• Jon Hall

    One quick comment, IUCN has Alces alces as A. americanus on this side of the Atlantic. What do you think?


    • vdinets

      AFAIK the split is based entirely on chromosomal number, an approach now known to produce meaningless results in many cases. It’s possible that I missed some important paper, but if even HMW didn’t split them, perhaps they shouldn’t be 🙂 If they are, the divide would be somewhere in Siberia.

  • morganchurchill

    I have my own checklist of NA mammals, which has been a work in progress. I get through one major group, than I get distracted by life and such, and so I have been working on it for a couple of years now (It’s fully annotated, with citations and possible lumps/splits/taxonomic changes indicated

    I really should finish it, especially since I am done with rodents and “insectivores”.

    ANYWAY…I come from a very different perspective on taxonomy than Vladimir, and so I disagree with some of these decisions. Also some of the changes listed in the checklist are changes that I expect the mammal taxonomic community to follow through.

    My wheelhouse is marine mammals, so let me comment there:


    Guadalupe Fur Seal: Genetically and morphologically, this species is almost identical to the Juan Fernandez. Yeah they have REALLY disjunct populations, but until better samples sizes can be tested, I would treat them as subspecies of the same species.

    Histriophoca and Halichoerus is lumped into Phoca, while Pagophilus remains

    I disagree here: First, Histriophoca is almost always the sister group to Pagophilus, which means you can’t lump Histriophoca without also lumping Pagophilus. Secondly, Pusa, Phoca, Halichoerus, Histriophoca, and Pagophilus, as delimited, are not paraphyletic groups. There is no set mark of distinction between genera, so monophyly and conservatism are the only guidelines widely agreed upon. In this case, there has been no real move to lump these species into Phoca in recent decades, and no real reason to. Hence these genera should be maintained.

    I think North Pacific Right Whale should be recognized, but allow that this is a borderline species. Seems likely to be maintained however by the Marine Mammal taxonomic community

    I agree on Tursiops and Stenella, but Lagenorhynchus is paraphyletic. Atlantic White Sided should be moved to the genus Leucopleurus, while Sagmatias should be used for the Pacific White-sided Dolphin.

    See no reason to change the common name of Northern Right-whale Dolphin

    Is the scientific name for Bigg’s Killer Whale even published? This is the first I have heard of it, although I know research groups are slowly very slowly trying to work out Killer Whale taxonomy.

    I also disagree with the degree of lumping in this checklist of other taxa at the generic and species , but this is a longstanding difference of opinion between me and Vdinets. Just realize that some of the proposed lumps are not actually widely accepted by the scientific community (including the seal lump), so I encourage people to make there own decisions on the taxonomy

    • vdinets

      Remember, it’s just a draft! Yes, I’ll probably lump the fur seals. I’m also going to change the right whales thing, as I’ve previously missed an important 2012 paper supporting the split. Note that Histriophoca is lumped with Pagophilus, not with Phoca.

      The name Northern Right-whale Dolphin is simply too long (the only four-word common name in the list). Common names don’t have to be officially published, but O. biggi has apparently been proposed in a book by Ford & Ellis (I still have to check this).

      • morganchurchill

        Hah…the 2012 paper might actually be my paper (Churchill et al. 2012). I found their to be differences in the Scapula morphology between the two forms, as well as coloration differences linking the NP population to the southern hemisphere form.

        The biggest reason I would split them is that the NP form appears to be sister to the Southern Hemisphere form, the latter of which appears to be reproductive isolated from the North Atlantic form on the basis of differences in timing of breeding behavior, etc.

        • vdinets

          Yes, that one. I really liked it, by the way. But I don’t think you can use seasonality-driven reproductive isolation, though, because if an individual switches hemispheres, its circadian cycles might adjust to the new reality.

  • charleswhood

    Simple question about a shrew, just to be sure there’s not a typo. For Eurasian Least Shrew, that’s listed here as S. yukonicus and the note says it includes yukonicus. I am checking that the usual (??) “least” shrew, minutissimus, is not the correct species name; that is, that it should not have said that minutissimus contains yukonicus or some explanation like that. / Charles Hood, Palmdale CA

  • vdinets

    Remember, it’s just a draft!
    The scientific name should be S. minutissimus.

  • mattinidaho

    Where has the stone marten been introduced to North America? Just curious.

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