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RE: Rubber Boa and Rosy Boa

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Posted by: RichardFHoyer at Tue Jun 17 17:48:01 2008  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by RichardFHoyer ]  
   

CK,
Your using the terms 'subclade' made it a little difficult to follow your post but I believe I got the gist after reading a couple of times. I can see that respect to relative ages, I undoubtedly have misinterpreted the information contained in Javier's graphs. Oh well, back to the drawing board.

Back in the mid 1990s and before I was on the internet, I wrote Glenn Stewart with my 'guess' that the Rubber Boa likely originated in Mexico. From there, over time it then dispersed northward as access to suitable habitat became available. I also mentioned in those letters that I felt the large morph evolved from the dwarf morph and gave a hypothesis as to what selective factors were involved that led to the large morph.

To be able to intelligently speculate as to when, where, and why species evolve, it helps greatly to have a solid background in past geological and meteorological history. I am totally lacking in such background. Of course, that hasn't stopped me from guessing. With Javier's results of two major clades and the two subclades, that seems to have complicated matters considerably.

But from the current known distribution of the two major clades, it might seem that the Northern Clade arose from (budded off) from the Southern Clade south of the current distribution of the latter clade ----- perhaps even in Baja Calif. On the other hand, is it possible that the Southern Clade is younger and budded off the Northern Clade or that the two clades split off of some extinct parent type?

In either case, the Northern Clade dispersed up the coastal mountains of Calif. north and then west of San Diego and the Southern Clade up the interior Mts. northeast of San Diego. The species appears to have completely disappeared south of its current known southerly distributions, the Northern Clade in Ventura county and the Southern Clade in Riverside county.

As mentioned, I have a hypothesis only for 'why' the large morph evolved but little hints as to where and no clue as to when. However, it would seem reasonable that the large morph likely arose north of the current distribution of the dwarf form Taking into account the current distribution of the two subclades in turns suggests that the large morph evolved twice, once from the Sierra Nevada subclade somewhere in the Sierra Nevada Mts. and once from the Northwestern subclade somewhere in the coastal mts. possibly from Baja
Baja Calif. or San Diego county to Monterey county.

To switch gears, a couple of years ago, I exchanged messages with Robert Hansen and questioned the results reported by Kluge. Robert then informed me that recent information suggested that Charina and Calabaria were not all that closely related. Below is part of a recent e-mail from my youngest son Ryan in Utah. Perhaps it was the Noonan paper to which Robert Hansen was referring.
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Bryce Noonan evaluated all boas relationships in a recent paper. See: http://bnoonan.org/Papers/Noonan_Chippindale_06a.pdf In this paper, he presents a phylogeny tree that shows Charina, Lichanura, and Exiliboa on the same branching. Bryce got the rubber boa for that study from me when he was at BYU a few years back doing post doctorate work.
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Richard F. Hoyer


   

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