at Fri Jul 1 10:02:45 2011 [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by ALT ]
Thank you for the detailed response, Richard. I'll keep an eye out for new phylogeography papers. While I haven't really dug into the rubber boa literature, I'll agree with you on the opinion that the taxonomy stuff was premature. MtDNA studies are great for investigating intraspecific biogeographic patterns, you need good nuclear marker sampling and great range-wide geographic sampling as well before you can make any reliable statements regarding taxonomy. It was far too common in the past for studies to run off renaming/revising species and subspecies before obtaining robust enough sampling to know whether morphological variation was a gradient across the range or true fixed differences between populations. The field has come a long way in the last decade in understanding the pitfalls of interpreting a gene tree as a species tree as well. Good to hear someone is out there trying to sort things out with the rubber boas.
Grnpyro- congrats on the breeding! I don't worry at all about the regularity of my boas eating. They eat for a while, then they don't, then they do.... It's normal for the species. As long as they're in good body condition and their temperatures are appropriate I'm happy with letting them do what they want. Never had a problem feeding captive bred babies mice (granted my sample size is small!), but newborns may want to hibernate before taking a first meal. If I were you, I'd just cool the babies and try live pinkies in the spring if they're being stubborn. Lizards aren't worth the hassle and potential parasites. I breed western hognose and keep coachwhips too, and never feed non-rodent prey...even if it means force-feeding (not recommended unless you really know what you're doing) until they get the point. They always come around, although those blasted coachies will not switch over to frozen-thawed yet! Grrr. I hate dealing with live rodents.
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