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American mink
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Mustelidae
Subfamily: Mustelinae
G. Fischer de Waldheim, 1817
Mustelinae range

Mustelinae is a subfamily of family Mustelidae, which includes weasels, ferrets, and minks.[1][2]

It was formerly defined in a paraphyletic manner to also include wolverines, martens, and many other mustelids, to the exclusion of the otters (Lutrinae).[3]

Extant species of Mustelinae[edit]

Subfamily Mustelinae

Image Genus Living species
Mustela Linnaeus, 1758 (weasels, ferrets, European mink and stoats)
Neogale Gray, 1865 (New World weasels and mink)

The sea mink (Neogale macrodon) is a recently extinct species from the 19th century that was native to the Maritime Provinces of Canada and New England in the United States.

Importance for humans[edit]

Some of the fashion furs come from this subfamily: ermine, weasel, mink and polecat.[4]

Ferret model of COVID-19[edit]

Mustela sibirica

COVID-19 can infect both the European mink (Mustela lutreola) and the American mink (Neogale vison). Ferrets are used to study COVID-19.[5] Ferrets get some of the same symptoms as humans,[6] but they get less sick than farmed mink.[7] Ferrets are a fairly uncommon animal to use as a model, but mice were not an easy model of COVID-19 because mice lack the ACE2 gene.[5]


  1. ^ Nascimento, F. O. do (2014). "On the correct name for some subfamilies of Mustelidae (Mammalia, Carnivora)". Papéis Avulsos de Zoologia. 54 (21): 307–313. doi:10.1590/0031-1049.2014.54.21.
  2. ^ Law, C. J.; Slater, G. J.; Mehta, R. S. (2018-01-01). "Lineage Diversity and Size Disparity in Musteloidea: Testing Patterns of Adaptive Radiation Using Molecular and Fossil-Based Methods". Systematic Biology. 67 (1): 127–144. doi:10.1093/sysbio/syx047. PMID 28472434.
  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. ^ "History of Fur in Fashion: Introduction". 4 December 2011.
  5. ^ a b Muñoz-Fontela, César; Dowling, William E.; Funnell, Simon G. P.; Gsell, Pierre-S.; Riveros-Balta, A. Ximena; Albrecht, Randy A.; Andersen, Hanne; Baric, Ralph S.; Carroll, Miles W.; Cavaleri, Marco; Qin, Chuan; Crozier, Ian; Dallmeier, Kai; de Waal, Leon; de Wit, Emmie; Delang, Leen; Dohm, Erik; Duprex, W. Paul; Falzarano, Darryl; Finch, Courtney L.; Frieman, Matthew B.; Graham, Barney S.; Gralinski, Lisa E.; Guilfoyle, Kate; Haagmans, Bart L.; Hamilton, Geraldine A.; Hartman, Amy L.; Herfst, Sander; Kaptein, Suzanne J. F.; Klimstra, William B.; Knezevic, Ivana; Krause, Philip R.; Kuhn, Jens H.; Le Grand, Roger; Lewis, Mark G.; Liu, Wen-Chun; Maisonnasse, Pauline; McElroy, Anita K.; Munster, Vincent; Oreshkova, Nadia; Rasmussen, Angela L.; Rocha-Pereira, Joana; Rockx, Barry; Rodríguez, Estefanía; Rogers, Thomas F.; Salguero, Francisco J.; Schotsaert, Michael; Stittelaar, Koert J.; Thibaut, Hendrik Jan; Tseng, Chien-Te; Vergara-Alert, Júlia; Beer, Martin; Brasel, Trevor; Chan, Jasper F. W.; García-Sastre, Adolfo; Neyts, Johan; Perlman, Stanley; Reed, Douglas S.; Richt, Juergen A.; Roy, Chad J.; Segalés, Joaquim; Vasan, Seshadri S.; Henao-Restrepo, Ana María; Barouch, Dan H. (October 2020). "Animal models for COVID-19". Nature. 586 (7830): 509–515. doi:10.1038/s41586-020-2787-6. ISSN 1476-4687. PMC 8136862. PMID 32967005.
  6. ^ "Table 1 SARS-CoV-2 infection in humans and in animal models". Retrieved 14 November 2020.
  7. ^ Racaniello, Vincent; Despommier, Dickson; Dove, Alan; Condit, Rich; Barker, Brianne; Griffin, Daniel; Rosenfeld, Amy. "TWiV 679: Mink, mutation, and myocytes | This Week in Virology". TWiV. Retrieved 14 November 2020.

External links[edit]