Taxonomic Concepts in the News; Jumping Mouse; Barcoding

Scott Lyell Gardner slg at UNL.EDU
Tue Feb 22 20:21:06 CST 2005

One thing that could be done would be to better understand the kinds of
parasites and endosymbionts (nematodes, acanthocephalans, cestodes,
protistans, viruses, arthropods, and spirochaetes) that these mice share
or do not share with other species in their habitats or geographic
ranges.  Who has done the real work and preserved well, all the data
when these mice were collected and studied in the first place?  Where
are the data that can be brought to bear on questions such as these?
Most people simply throw it away.  Poor collecting due to ignorance,
sloth, or taxonomic arrogance results in poor conservation decisions in
the long run.

Scott Gardner

Ken Kinman wrote:

>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.
>  -------Ken
>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.

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Scott Lyell Gardner, Ph.D.
Director, Harold W. Manter Laboratory of Parasitology
W-529 Nebraska Hall
University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Lincoln, Nebraska 68588-0514

e-mail:   slg at
ASP Page:

Phone:    402-472-3334
Fax:      402-472-8949

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