma
Palaeomephitis
Promephitis

Skunk genera ranges.png
Mephitidae range

There are twelve extant species of mephitids in four genera: Conepatus (hog-nosed skunks, four species); Mephitis (the hooded and striped skunks, two species); Mydaus (stink badgers, two species); and Spilogale (spotted skunks, four species). The two stink badgers in the genus Mydaus inhabit Indonesia and the Philippines; the other members of the family inhabit the Americas, ranging from Canada to central South America. All other mephitids are extinct, known through fossils, including those from Eurasia.[1]

Skunks were formerly classified as a subfamily of the Mustelidae (the weasel family); however, recent genetic evidence has caused skunks to be treated as a separate family.[2] Similarly, the stink badgers had been classified with badgers, but genetic evidence shows they share a more recent common ancestor with skunks, so they are now included in the skunk family.[3][4] In alphabetical order, the living species of Mephitidae are:[5]

GeneraEdit

Image Genus Living Species
  Conepatus Gray, 1837
  Mephitis É. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire and Cuvier, 1795
  Mydaus Cuvier, 1821
  Spilogale Gray, 1865

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Xiaoming Wang & Zhanxiang Qiu (2004). "Late Miocene Promephitis (Carnivora, Mephitidae) from China". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 24: 721–731. doi:10.1671/0272-4634(2004)024[0721:LMPCMF]2.0.CO;2.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  2. ^ "Wild Skunk Information". Dragoo Institute for the Betterment of Skunks and Skunk Reputations. 7 March 2013. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  3. ^ Koepfli KP, Deere KA, Slater GJ, et al. (2008). "Multigene phylogeny of the Mustelidae: Resolving relationships, tempo and biogeographic history of a mammalian adaptive radiation". BMC Biol. 6: 4–5. doi:10.1186/1741-7007-6-10. PMC 2276185. PMID 18275614.
  4. ^ Mammal Species of the World – Browse: Mephitidae Archived 2012-10-24 at the Wayback Machine. Bucknell.edu. Retrieved on April 5, 2012.
  5. ^ Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M., eds. (2005). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.