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RE: genus change

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Posted by: CKing at Sat Aug 28 15:54:28 2010  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by CKing ]  
   

>>I own a blue buety ratsnake in my large collection and have always refereed to it as ELLAPHE TAENURA (spelling may be off)
>>i heared people call these buy a new genus and I want to call it the correct name
>>
>>-thanks

The name I prefer is Elaphe taeniura.

Yes, it is true that some people call it "Orthriophis taeniurus". The reason behind that is that Elaphe was splintered into a dozen or so different genera because someone (Utiger et al.) published a scientific paper and showed that the ratsnakes form different mitochondrial DNA lineages. Duh! Any group of species can be divided this way. You can even divide populations within a single species (e.g. Charina bottae, Lampropeltis zonata or Homo sapiens) into different mitochondrial DNA lineages.

Therefore the question is not whether there are different mtDNA lineages, but whether these lineages are disaparate morphologically from one another enough to merit being placed in different genera. The answer is a resounding no. These genera that the fashionable adopt cannot be distinguished from one another. Not even professional herpetologists/snake experts can tell you the difference morphologically. People use these new genus names because they assume these are the most current and therefore correct names, not because they know there is a difference between Elaphe and "Orthriophis" or between "Orthriophis" and "Pantherophis." Therefore I totally reject the proposal to recycle these tongue twisting and long forgotten names from the taxonomic garbage bin. It is Elaphe guttata, Elaphe mandarina and Elaphe taeniura to me. Pantherophis, Orthriophis and Euprepriophis are totally unnecessary names, as unnecessary as nose rings and tongue piercings. They only make scientific communication and information retrieval more difficult and are therefore counterproductive. Nevertheless the new names do appeal to the fashionable, in much the same way that body piercings do. If others disgree and claim that there is a legitimate reason for the new names, then tell them to tell you the difference between Elaphe and Orthriophis! They cannot because there isn't any.


   

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<< Previous Message:  genus change - mikebannon, Sat May 8 13:39:45 2010