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The solution to this problem....


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Posted by Chris H. on July 24, 2002 at 09:46:37:

In Reply to: (Section 4: Snakes & Turtles) Catalog of California posted by Will on June 22, 2002 at 06:42:33:

: Charina trivirgata, Rosy Boa
: Conflict of scientific name recognition. Crother, Stebbins (1985), and Behler (1979) advises Lichanura trivirgata, while Collins (1997) advise Charina trivirgata and site Powell, Collins (1997) and Hooper (1998, A Key to the Amphibians and Reptiles of the Continental United States and Canada. University Press of Kansas, Lawrence. vi + 131 pp.) In addition, Rodriguez-Robles, Bell and Greene (1999 Journal of the Zoological Society of London 248: 49-58) that recognize this lineage as a member of the genus Charina.

The solution to this particular issue is, of course, to read the paper where the name Charina was first applied to trivirgata. This is particularly important in controversial issues like the application of Charina to trivirgata (and reinhardtii). If you read the Kluge paper, you can evaluate his evidence and come to your own conclusion, rather than base it on other people's opinions of the paper. All too often, due to the constraints of time, those other opinions are based on simply a quick perusal (or less) of the paper in question.

Unfortunately, this is the problem with all these taxonomic discrepancies. The best solution is always to go back to the source literature (otherwise, you are forced to accept the opinions of other readers).

I am not trying to imply, BTW, that any of the sources you cite above have based their conclusions on anything other than a thorough examination of Kluge, just that when there are disparate opinions, it is best to go to the source.

Nor am I suggesting that this is necessary with any taxonomic change (I think you can accept Lampropeltis getula as opposed to getulus without going back and reading the original paper. This change has been readily accepted). It is only relevant in the really controversial ones.

(For the record, I agree that bottae and trivirgata should be congeners. Charina reinhardtii is another discussion altogether.)



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