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RE: another try: Sibling species...

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Posted by: CKing at Mon Apr 10 12:04:17 2006  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by CKing ]  
   

>>>as far as I have learned, sibling species are (morphologically) indistinguishable >from (a certain) other species. But in fact, "sibling species" are no valid taxonomic >entity, but I have read some papers regarding such as separate sub- or full >species.
>>
>>Sounds like a cryptic species to me. This would be something that was indistinguishable from others, but has now been demonstrated to be different based on new data. Molecular data are often used for this.

Molecular data are also misused for identifying cryptic species. Herps are small animals with limited dispersal powers. Geographical barrier to gene flow can produce distinctive molecular races or so-called cryptic species. There is a trend to name these molecular races as full blown species without any demonstration of reproductive isolation.

>>
>>>I understand that even allopatric populations are not always considered a >subspecies or at specific rank, at least if morphologically indistinguishable from >the "nominate species". Although this was commonly done in the past.
>>>So, what is to do with allopatric species that are indistinguishable from a certain >other species.
>>
>>Well if they are diagnosable, one could consider them different species. But if they are indistinguishable then they are not really a different species.

That is of course one school of taxonomic thought. If two populations are geographically isolated and they are "diagnosable" than they are on different "phylogenetic trajectories," which means they are different species. That sort of philosophy is misguided, and it has resulted in a return to typological taxonomy that was practiced in the 19th century.

>>
>>>Doesn't allopatry also mean not having gene flow, a reduced gene pool and >therefore eventually the development of certain characters (due to environmental >factors)? If so, any allopatric population would become a subspecies and later >perhaps a species over time, and could definitly be considered as sibling species >prior to subspecific or specific level?
>>
>>Currenly most taxonomists (at least the ones dealing with herps in North America) use the species rank for diagnosable entities (populations or groups of populations).
>>Few people use subspecies or sibling species. Some people consider sibling species to be the sister taxon at the species level, which seems to make the most sense to me. What you described above sounds like it could be considered a population.

Lots of people still use the subspecies rank. As Ernst Mayr pointed out, the subspecies category is useful and taxonomists will continue to use it. Those who refuse to use the subspecies category simply have an ideological aversion to the subspecies category. To them, the smallest identifiable taxonomic unit is the species. Therefore there is no room in their ideology for subspecies. Since this sort of ideology may come and go in ways that are similar to fashion, the subspecies category will likely outlast those ideologies that do not favor its use.


   

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<< Previous Message:  RE: another try: Sibling species... - emoneill, Mon Jul 11 11:03:05 2005