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Posted by troy h on January 21, 2003 at 09:25:24:
In Reply to: Re: reanalysis based on a shift in a philosophical concept??? posted by TW Taggart on January 21, 2003 at 00:13:13:
:Dixon 2000, does cite Vaughn, et al. (1996), and states that the integradation zone was broader than previously known (not quite as bold as your "across a wide area in East Texas"), but his county dot maps show the taxa to parapatric at best.
:Oddly enough, if you look at Wehler & Dixon, 2000, and their brief discussion of'corn snake' taxonomy, no statements are made about how the ssp "intergrade across a wide area in East Texas". In fact, their maps show a relatively small area of overlap, confined to two localities in Bastrop County (the Crother et al. names list, also stated the same interpretation).
i've discussed this issue at length with both Dixon and Vaughan. Dixon has told me that in his book, the lines between subspecies are more or less arbitrary.
Vaughan suggests that the intergrade zone between the two forms is, essentially, the blackland prairie zone, running north and south from Dallas to San Antonio.
as for my comments regarding SSAR vs CNAH published lists, i was simply citing that as "evidence" that the two different listing entities have motivations other than furthering science. as suggested by chris h, egos are involved.
finally, as Wolfgang suggested above, nothing makes taxonomists/systematists look worse than changing names based on changing philosophy in the absence of actually examining characters - don't get me wrong, i have no problem with the ESC and using it to define species . . . but i want a more solid paper than "they are allopatric and already defined as distinct therefore they are a new species" . . . look at it, run a gel even.
finally, the Collins paper continues to get discussion simply because Collins continues to publish lists justified by that paper. were Collins no longer actively involved in publishing lists (or field guides), his paper would have likely been forgotten ten years ago.