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Posted by Terry Cox on March 04, 2003 at 19:17:49:
In Reply to: Re: Further changes to ratsnake systematics posted by jfirneno on March 04, 2003 at 06:58:18:
I take it this info is from the same article from the Russian journal?
My guess is that prasina and frenata should be in the same group as oxycephala and janseni. There are some strong morphological and behavioral characteristics linking them, imho. Not that my opinion means a hill of beans, but I'm glad to see this.
If the Coelognathus species are more closely related to the Old World racers, I would think it's just a matter of degree. I'm sure they're related to the other ratsnakes too, but maybe more distantly. I would think taeniura is somewhat related to the Coelognathus group. It has some racer-like characteristics, too.
Interesting stuff. Thanks for the input and for putting up with my ramblings. PS: I think longissima and persica are closely related and next closest to hodgsoni (a hunch). Maybe there'll be changes some day. Don't forget the carinata, quadrivirgata, davidi group. I'd bet they'll get their own genus someday :)
:Another interesting change: prasina and frenata weren't retained in any of the new or old ratsnake genera. During initial testing their DNA was so different that they weren't used as even a close relative. Ptyas mucosos was selected over either one of them as an outgroup to compare to the rest of the ratsnakes in the study. It was speculated that frenata and prasina may be akin to Gonyosoma.
:One other interesting statement was that the species previously separated into the new genus Coelognathus (helena, radiatus, subradiatus, flavolineatus, etc.) would be shown in an upcoming study to be akin to the old world racers (Colubrini) instead of ratsnakes.