[Taxacom] Blind-snakes Australia - 2-3 times as many as thought....

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Thu Jul 11 19:16:56 CDT 2013


Hi Raymond,
Your comments do bring up an interesting question at the heart of systematics, which has never been resolved to my satisfaction, namely: what is a genus? I would say that divergence times are irrelevant. My own view is that a genus is just a convenient monophyletic grouping of species, i.e. not too big, not too small, and easily recognisable. Others may disagree ...
Cheers,
Stephen


________________________________
From: Raymond Hoser - The Snakeman <viper007 at live.com.au>
To: Stephen Thorpe <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>; "rwrossco at gmail.com" <rwrossco at gmail.com>; "envirodata at hotmail.com" <envirodata at hotmail.com>; "taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> 
Sent: Friday, 12 July 2013 12:01 PM
Subject: RE: [Taxacom] Blind-snakes Australia - 2-3 times as many as thought....






Thanks for the kind comments Stephen.

Oversplitting of genera is a matter of opinion.

There was a time when pretty much every snake on earth was placed in the genus “Coluber”, but thankfully those days have now passed.

For the Blindsnakes, until 2012, pretty much all were placed in the genera Typhlops and Ramphotyphlops even though there were clades with divergences measuring over 60 million years and with the same genus name, which if they were mammals, would be placed in different families.

I thought I was conservative for busting up just to the genus level and if you cared to read the paper in question, my splits were generally of clades divided at least 30 MYA which is perfectly reasonable for a genus-level split in vertebrates (in my humble opinion).

But by all means, if you want to keep calling every blindsnake in Australia Ramphotyphlops, we will have to agree to disagree, but for what it’s worth you are entitled to do so and I won’t stop you.

All the best 



Snakebustersâ - Australia's best reptilesâ
The only hands-on reptilesâ shows that lets people hold the animalsâ.
Reptile partiesâ, events, courses
Phones: 9812 3322
0412 777 211

 


________________________________
Date: Thu, 11 Jul 2013 00:26:41 -0700
From: stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Blind-snakes Australia - 2-3 times as many as thought....
To: viper007 at live.com.au; rwrossco at gmail.com; envirodata at hotmail.com; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu


Dear Gents, Ladies, Dimwits and Raymond, but particularly Raymond:
 
The reference of which you speak (but don't cite!) is presumably this: Marin, J. et al. (Early View, 2013): Hidden species diversity of Australian burrowing snakes (Ramphotyphlops). Biological journal of the Linnean Society, doi: 10.1111/bij.12132
 
A search in the PDF for the name Hoser turns up nothing. Actually, I find the above article to be somewhat vague in terms of taxonomy/nomenclature, but at least they don't oversplit genera, like this fellow did in 2012: Hoser, R. 2012: A review of the extant Scolecophidians (“Blindsnakes”) including the formal naming and diagnosis of new tribes, genera, subgenera, species and subspecies for divergent taxa. Australasian journal of herpetology, (15): 1-64.
 
I think many people here would say that if you name enough taxa willy nilly, a few names are bound to stick purely by chance ... so I wouldn't crow too loudly about it if I were you ... just a bit of friendly free advice ...
 
Stephen


________________________________
From: Raymond Hoser - The Snakeman <viper007 at live.com.au>
To: "rwrossco at gmail.com" <rwrossco at gmail.com>; "envirodata at hotmail.com" <envirodata at hotmail.com>; "taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> 
Sent: Thursday, 11 July 2013 6:17 PM
Subject: [Taxacom] Blind-snakes Australia - 2-3 times as many as thought....


Gents and ladies, did you see the latest from Marin, Donnellan, Vidal, Aplin and the rest this week.

They say there are about 2-3 times the known number of blindsnake species in Australia 
with a series of phylogenies that upheld the species I recently named.
- Bad news is they put them all in Ramphotyphlops .... (dimwits!).

PS - Those who reckon everything is already named are dreaming!
All the best

Snakebustersâ - Australia's best reptilesâ

The only hands-on reptilesâ shows that lets people hold the animalsâ.

Reptile partiesâ, events, courses
Phones: 9812 3322

0412 777 211

                        
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