Tue Sep 4 10:16:48 EDT 2001


> Perhaps you've explained this already in a previous post and I missed
> it, but why is Mitoura a genus? 

There have undoubtedly been other responses already to this 
question that I simply haven't read yet (catching up after a Labor 
Day weekend), but I may have a different one.

	The answer to this question is simple.  Differences of 
interpretation and opinion.  But there is a more basic underlying 
idea that must be understood.  As far as the biological world is 
concerned, there *is no such thing* as a genus.  A genus, and all 
higher taxonomic catergories are *artificial* constructs used by 
humans to represent some level of relatedness.  Genera, families, 
etc. cannot evolve (with the rare hybridization being the only case 
of some fuzziness) -- only species and populations of species.  
Once species are genetically isolated, what happens to other 
evolutionary lineages that they once were connected to are of no 
importance to the evolution of that lineage (with the exception of 
some kind of ecological connection).

	So there will *always be* disagreement on what constitutes a 
genus, family, etc. because they are subjective human constructs.


Dr. James K. Adams
Dept. of Natural Science and Math
Dalton State College
213 N. College Drive
Dalton, GA  30720
Phone: (706)272-4427; fax: (706)272-2533  (Georgia Lepidoptera)
U of Michigan's President James Angell's 
  Secret of Success: "Grow antennae, not horns"


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