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Re: OK, maybe not


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Posted by chrish on January 13, 2003 at 09:22:17:

In Reply to: Re: OK, maybe not posted by BGF on January 13, 2003 at 00:25:34:

In some circumstances, I agree with you that a common name should be forcibly dropped ie king brown snake for Pseudechis australis despite it being a black snake.

The unfortunate thing is that this whole genus are referred to as "black snakes" when in fact, only a few of the species are actually black. I understand the historical value of the name "black snake" in Oz, so it has to stay, but it is unfortunate. Mulga snake works for me.

For my Master's degree, I worked on the taxonomy of a subgroup of snakes commonly called Black-striped snakes, because the one species that makes it into the US is brown with black stripes. Unfortunately, most of the other species in the genus aren't "black-striped". Some are plain, others are black with narrow white stripes (ohh please can't we call it the White-striped Black-striped Snake).

Also, who is to say which is which?

Ah, there's the rub. I think countries need to come up with national lists first, in their native tongue of course. Then (painfully) you try to consolidate the lists with countries with which you share taxa. If bird people can do this with highly vagile organisms like birds (assuming you can get the brits to stop putting the word "Common" in front of every species which graces the british isles!), I imagine in can be accomplished with herps as well.

I don't believe this is going to happen internationally, I would just like to see the US get it straightened out.

The problem we have in the US is not making the list, but that there are already several lists in existance. I am not suggesting that we make a new one, but that we standardize the lists we have (or accept one) as the official SSAR/HL/ASIH list for US herps. I believe that was the goal of Crother et al, but of course, everyone has been too busy pointing out the minor flaws (much as with Ernie Liner's mexican list) to appreciate the value of accepting the list.

As for Bockadam, as quaint as the name may be, I believe it is an Aboriginal name (?) for a snake that extends well up into PNG and Indonesia. It seems better to accept the more widely used (and strangely non-descriptive?) name Dog-faced Watersnake (they certainly aren't any more "dog-faced" than most Homolopsines).

I agree its a commendable excersise and by all means if someone wants to go through the effort to generate the list, good on em.

But wait? Does this mean you aren't going to generate the list for Australia? Then Ray Hoser could generate his own personal list and "publish" it here and the battle could begin (lol) . (Sorry, couldn't resist!)




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