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Posted by WW on March 14, 2002 at 03:09:17:
In Reply to: Ok...let me get this straight since I'm stupid posted by Todd Evans on March 13, 2002 at 16:59:58:
Nothing stupid about it - the meanderings of nomenclature can indeed be confusing for just about everybody.
The red diamond rattler from California and Baja is Crotalus ruber.
*IF* you agree with Murphy and Grismer that the Cedros Isd. rattler is the same species/subspecies as the red diamondback C. ruber, then that the Cedros Isd. rattler is also part of C. ruber.
*IF* on the other hand you feel that the Cedros Isd. rattler sould be recognised as a separate species or subspecies, then you can call it C. exsul or C. ruber exsul.
The role of the Commission in this: the default option of follwing the Code of Zoological Nomenclature to the letter would have been to use the oldest name (C. exsul) for the whole lot. However, the International Commission of Zoological Nomenclature can overrule the provisions of the Code when this would serve nomenclatural stability. In this case, because C. ruber is widely known and discussed species under than name, the Commission accepted the argument that it would make sense to give the name ruber priority over the name exsul.