The Asiatic stink badgers of the genus Mydaus were formerly included in the Melinae, but evidence indicates that these are actually Old World relatives of the skunks.
Skunks are moderately small mammals, usually with black-and-white fur, belonging to the family Mephitidae and the order Carnivora. There are 11 species of skunks, which are divided into four genera: Mephitis (hooded and striped skunks, two species), Spilogale (spotted skunks, two species), Mydaus (stink badgers, two species), and Conepatus (hog-nosed skunks, five species). The two skunk species in the Mydaus genus inhabit Indonesia and the Philippines; all other skunks inhabit the Americas from Canada to central South America.
Skunks are sometimes called polecats because of their visual similarity to the European polecat (Mustela putorius), a member of the Mustelidae family. Skunks were formerly considered a subfamily of the Mustelidae (where some taxonomists still place them), but recent genetic evidence indicates that they are not as closely related to the weasels and allies as formerly thought.