Channel Islands spotted skunk Spilogale gracilis amphiala, photographed by Brian Kentosh.

Belongs within: Carnivora.
Contains: Procyonidae, Mustelidae, Conepatus.

The Musteloidea is a clade of mostly small-bodied carnivorans, including the weasels, raccoons and related taxa. Previously divided between the families Procyonidae and Mustelidae, more recent phylogenetic analyses have agreed in placing the skunks (Mephitidae) and red panda Ailurus fulgens outside the clade formed by the former two taxa. The skunks are omnivorous animals native to North and South America, commonly with contrasting black and white colour patterns and with defensive anal scent glands that produce a noxious spray.

Synapomorphies (from Flynn et al. 1988): Auditory bulla with caudal ectotympanic ventrally and posteriorly expanded, with relative shortening of carotid canal (reversed in some sublineages); alisphenoid canal absent; third upper and lower molars both absent.

<==Musteloidea [Melinae]MJ11
    |  i. s.: Megalictis Matthew 1907D07
    |           `--M. feroxD07
    |         BavarictisRDT09
    |         Aelurocyon Peterson 1906FNT88, SM93
    |         ZodiolestesFNT88
    |--+--Mustelictis olivieriMJ11
    |  `--+--+--+--ProcyonidaeMJ11
    |     |  |  |--BroilianaWW04
    |     |  |  `--StromeriellaRDT09
    |     |  `--+--+--PromartesRDT09
    |     |     |  `--+--MustelidaeMJ11
    |     |     |     `--Plesiogale Pomel 1847RDT09, SM93
    |     |     `--Plesictis Pomel 1846RDT09, D07
    |     |          |--P. genettoidesD07
    |     |          |--P. himilidensD07
    |     |          |--P. mayeriD07
    |     |          `--P. viretiD07
    |     `--AiluridaeMJ11
    |          |--Amphictis Pomel 1853SA06, SM93
    |          |    `--A. ambiguaMJ11
    |          `--+--Simocyon batalleriSA06
    |             `--AilurinaeSA06
    |                  |--Magerictis imperialensisSA06
    |                  `--+--Pristinailurus Wallace & Wang 2004WW04
    |                     |    `--*P. bristoli Wallace & Wang 2004WW04
    |                     `--+--Ailurus fulgensWW04
    |                        |    |--A. f. fulgensR84
    |                        |    `--A. f. styaniR84
    |                        `--ParailurusWW04
    |                             |--P. anglicusWW04
    |                             `--P. hungaricusWW04
       |    |--M. javanensisFS15
       |    `--M. marcheiFS15
       `--Mephitidae [Mephitinae]MJ11
            |  i. s.: Miomephitis Dehm 1950MJ11, SM93
            |           `--M. pilgrimiMJ11
            |--+--Brachyprotoma obtusataFS15
            |  `--ConepatusFS15
               |    |--M. macroura Lichtenstein 1832MB86
               |    |    |--M. m. macroura [incl. M. macroura vittata]G69
               |    |    `--M. m. milleri Mearns 1897MB86
               |    |--M. mephitisDD06
               |    |    |--M. m. mephitisB75
               |    |    |--M. m. aviaB75
               |    |    |--M. m. hudsonica Richardson 1829 [=M. americana var. hudsonica]B75
               |    |    `--M. m. mesomelasB75
               |    `--M. putorius [incl. M. chinche]J23
                    |--S. pygmaeaFS15
                    `--+--S. gracilisFS15
                       |    |--S. g. gracilisDD06
                       |    |--S. g. amphialaDD06
                       |    `--S. g. leucoparia Merriam 1890MB86
                       `--+--S. angustifrons Howell 1902FS15, MB86 [=S. gracilis angustifronsMB86]
                          `--S. putoriusFS15
                               |--S. p. putoriusB75
                               |--S. p. ambarvalisJ68
                               |--S. p. interrupta (Rafinesque 1820) [=Mephitis interrupta]B75
                               `--S. p. tropicalisG69

*Type species of generic name indicated


[B75] Bowles, J. B. 1975. Distribution and biogeography of mammals of Iowa. Special Publications, The Museum, Texas Tech University 9: 1–184.

[D07] Dixon, D. 2007. The Complete Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs & Prehistoric Creatures. Hermes House: London.

[DD06] Doty, J. B., & R. C. Dowler. 2006. Denning ecology in sympatric populations of skunks (Spilogale gracilis and Mephitis mephitis) in west-central Texas. Journal of Mammalogy 87 (1): 131–138.

[FS15] Faurby, S., & J.-C. Svenning. 2015. A species-level phylogeny of all extant and late Quaternary extinct mammals using a novel heuristic-hierarchical Bayesian approach. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 84: 14–26.

[FNT88] Flynn, J. J., N. A. Neff & R. H. Tedford. 1988. Phylogeny of the Carnivora. In: Benton, M. J. (ed.) The Phylogeny and Classification of the Tetrapods vol. 2. Mammals pp. 73–116. Clarendon Press: Oxford.

[G69] Goodwin, G. G. 1969. Mammals from the State of Oaxaca, Mexico, in the American Museum of Natural History. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 141 (1): 1–269, 40 pls.

[J23] James, E. 1823. Account of an Expedition from Pittsburgh to the Rocky Mountains, performed in the years 1819 and ’20, by order of the Hon. J. C. Calhoun, sec’y of war: under the command of Major Stephen H. Long. From the notes of Major Long, Mr. T. Say, and other gentlemen of the exploring party vol. 1. H. C. Carey & I. Lea: Philadelphia.

[J68] Johnson, M. L. 1968. Application of blood protein electrophoretic studies to problems in mammalian taxonomy. Systematic Zoology 17 (1): 23–30.

[MB86] Matson, J. O., & R. H. Baker. 1986. Mammals of Zacatecas. Special Publications, Museum of Texas Tech University 24: 1–88.

[MJ11] Meredith, R. W., J. E. Janečka, J. Gatesy, O. A. Ryder, C. A. Fisher, E. C. Teeling, A. Goodbla, E. Eizirik, T. L. L. Simão, T. Stadler, D. L. Rabosky, R. L. Honeycutt, J. J. Flynn, C. M. Ingram, C. Steiner, T. L. Williams, T. J. Robinson, A. Burk-Herrick, M. Westerman, N. A. Ayoub, M. S. Springer & W. J. Murphy. 2011. Impacts of the Cretaceous terrestrial revolution and KPg extinction on mammal diversification. Science 334: 521–524.

[R84] Russell, J. K. 1984. Other procyonids. In: Macdonald, D. (ed.) All the World’s Animals: Carnivores pp. 98–99. Torstar Books Inc.: New York.

[RDT09] Rybczynski, N., M. R. Dawson & R. H. Tedford. 2009. A semi-aquatic Arctic mammalian carnivore from the Miocene epoch and origin of Pinnipedia. Nature 458: 1021–1024.

[SA06] Salesa, M. J., M. Antón, S. Peigné & J. Morales. 2006. Evidence of a false thumb in a fossil carnivore clarifies the evolution of pandas. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 103: 379–382.

[SM93] Stucky, R. K., & M. C. McKenna. 1993. Mammalia. In: Benton, M. J. (ed.) The Fossil Record 2 pp. 739–771. Chapman & Hall: London.

[WW04] Wallace, S. C., & X. Wang. 2004. Two new carnivores from an unusual late Tertiary forest biota in eastern North America. Nature 431: 556–559.

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