Ken Kinman kinman at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri Jan 31 23:54:23 CST 2003

Dear All,
      I haven't read the full article in question, but I suspect that
Whiting and colleagues may simply be overestimating the probability that the
first member of Phasmida was wingless.  If this assumption is wrong, the
whole rest of the article is hardly worth the paper it is printed on.
     I can't be sure until I've actually read it, but I have a feeling I am
going to find this paper rather disappointing (I'd bet that the data are
good, but the reasoning is not so good).  I love radical new ideas, but this
one doesn't sound very promising to me.  They might change my mind, but not
going to hold my breath.
     And wasn't Whiting the one who started the whole Strepsiptera
controversy back in the 1990's?  I think the jury is still out on that one,
and I bet this one will be just as controversial.  We shall see.
         ------ TGIF,  Ken

>From: "Dr. Mark A. Metz" <mametz at PSU.EDU>
>Reply-To: "Dr. Mark A. Metz" <mametz at PSU.EDU>
>Subject: Phasmida
>Date: Fri, 31 Jan 2003 14:49:04 -0500
>Hmmmmmm.  Perhaps the graphic was not completely explanatory without an
>outgroup included.
>I think the graphic is only phasmid (ingroup) taxa.  Since Whiting's
>hypothesis is that the basal phasmid was wingless the basal node carries
>wingless state.  But the ancestor to the Phasmida is winged (not depicted
>the graphic) so the phasmids lost flight (synapomorphy for phasmida on
>Whiting tree), then regained it four times, with two reversals.
>Make sense?
>Dr. Mark A. Metz
>Assistant Curator
>Frost Entomological Museum
>The Pennsylvania State University
>Department of Entomology
>501 Agricultural Sciences & Industries (ASI)
>University Park, Pennsylvania 16802  USA
>(814) 863-2865
>(814) 865-3048 fax
>mametz at
>Frost Museum:
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Lynn Raw" <lynn.raw at VIRGIN.NET>
>Sent: Friday, January 31, 2003 1:48 PM
>Subject: Re: [TAXACOM] Time to update taxonomy?
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > christian thompson wrote:
> >
> > > DNA taxonomy is wonderful, if you believe everything you read in
> > > et cetera. A week ago it proved that species can learn to fly again
> > > after they lost their wings!
> >
> >
> > I am puzzled. Is this illustration, "the big wing switch"on the link
> > from the Nature article mentioned?
> >
> >
> >
> > If so, can anyone explain to me just where wings were lost and regained.
> >
> > I see four separate origins of wings and two subsequent losses but no
> > regaining of wings after they were lost. I haven't read the article but
> > shown the cladogram (in an article in New Scientist) by a colleague who
> > asked this same question.
> >
> > Some simple explanation would be appreciated. After all these
> > journals can hardly be wrong, can they?
> >
> > Lynn Raw
> > London, UK
> >

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