subspecies are real
Brothers at NU.AC.ZA
Sat Apr 17 11:48:52 CDT 2004
To my mind, Ron has (perhaps unwittingly) put his finger on another
problem entirely. From his description, I suspect that what he considers
as "subspecies" are what many others would consider as "species"! The
fact that he decries the necessity for "subspecies" to be assigned to
particular "species" brings this clearly home - "true" subspecies must
first be shown to differ from each other (Ron agrees here), but MUST
ALSO be shown nevertheless to form part of the same lineage / share the
same mate recognition system / not be reproductively isolated / be
sufficiently phenetically similar (depending on one's species concept)
to be conspecific (with some other subspecies). In other words,
presenting a convincing case for recognising a taxon as a subspecies
(rather than a species) needs a lot more investigation and information.
>>> Ron Gatrelle <gatrelle at TILS-TTR.ORG> 2004/04/17 05:18:29 AM >>>
----- Original Message -----
From: Robin Leech
Subject: Real species
I wonder what I am a subspecies of? Has my species ever been found?
wonder what my roots are?
"Subspecies OF" -- that is looking for linage, systematic connectivity.
is a valid want to know. It is totally unrelated to "_I am_ a
The thread's operating word is - real. To determine that one would
least subjectivity. The singular most problem I see in various regions
research (questioning) is using the same tools to determine different
sometimes mutually exclusively) evolutional states. In my
paradigm, the "of" is unimportant - almost a non factor - a necissary
that is where all the subjectivity lies. It doesn't matter much to me
"species" someone may or may not connect the subspecies to - with -
The central matter is that the regional entity is _unique_ (in and of
itself). Unique how? That is up to the researcher to find out. Life
unique in many varying ways. It is that uniqueness that is tangible
/fact) and the basis for recognition.
"Oh, I see that. I didn't notice that before. Now that you've pointed
out its easy to see the difference." Said the mother as she told her
friend how she tells her twins apart. Then another set of twins -
different character sets - same result - non-subjective delineation.
the first set of twins it may be a birth mark, and in the second, a
nuance. Telling a kid from the dog is a whole different
The biggest thing I dislike about the term subspecies is that there is
nothing "sub" (= under or less) about them. It is just the term the ZN
happens to use. One has to have the understanding that the term is
being used to distinguish equal but different components - like two or
or four ... pieces of the same pie. Each piece (subspecies) is The
much as any other section, and no piece is any more The Pie than the
Thus, in species where only one "subspecies" is recognized in the
that one "species" ( Aus wus ) is actually a subspecies ( Aus wus wus
with no known (past or current or future) sisters. But if evolution
real, then the sisters are merely unknown (past and future) or
(present). We call the past sister "mother" and the future sister
"daughter" but there are only sisters all. I contend that before any
species reached that "rank /state" it was a sister (subspecies ) with
conger first - unless we embrace its creation as is. I think people
species as a plateau only. While subspecies are both a plateau and the
between plateaus. - And is not everything in an "in-between state"?
is why "species" are not real.) IF so, then everything is a
unique (currently stable reproductively as a small group) step/plateau
the evolution of creatures.
I am not concerned much with trunks and branches (much of which are
gone). I am concerned with the twigs and leaves - what is. Further,
is behind is less and what in now and ahead is more - diversity. The
checked, the living world is still expanding (diversifying). In this
of knowing the need for conservation (which depends on recognition of
organisms and their niche needs) it is appalling that so many seem bent
lumping (stuffing) so much organic diversity back into some
amalgam and proclaiming THAT as real.
Species and subspecies are very different and must be assessed an
different means and methods. Well, this is long enough and semi -
thinking-out-loud or venting even as I get frustrated by the arguments
against subspeciation by those who don't have a clue of how to
It's like a color blind person saying the traffic light is red when it
I wrote some perspectives on this and it can be found at our web
Taxonomic Report section.
http://tils-ttr.org/report01.html click on Vol. 2 # 2. Its the first
section of the paper. This is all just FYI for edification or a few
laughs - depending on one's leanings. I just thought I'd jump in a
the "real species" thread had just about everything else in it but this
only subspecies, as the lowest denominator above individual specimens,
the most real. One just has to figure them out - and without the easy
of DNA, genitalia, and other such tool that only apply to subspecies
aiding to identify sister affinity - not delineation characteristics.
Have a good weekend. I shall retreat back to work (both jobs) and
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