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RE: C. bottae taxonomy

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Posted by: CKing at Sun Dec 7 11:50:44 2008  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by CKing ]  
   

>>I also have examined that specimen which measured 496 mm. It also was a female with a scarred tail tip. Factoring in a 10% shrinkage factor, the specimen's live stretched length would have been 551 mm and below the est.. maximum length of dwarf form females. So at this point, it is not known if either the San Luis Obispo or Monterey County boa populations are of the large or dwarf form. The only known is that the one Monterey Co. specimen tested aligned with the Northwestern subclade.>>

On second thought, Richard, there is of course the possibility that some of the basal lineages of the Northwestern clade has retained the small morph genotype/phenotype of umbratica.

If that is the case, then the large morph may have evolved much farther north than San Luis Obispo or Monterey County. If that is the case, it would be one more piece of evidence that the small morph is the ancestral condition in C. bottae. This would not be a surprise since the basal most members are small morph, and the likely ancestor of C. bottae, namely Exiliboa, is a small snake. If it is indeed the case, it also further supports the theory that the large morph genotype and phenotype evolved at least twice within C. bottae, once in the Northwestern subclade somewhere north of San Luis Obispo County and a second time in the area of Tulare County.

Therefore I shouldn't have taken for granted that the Monterey and/or San Luis Obispo County specimens are large morph boas simply because they belong to the Northwestern subclade. Thanks for the heads up.


   

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