American mink
Scientific classification e
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

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

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

Ferret model of COVID-19

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 (São Paulo). 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.