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Temporal range: Miocene, 23.02–16 Ma
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Mustelidae
Subfamily: Oligobuninae
Genus: Zodiolestes
Riggs, 1942
  • Zodiolestes daimonelixensis Riggs, 1942
  • Zodiolestes freundi Rigga, 1942

Zodiolestes is a genus of mustelids, now extinct, which existed during the Miocene period.

The genus was first described in 1942, by E. S. Riggs, who identified the sister genus Promartes at the same time, and assigned to the family Procyonidae. In 1998 it was assigned to the subfamily Oligobuninae of the family Mustelidae. Two species have been identified in the genus: Z. daimonelixensis and Z. freundi.[1]

Z. daimonelixensis showed digging adaptations, as one fossil was found curled up in the "corkscrew" burrow of the Miocene beaver, Palaeocastor. Zodiolestes was most likely a predator of these fossorial beavers. This situation was analogous to the modern day prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) and its predator the black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes).


  1. ^ Paleobiology Database


Larry D. Martin. "Fossil history of the terrestrial Carnivora",in John Gittleman,ed.,Carnivore Behavior, Ecology and Evolution, 1989, pp. 546–548.