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RE: Chondropython and Hyla

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Posted by: CKing at Mon Jun 5 02:43:20 2006  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by CKing ]  
   

>>"Applying the same intolerance of paraphyletic taxa to, say, Pseudacris, one would have to transfer all species of Pseudacris back into Hyla, since Pseudacris is derived from a species of Hyla closely related to Hyla eximia. Recognizing Pseudacris would therefore render Hyla paraphyletic."
>>
>>Is this example still relevant after the work by Faivovich et al, spliting up the former Hyla into a number of genera?
>>-----
>>Regards
>>
>>Jan Grathwohl

I haven't seen that paper, but I thought sooner or later Hyla is going to be split. It is just too large a genus. My objection to the cladists' intolerance of paraphyletic taxa is not contingent upon whether Hyla is split or not. It is simply impractical to keep splitting taxa because of paraphyly. Utiger et al., for example, split the genus Elaphe into a large number of morphologically undefinable genera that even snake experts cannot define. Doing so contributes nothing to our understanding of the relationship among the various subgroups of ratsnakes and in fact obscures the close relationship among them. Similarly, Kluge's lumping of Chondropython and Morelia obscures the rather unique habits and morphology of the green tree python. Returning back to Hyla, the type species of the genus is Hyla arborea, which is part of the crown group that includes almost all of the species of hylids native to the United States, and is closely related to the Hyla eximia group. This crown group is almost certainly derived from Hyla eximia. It would be interesting to see how one can possibly split Hyla without needing to severely restrict membership of this group to a handful of species. I will reserve judgment of the validity of this proposed split until I have read the paper but it appears that taxonomic chaos is upon us once again.


   

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