Taxonomic Merge 97245 (Committed on 2021-08-17)

The 2016 Red List of Mammals of South... (Citation)
Added by bobby23 on August 15, 2021 17:30 | Committed by bobby23 on August 17, 2021
merged into


@tonyrebelo @emmanueldolinhsan I have been trying to standardized taxonomy a little better on iNaturalist, starting with mammals, and part of this goal involves integrating subspecies as currently understood. Subspecies are not acknowledged by the MDD, which means this involves more literary research. In general, I my position on mammal subspecies on iNaturalist has changed a bit. It is beyond the scope of myself as a curator to decide what is valid and what is not. Rather, I investigate whether or not there have been any robust phylogenetic work on species at the intraspecific level or review what has been adopted in recent literature. If I am unable to not locate such literature, I usually consult Wilson and Reeder's Mammal Species of the World (2005), for they otherwise are the most current reference for some subspecies. This is especially true for mustelids and herpestids, which are often not subject to the more recent work done on felids, ursids, canids, etc. Again, not all. For example, I found a very robust manuscript on the intraspecific phylogeny and morphology of the Yellow Mongoose (Taylor, 1990) and this is what is integrated on iNaturalist.

According to EWT and SANBI's 2016 Red List of Mammals, the two subspecies under Mungos mungo found in Southern Africa (Mungos mungo grisonax and M. m. taenianotus) are generally no longer considered valid. M. m. taenianotus is considered a synonym with the nominate subspecies M. m. mungo. The holotype of Mungos mungo, originally attributed to "Bengala, Persia, aliisque asiae" by Ogilby (1835) many years after its first description from 1788, is attributed to eastern South African by Thomas (1882) and Roberts (1929) and this seems to generally be considered the case in recent literature as well. Given the attributed locality of M. m. taenianotus is also eastern South Africa, it seems reasonable to consider M. m. taenianotus to be a junior synonym of M. m. mungo. The subspecies is not "lost" or "sunk" - it would just be recognized as the nominate subspecies. Does this seem reasonable to you guys? And what of M. m. grisonax? Are either of you familiar with recent literature on this topic? Any discourse would be appreciated.

Posted by bobby23 2 months ago (Flag)

I dont know much about this species.

But I have not seen any mention of subsp. mungo from the region and always assumed it applied further north. By your accounts your deduction seems logical.
Which subspecies are you retaining?

Posted by tonyrebelo 2 months ago (Flag)

All of the subspecies listed in Wilson and Reeder (2005) are integrated into iNaturalist's tree (as seen here) because this remains the most recent work done on them that I can find; pending future studies, they are all to be retained on iNaturalist. Mungos mungo taenianotus caught my attention because it was already listed under Mungos mungo on iNaturalist but is listed as a synonym of the nominate subspecies in Wilson and Reeder (2005).

Posted by bobby23 2 months ago (Flag)

@tonyrebelo any reservations on this merge? If not, I plan on committing it at some point today.

Posted by bobby23 2 months ago (Flag)

As I said, I dont know this well. I have no reason to object to or support it.
Commit it: we can always revise when some DNA studies are done.

Posted by tonyrebelo 2 months ago (Flag)

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