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Re: collins list question


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Posted by TTaggart on January 20, 2003 at 13:16:39:

In Reply to: collins list question posted by troy h on January 20, 2003 at 09:13:22:

I too would agree, that the 1991 Collins paper (in which he followed Frost and Hillis' recommendation, that properly diagnosed allopatric subspecies should be recognized as species under the Ed Wiley emendation of the ESC), does not constitute a peer-reviewed publication.

However, your question, with respect to Elaphe emoryi, is not applicable. Elaphe emoryi was diagnosed at the specific level [Scotophis emoryi] in its original description (= first usage). (Baird & Girard (1853) Cat. North Am. Rept. Mus. Smiths. Inst. 1. Serpents. p. 157).

Your assertion that 'no biological data' existed for Collins to make the proposals he did in the 1991 paper, simply ignores the fact that each of those taxa in his list, were properly diagnosed species or subspecies already. Those data already existed. His proposals amount to a revision, which included an additional hypothesis of allopatry, and a new framework in which to operate (= the ESC).

You may disagree with his hypothesis of allopatry in this case, but his methodology is certainly consistent with a reanalysis based on a shift in a philosophical concept. Characters were reexamined, not by counting or measuring, but with respect to an operation of the ESC.


Finally, the 'Collins list' makes no changes autonomously. Rather, like the SSAR/ASIH/HL list of Crother et al., it relies on specialists groups of publishing herpetological systematists to determine the taxonomic layout of the list.

Best wishes,

Travis


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