To: <>
Subject: Subspecies??
From: <>
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 2002 11:00:57 +1030
Here's a question that could invoke some passions.  I noticed on the list
that Steve Clark posted to me via url...

that there are no subspecies names....not that I could see anyway.

Does this mean that ornithology has now fallen victim to phylogenetic
taxonomists?   I have always been a proponent of subspecies, although I know
many modern taxonomists stay away from it due to its difficulty.  What is
the story with geographic variants?  Do we see clines in some species and if
so are these recognised as species with some sort of arbitrary cut-off
points or do we recognise geographic variants of the one species.  To me
subspecies is very helpful although I hate the name. It indicates which
organisms are very closely related, such that speciation may well still be
in the happening. For instance isnt it better to recognise that two variants
are subspecies, than to call them species which sees the dame degree of
separation as two well split members of the same genera and hence is
To me if there are no subspecies then there is no such phenomenon as
speciation.  Am I right or am I ranting? :-)

Mark Newton

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