Taxonomic Concepts in the News; Jumping Mouse; Barcoding

Ken Kinman kinman2 at YAHOO.COM
Tue Feb 22 18:03:27 CST 2005

As I understand it, the mouse-haters had hoped to prove that the meadow jumping mouse was conspecific with the western jumping mouse.  When that failed to be the case, they shifted to arguing that preblei and campestris are single subspecies.

     It is not at all surprising that this was Plan B, since campestris is not all that widespread and is in almost as much trouble as preblei.  If the nuclear DNA supports combining them as a single subspecies, then we should push to have campestris made a candidate for protected status (if not endangered, at least threatened).  If the nuclear DNA indicates that they are distinct subspecies, then both should be protected (which would serve the state of Wyoming a very valuable lesson in how this kind of thing can backfire on you).  I think calling it a 9-inch mouse (instead of a 3-inch mouse with a six inch tail) could backfire as well.

Karl Magnacca wrote:
That was one of the main arguments against maintaining it as a taxon.  All the haplotypes found in the Preble's mice were also found in the more widespread subspecies, campestris.  IIRC the other subspecies were more or less separate.

More information about the Taxacom mailing list