Ron at Ron at
Sat Nov 20 11:18:21 CST 2004

----- Original Message -----
From: Gurcharan
Sent: Saturday, November 20, 2004 6:08 PM
Subject: Re: neospecies

What is being discussed is nothing new to biology, botany in particular.
Comparatively recent species (what is being highlighted as neospecies) are a
common feature in apomictic genera such as Taraxacum, Euphrasia, Alchemilla
to name a few. Amphiploids of recent origin are aslso known in Tragopogon
and Senecio. Such species, largely because they did not have time to move
out of the parent area have long been known as 'neoendemics' where the term
is better suited to differentiate from paleoendemics.


The importance of the above, from my view, is that some in zoology have
taken up the term neospecies perhaps 1) from botanists or 2) perhaps
independent of other and previous usages.   Thus, while it apparently has
some point(s) of reference in botany, and thus communicative worth, it does
not in entomology that I know of.   It is certainly not mentioned in the
ICZN glossary, so how is to be applied in a paper that describes and ranks
new taxa?  Is a neospecies a species or subspecies.

The authors of the paper I am editing picked the term up from a molecular
biologist.  They then adopted that term - without definition in the paper.
My feeling was that neither they nor the readers would (not even could)
understand the term in an established application.  As I have looked into
this, I have found that even the biologist and the authors had different
understanding of what was meant.  I in turn, had yet another.  I suspect the
term is in use among molecular biologists and that it was making a "jump"
into another discipline - zoological taxonomy.    But with what definition,
application, and communicative result.

Ron Gatrelle

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