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RE: C. bottae taxonomy

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Posted by: RichardFHoyer at Fri Nov 28 00:31:03 2008  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by RichardFHoyer ]  

Unfortunately, I do not know enough about mtDNA research in order to interpret those trees. But long ago I had noted that sample #26 from Tulare County seemed to stick out by itself but just didn't know how to interpret that particular aspect.

With the new results showing that specimens from southeastern Tulare county align with the Southern Clade and with #26 also from Tulare county but belonging to the Northern Clade (Sierra Nevada subclade), knowing the locality of #26 in Tulare Co. became important. Javier did not specify the locality information for that specimen, just the county. The specimen came from the Cal Poly, Pomona collection (#2223) but other than county, had no specific locality data on the document upon which other collection information was present.

Rick was producing a map of specimens tested in his study and he simply used the city of Tulare as the locality for specimen #26. Of course, that was not very satisfactory. I had examined all Cal Poly specimens and retained copies of the information sheets for each specimen. CP #2223 had the name of the collector whose last name was unusual and began with a 'Z'.. After contacting Glenn Stewart and getting his input, I was able to Google the name and found the gentleman, a dentist in Arizona. He recalled exactly where that specimen was found near the community of Camp Nelson in central-western Tulare County about 20 miles north of Johnsondale.

I have examined and taken tissue from a number of specimens south of Alta Sierra (Greenhorn Mts.) in northern Kern County and from 17 specimens north of Alta Sierra in southern Tulare County. I have also examined a number of voucher specimens from the Sequoia National Park region of northwestern Tulare County. The boa population south of Alta Sierra appear to be of the dwarf form and those in Sequoia National Park of the large morph. Some of the 17 boas examined from north of Alta Sierra in southwestern Tulare County appear to be intergrades as they have traits found in both the dwarf and large morph populations. As specimen #26 in Javier's study is a large morph female that probably was close to 24 inches when alive.

Rick tested several samples of the boas both south and north of Alta Sierra. All of those boas, along with Javier's #26, align with the Northern Clade (Sierra Nevada subclade).
Yet specimen #26 and the 17 specimens from southern Tulare County are only about 23 - 25 miles to the west of the Fish Creek drainage of the Kern Plateau where the dwarf morph boas of the Southern Clade occur. It can be noted that the N. Fork, Kern River gorge separates the western and eastern parts of Tulare County, the latter being the Kern Plateau where the southern clade boas occur.

You mention the following:
"Here is my prediction: all of these boas found between Tulare and San Bernardino Mountains are closer to the Sierra Nevada subclade than they are to umbratica,"

The populations Javier tested from Kern County were from the Piute Mts., Breckenridge Mt., Tehachapi Mts. and Mt. Pinos. He had all of those boas and specimen #26
belonging to the Sierra Nevada subclade.

You also mention: "That means they migrated south from Tulare County rather than north from San Bernardino County." You have previously mentioned that the dwarf form is ancestral to the large morph. However, specimens #26 is a large morph specimen.

Richard F. Hoyer


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