Journal of Mammalian Evolution

, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp 255–267 | Cite as

Phylogenetic relationships among the skunks: A molecular perspective

  • Jerry W. Dragoo
  • Robert D. Bradley
  • Rodney L. Honeycutt
  • Joe W. Templeton


Phylogenetic relationships among the three recognized genera of skunks (Mephitis, Spilogale, andConepatus) were examined using allozymes and nucleotide sequence data from portions of the cytochromeb gene and displacement loop of the mitochondrial genome. The data sets indicated thatMephitis andSpilogale shared a common ancestor after they diverged fromConepatus. Intrageneric relationships revealed that the level of genetic divergence between the two species ofSpilogale was equal to the level of divergence between the two species ofMephitis, with the two North American species ofConepatus possessing the least amount of genetic divergence.

Key words

skunks Mephitinae Mustelidae phylogeny 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jerry W. Dragoo
    • 1
  • Robert D. Bradley
    • 1
  • Rodney L. Honeycutt
    • 1
  • Joe W. Templeton
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Wildlife and Fisheries SciencesTexas A&M UniversityCollege Station
  2. 2.Department of Veterinary PathologyTexas A&M UniversityCollege Station

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