Real species and ideology

Ken Kinman kinman2 at YAHOO.COM
Mon Apr 19 18:50:40 CDT 2004

Barry Roth wrote:
  I agree with proponents of phylogenetic species concepts (e.g., Mishler & Theriot, 2000; Wheeler & Platnick, 2000) that the least inclusive taxon in formal taxonomy should be the species, and that where they exist, well-defined, diagnosable "subspecies" should simply be called species.
To which I repspond:
      I think phylogenetic species concepts are ill-advised.  Calling a well-defined "subspecies" a species seems somewhat deceptive and less than scientific.

      As for eliminating or even discouraging formal subspecies, I think this would be particularly ill-advised for taxa which have an extensive history of finding them useful (especially most vertebrates).  I don't know about dipterists, but I would imagine a lot of lepidopterists would object to eliminating trinomials.  Even among malacologists, I suspect it might vary from taxon to taxon.
             ---- Ken Kinman

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