Yenega on joanae

Ron Gatrelle gatrelle at
Fri Jan 26 20:10:01 EST 2001

Doug Yenega wrote.
    In the case of P. joanae, the problem seems to be that Heitzman named
it as
    a species right from the start, rather than proposing it as a
subspecies of
    machaon - implying a level of confidence about the taxon's evolutionary
    independence that was NOT shared by the rest of the lepidopterological
    community. Had it been proposed as a subspecies originally, we probably
    wouldn't be having this debate.
First, Papilio joanae was described in a top notch -reviewed- lepidopterian
publication - The Journal of Research on Lepidoptera in 1973 [74]. Doug
makes it sound like Heitzman did this unalaterally, independently,
flipently, etc. Nothing could be farther from the truth. It was described
as a species because it is one - a position that WAS shared by the
lepidopterological community. It has never been proven to be otherwise.
Sperling refers to it as P. joanae many time in his latest paper. I see
nowhere where he refers to it as P.m.joanae. My model suggersts that the
whole machaon complex actually arose in the new world and would place
joanae as the most primitive ancestor from which polyexenes, machaon,
bervicauda, bairdii all arose. The Ozark Mtns are some of the oldest in
North America with strange relict species like S. diana.
I'm off to the movies with the guys.  Next...
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