at Thu Nov 27 00:17:08 2008 [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by RichardFHoyer ]
Concerning your point #2: You may recall that Javier suggested that a break occurred in the distribution of the boa in the area of Mt. Lassen National Park and thus indicated the two subclades had an allopatric distribution. New information suggests that no such break in the species' distribution occurs in the region of Mt. Lassen for the following reasons:
1) Two samples of the Northwestern subclade occur well south of Mt. Lassen in northern Butte County and almost due west of where a specimen tested by Javier near Quincy aligned with Sierra Nevada subclade. Butte County adjoins Plumas County to the southwest. Three other samples tested from southeastern Butte County align with the Sierra Nevada subclade. That is, both subclades occur in Butte County with continuous suitable habitat connecting the two regions.
2) As mentioned above, in Javier's study, the one sample he tested (and overlooked in his treatment of the subclades) from just east of Quincy in central Plumas County aligned with the Sierra Nevada subclade. An additional sample in the new study just west of Quincy also aligns with the Sierra Nevada subclade.
However, two samples in extreme northwestern Plumas county just northwest of Chester align with the Northwestern subclade. Here again, we have both subclades occurring in Plumas County with suitable boa habitat occurring throughout that region.
3) The two samples from northwestern Plumas County plus two specimens found and tested from extreme northeastern Tehama County are in the area where a break in the species' distribution was support to occur. The two Tehama County specimes also align with the Northwestern subclade.
4) This summer, a biologist with the CDFG observed a specimen on a road located at the east central side of Lake Almanor. The locality of that specimen cuts the distance about in half between the specimens near Quincy and the specimens northwest of Chester thus adding support to the likelihood that the two subclades are at least parapatric and more than likely sympatric. It makes no difference to which subclade that specimen would align.
But I agree that in spite of a few glitches, the paper by Javier was an exceptional contribution to our understanding of the species.
Richard F. Hoyer
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