To: <>, <>
Subject: Subspecies??
From: "Lawrie Conole" <>
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 2002 11:36:05 +1100
>  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 misleading. To me if there are no subspecies then 
>there is no such phenomenon as speciation.  Am I right or am I 
>ranting? :-)


Take a look at:

Schodde, R. & Mason, I.J. (1999).  "The Directory of Australian Birds:
Passerines." (CSIRO Publishing: Collingwood).

for a discussion of the ultrataxon concept of identifying subspecific
units.  Phylogenetic taxonomy doesn't necessarily eliminate the
subspecific unit! ... and a pure phylogentic species concept is unlikely
to be adopted nationally at least in the near future - "hybrid" species
concepts abound!!!

I understand the upcoming new Australian checklist WILL include
subspecies/ultrataxa for the first time.  Stay tuned.


Lawrie Conole
Senior Ecologist
Ecology Australia Pty. Ltd.
Flora and Fauna Consultants
88B Station Street
FAIRFIELD VIC 3078 Australia
Ph: (03) 9489 4191; Mob: (0419) 588 993
Fax: (03) 9481 7679
ABN 83 006 757 142

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