Re: NANFA-- Darters in Mississippi

Jay DeLong (
Tue, 26 Jun 2001 10:13:02 -0700

At 10:44 AM 6/26/01 -0500, you wrote:
>Is it possible these could be a disjunct isolated population? Just a
>thought. More likely its a Gulf darter or variation of the Rainbow darter.
>There is a disjunct population of rainbows in South west Mississippi into
>Louisiana. I caught some in the Amite river, and they looked radiacally
>different than rainbows from Missouri, Tennesee, Kentucky, and various parts
>of Wisconsin. Hopefully it will not get the treatment of the orange throat
>darter which was split into several species. But, maybe thats a good
>things, as long as its just not a reason to list these "new" species.

I don't understand the last part of this. Everything is a "variation" of
something else. If we were to use your definition we'd have one species
and call it "fish" :-) Those researchers like Larry Page didn't split the
orangethroat darter into anything; by focusing on the group of fishes
previously and incorrectly lumped together as orangethroat darters (which
everyone suspected were not all orangethroat darters) they effectively
described what an orangethroat darter is and isn't. The role
ichthyologists and scientists have is to make the best sense of what's out
there and increase our knowledge base, not to reclassify Nature in human
terms. Avoiding knowledge or preventing others from having access to it is
like burning books-- the books of the greatest Author ever.

Jay DeLong
Olympia, WA

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