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my males would be called cingulum by....

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Posted by: 53kw at Thu Feb 26 17:14:00 2009  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by 53kw ]  
   

..some, although I disagree with separating subspecies on the basis of color alone. I find that all populations of Western Coachwhips I have seen are capable of producing all color morphs. Sibling animals can be of different color morphs, which would make siblings different subspecies by the logic of color classification. Regional origins are of little value in defining subspecies unless there are other conditions present such as climate variations which the subspecies under discussion has specifically adapted to, etc.

I have seen a similar tendency among entomologists to name subspecies based on appearance. I know enough about entomologists to know that in many instances, naming additional subspecies has more to do with a desire for authorship, or to claim that a collection is diverse when in fact it's made up of nothing more than color variations of one species.

My current postition is that the so-called subspecies of the Western Coachwhip are no more to each other than the striped and banded phases of the California Kingsnake, once thought to be separate subspecies, or the phases of the Grey-Banded Kingsnake, once thought to be separate species. Perhaps future studies will change my mind, especially if DNA evidence shows reliable regionally aligned inheritance of regional characters.


   

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