In Reply to: P. ruthveni posted by WW on January 09, 2003 at 13:49:52:
:Looking at the Rodriguez-Robles and de Jesus-Escobar Pituophis phylogeogrpahy paper, it really beats me why ruthveni was ever considered a separate species - it is rooted smack among a bunch of sayi haplotypes.
The answer to this one is simple: politics!
Biology was NOT the driving force for the ruthveni split. If you look into the entire deal with this, you'll quickly understand. It ticks me off that it has been taken in as it's own species since it makes no biological sense, BUT I can understand it from the management standpoint.
Even if the taxonomy is wrong, but the error potentially makes it easier to get protection fdor the species, I think I can live with it for a while....lol.