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RE: C. bottae taxonomy

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Posted by: CKing at Mon Apr 21 06:49:33 2008  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by CKing ]  
   

>>CK,
>>I am in the process of preparing to leave for S. Calif. on the 25th and am short of time to respond.
>>
>>I have made a number of crosses that indicate that boas for the different clades and subclades that are paired carry on courtship behavior, coupling, and can produce viable offspring. If you wish details, I can provide them after I return. I can be reached at charinabottae@earthlink.net if you wish.
>>
>>Richard F. Hoyer

Have a good trip. That means there is a lack of evidence that the 2 northern large morph populations are different species, because if they either refuse to mate or if they produce infertile offspring in the laboratory then that would mean that they may have evolved into different species.

However, there is a disturbing lack of evidence that they are found in the same locality in nature. You claim that the distribution of boas is continuous and therefore the two northern populations are not allopatric, contra to what Rodriguez-Robles et al. are claiming, but that would require data in the form of museum specimens or published information to verify.

If they do meet and interbreed freely in nature, then they are unquestionably conspecific. Nevertheless, the 2 large morph populations should not be considered a single subspecies unless it can be demonstrated that they evolved their phenotypes in parallel rather than convergently. If the mechanism is parallelism, the same gene is responsible for their large size. If it is convergence, then different genes may be responsible for the 2 large morph phenotypes, and it may be possible to obtain dwarf boas when snakes from the 2 different large morph populations are crossed in the laboratory. So, whether the 2 northern large morph populations are considered the same subspecies would be contingent upon whether they intergrade and on the nature of the genetic control of the large morph phenotype.


   

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