Phylogenetic relationships among the skunks: A molecular perspective

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


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

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-267
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Mammalian Evolution
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1993


  • Mephitinae
  • Mustelidae
  • phylogeny
  • skunks


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