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Posted by Langaha on October 17, 2002 at 17:01:02:
In Reply to: Re: Good Q.... posted by troy h on October 17, 2002 at 16:18:38:
Like most everyone I speak with, I refuse to use their taxonomic revision. So how about this question: what would you call a population that has a distinctive color pattern (i.e., a traditional subspecies), where mtDNA clearly illustrates population structure (i.e., consisting of this clade with statistical support, but only a 1,2, or 3 base pair difference from its closest related clade), yet this population is not reciprocally monophyletic because it exchanges genes with its surrounding populations (consisting of intergrades)? The DNA and morphology illustrate that this population is not an arbitrary human construct, but it illustrates that this population has an evolutionary history. A species or subspecies?
:: but the alternative is not as firmly grounded as one might like - what do we call the blasted things???
:how 'bout stay conservative and use Elaphe obsoleta, not worry about "subspecies" (which most systematists don't, anyway) and with the consensus of systematists not accepting the name change, force burbink, et al to provide better data. i just don't see any logic behind using an obviously "bad" name for a period of time until someone else comes along and changes it back.