Coenonympha tullia and evidence

Felix Sperling Felix.Sperling at
Tue Apr 4 23:48:22 EDT 2000


	As you work toward trying to assign a name for the Coenonympha
that you are seeing in se BC, I recommend that you read the following:
1. Brown, F.M. 1955. Studies of nearctic Coenonympha tullia (Rhopalocera,
Satyridae). Bull. American Museum of Natural History 105: 363-409.
  - this paper presents evidence for continuity of populations across
much of North America, and the introduction deals at some length with
the philosophical problems of attaching names to such populations.
2. Austin, G. and R.E. Gray. 1998. The Coenonympha tullia (Muller)
complex (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae: Satyrinae) of the Great Basin region.
pp. 587-612 in Systematics of Western North American Butterflies.
Mariposa Press, Gainsville, FL. (ed. by T.C. Emmel)
- more documentation of continuity across the Great Basin, in spite of
plenty of geographic variation

	Also, before you proceed farther in arguing for or against the
species status of "californica" or "inornata", I think you should define
what you mean by "species". If it is that two populations in different
places have "obvious and consistent differences", then are what are
these differences in Coenonympha and what proportion of the populations
have these differences? How do you account for the clear statements in
the literature (for example above) that these differences are not
consistent? For allopatric populations, how does the extent of these
differences compare to the differences between related sympatric species
pairs, like C. haydeni vs C. tullia? If you are relying on a single
"diagnostic" character to justify elevating allopatric populations
as species, how would you prevent the problem where the number of new
species you recognize becomes arbitrarily huge and depends primarily
on the amount of, say, sequencing or microsatellite survey that you could

	Felix Sperling

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