Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Subspecies again

Charruau et al. state in their recent paper Molecular Ecology (DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2010.04986.x, Phylogeography, genetic structure and population divergence time of cheetahs in Africa and Asia: evidence for long-term geographic isolates) on Cheetah that

Mitochondrial DNA monophyly and overall levels of genetic
differentiation support the distinctiveness of Northern-East African cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus soemmeringii). Moreover, combining archaeozoological and contemporary samples, we show that Asiatic cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus) are unambiguously separated from African subspecies.

With this evidence, why aren't they treating those taxa as species, since they are not only geographically separated but obviously also genetically? It seems that there is also evidence that the Egyptian population is about 30% smaller than the subsaharan population. The did not do any morphological work.


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