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RE: C. bottae taxonomy

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Posted by: CKing at Thu May 15 09:35:34 2008  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by CKing ]  
   

>>Finally, your crosses between small morph and large morph snakes seem very interesting, as size seems to be linked with sex somehow. Are these crosses between Northwestern large morph and small morph snakes or are these crosses between Sierra Nevada large morph and the small morph snakes?>>

Okay that was a dumb question. You gave locality data for your crosses and they were between small morph and Northwestern large morph snakes. It would be very interesting to see if crosses between Northwestern and Sierra Nevada large morphs snakes will be fertile, and if the offsprings will be large morph, small morph or a mix of both.

For now, I believe a 3 subspecies arrangement is better than either a single species without subspecies designation, 2 subspecies or 2 or even 3 species arrangement. The 3 subspecies should be divided geographically into Northwestern, Sierra Nevada and umbratica races. The small morph Kern County snakes should be included in umbratica, as their small body size suggest that they haven't changed since they became isolated geographically from boas living in Southern California. Umbratica would then be a paraphyletic subspecies. I am not bothered by paraphyletic taxa, but the cladists would definitely be. The alternative of recognizing a Sierra Nevada Kern County boas as a single subspecies would result in a heterogeneous mix of ancestral small morph morphotype and Sierra Nevada large morph morphotypes, which is confusing and not very useful.


   

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