FaunaClassifieds - View Single Post - Central American Milksnake Found in Florida
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Old 03-01-2021, 03:18 PM   #13
Originally Posted by Socratic Monologue View Post
That is certainly plausible. Now those snakes are two distinct species -- L. t. polyzona is now Lampropeltis polyzona, and L. t. hondurensis is now Lampropeltis abnorma -- making the mess that much worse.
Yeah, I'll say!

Has the definition for "species" changed too?

Used to be that the definition implied that only members of the same species could interbreed with each other. But heck, breeding snakes threw that definition right out the window when people successfully bred specimens from completely different genera together.

I presumed that all of the neotropical milksnakes were classified as a species family because they were so similar looking, and honestly even an "expert" would have trouble determining one from the other. Heck, just reference the book "Systematics and Natural History of the American Milk Snake, Lampropeltis triangulum" by Kenneth L. Williams to see what I mean. I basically devoured that book many moons ago and confused more than it enlightened. That and they would easily breed together and produce viable offspring. Of course, when you started comparing the huge Andesian Milksnake to a Coastal Plain Milk Snake, having them all in the Lampropeltis triangulum family did seem to be rather ridiculous. But honestly, I have often found the minds of "taxonomy nerds" to be sometimes hard to follow. Seems to me that many of them firmly believe(d) that muddying up the waters by making changes in the latin names of animals give them a notable reputation for attention to inconsequential details. Used to be that the REASON for the latin names was because of the claim that common names were too confusing, as a particular species could have numerous common names applied to it. Well, excuse me, but the latin names are any better?