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Posted by Gary N on October 18, 2002 at 15:44:09:
In Reply to: Re: Crotalus oreganus posted by Marty Feldner on October 18, 2002 at 14:17:06:
Thanks for the excellent response, Marty.
I will wait until the smoke clears before changing my lists. Or maybe until Stebbins' book is published.
I notice that on the Reptiles & Amphibians of Arizona website you and Tom call that snake (great photo!) Crotalus lutosus. I'm assuming that name comes from the Douglas and Scheutt work you referred to.
As you suspected, Collins and Taggart are following Ashton and de Queiroz, and claim support from a group including Harry Greene and Lee Grismer.
Here are the comments from the CNAH website:
Ashton and de Queiroz (2001 Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 21(2): 176-189), using mtDNA, concluded that this wide-ranging taxon consisted of two strongly divergent clades, and recommended that they be recognized as two distinct species, Crotalus viridis (including the nominate subspeciesand the race nuntius) and Crotalus oreganus (including the remaining races). Under this arrangement, the standard common name for Crotalus viridis became Prairie Rattlesnake and that for Crotalus oreganus became Western Rattlesnake.
Collins & Taggart (2002 Standard Common and Current Scientific Names for North American Amphibians, Turtles, Reptiles, and Crocodilians. Fifth Edition) submitted for consideration the proposal by Ashton & de Queiroz (2001 op. cit.) to a snake systematist group composed of Frank T. Burbrink, Jeff Camper, Harry W. Greene, L. Lee Grismer, Robin Lawson, James R. McCranie, Andrew H. Price, Javier Rodriguez-Robles, and Samuel S. Sweet, and they agreed."
:I don't follow Collins and Taggerts recognition of C.oreganus. I don't know who they are following in their taxonomy of the viridis complex as I haven't sent away for their free published list, but I suspect it is Ashton an de Queiroz. I have problems with that paper if for no other reason than the small sample sizes used in order to reach their conclusions. I want an exhaustive analysis with robust sample sizes from throughout the range of each recognized subspecies, not one sample to represent a subspecies. Plus, if Collins and Taggert are following Ashton and de Queiroz, why didn't they elevate cerberus to a full species? If I read the paper correctly, their work supports the work of Pook, Wuster, and Thorp in substantiating cerberus as an entity deserving of species recognition. I'll follow Douglas and Schuett (in press) which will elevate several of the subspecies to the level of species. It would be hard for me not to follow Douglas and Schuett's recommendations since I've assisted them by collecting samples. I've also been in the field and seen all these animals where they live, which is sometimes basically right next to one another, and yet with noticable differences. So, for now, I'll either stick to using the traditional taxonomy for viridis or I'll jump the gun and use Douglas and Scheutt's interpretation (which is what I usually do). I won't say there isn't going to be C.oreganus, because the liklihood is there, just that I don't accept the arrangement of the subspecies under oreganus.
:Besides, I'd have a hard time calling this C.o.lutosus.