• Ralf Bürglin

    Thank you Vladimir for sharing the paper. Its title is “Reclassification of the serows and gorals: the end of a neverending story? The answer to the question is clearly “no”. In the first place it does not solve the problem which species concept we should believe in. And there is also a problem with the nomenclature: For example according to the paper three mainland serow species – Sumatran Serow, Indochinese Serow and Chinese Serow – should be pooled together. According to the rules of nomenclature the three taxa should now be called “Sumatran Serow”. This does not work. For the general puplic it won’t be comprehensible why a species that occurs mainly in China should be called after an island thousands of kilometres away.
    If you are interested in serows and gorals check my websites:
    Cheers, Ralf

    • Vladimir Dinets

      I don’t think you can expect every taxonomy paper to delve into the issue of species concepts. If the authors propose splitting, it’s a good idea to clarify which SC they are using, but that’s usually obvious from the text (unless the paper is really badly written). In this case the paper proposes lumping because there’s no evidence to the contrary under any science-based SC.

      The rules of scientific nomenclature don’t cover common names. So the scientific name has to be C. sumatrensis if it has priority, but the common name can be anything. I’d suggest “black serow” because “mainland serow” is inaccurate (red serow is also on the mainland while the Sumatran population is not).

      Nice pages!

      • Ralf Bürglin

        Thank you, Vladimir. “Black Serow” is exactly what I suggested too Sandro Lovari, one of the coauthors. I hope it will eventually gain acceptance.

  • Vladimir Dinets

    And here’s a review of genus Molossus, with two lumps and a bunch of splits:

  • Paul Carter

    Thanks Vladimir for posting.
    Francis (2019) refers to C sumatraensis as “Southern Serow”

  • Vladimir Dinets

    Speaking of taxonomy, there’s been a few changes to voles of NE Asia that were easy to miss. A bunch of species have been split into Alexandromys, and their list currently looks like this (= means lumps):
    A. maximowiczii=mujanensis=evoronensis SE Siberia, E Mongolia, NE China
    A. fortis SE Siberia, NE Mongolia, E China, Korea, extinct in Ryukyu Is.
    A. sachalinensis Sakhalin I. except S
    A. limnophilus=flaviventris=malygini W Mongolia, WC China, Qinghai
    A. mongolicus S Siberia, N Mongolia, NE China
    A. middendorffi=hyperboreus N Urals and N Siberia
    A. alpinus W Mongolia, adjacent Siberia
    A. shantaricus=gromovi Sea of Okhotsk coast, Shantar Is.
    A. oecnomus huge Holarctic range
    A. montebelli Japan ex. Hokkaido
    A. kikuchii Taiwan


    Update: a study presented at a recent conference showed that A. evoronensis and A. mujanensis produce sterile hybrids with A. maximowiczii, so they are valid species. Both are easy to see if you travel along Baikal-Amur Mainline (a much better alternative to Transsiberian Railroad).
    Another study presented at the same conference found that Mogera wogura and M. robusta are not conspecific, and that South Korean moles are conspecific with the ones from Ussuriland, not the ones from Japan.
    Also, there is genetic data in support of splitting midday jird into 3 species: Meriones meridianus (N. Caspian coast, N Kazakhstan), M. psammophilus (Tuva, Mongolia and adjacent China), and M. penicilliger (most of Turkestan and N Afghanistan).

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