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D. azureus: Stay species or become tinc. color morph?

  • Who cares?! It's still the same frog.

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Okay, this seems like a weird poll. When i heard that azureus could be a color morph of tincs, I really didn't like that. I wondered if anyone's heart broke when the thought that azureus could just be a color morph and not its own species came up?

So Should azureus stay its own separate species or be accepted as a tinctorius morph? (understanding that the research shows that they are related close enough to be considered a morph)

Ultimately, it's still the same frog, I just think that the exclusiveness of the species is very cool, and I like taxonomy.

What does everyone think?
 
G

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In my opinion it should stay as a diff morph but if the researcher say it is a tinct morph, well that is what it is.





:wink:
 

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Well, it has been well known (or at least suspected by many) for a while that they are very closely related. I don't think D. tinctorius "azureus" would be too confusing to anyone. A lot of people, when they talk tincs, they don't bother with the whole species name anyway. For example, most froggers know what you're talking about when you mention regina, alanis, infer-alanis, citronellas, cobalts, powder blues....My guess is, no matter what the scientists determine, they will be known forever as azureus...
What really determines a separate species anyway?
 

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what about subspecies? Sometimes I wonder if we should be calling P. bicolor, P. terribilis bicolor. I don't know the genetic sequence though, so fill me in guys. I have long called azureus D. tinctorius "azureus," as I've never seen a real difference. Blue siplawinis, koetari river, etc. are close to azureus, and since they are tinctorius, well, why not just say azureus is a tinc morph? Like somebody else said, we call them just Reginas, cobalts, etc., so still same frog.

Justin Yeager I believe told us in a post long ago that azureus has been typed out as a morph of tinctorius. Even if it is a tinctorius, why would that undermine it? I don't see a correlation why "somebody's heart broke." Personally, I actually like the idea, mostly because that just means tincs come in even more variety than we could ever comprehend. :wink:
 

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The undermining is in the funding. If there is no azureus, there is no funding. Having a 'color morph' go extinct (when tincs in general are fine) is less of a concern to a government then losing a species. Again, if the azureus can't hold on to its identity, it may not hold on at all.

-Richard
 

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If azureus are really are genetically D. tinctorius, then they should be classified as D. tinctorius 'azureus'. They can't say it really is a separate species just to preserve funding to research them or protect them from (possible) extinction in the wild. It doesn't work that way.
 

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Well, technically it does…

Question: Who do you think has the authority to reclassify a species?

Certainly not you or I…

Answer: The people studying azureus in the wild, the people who have become the authority on the species, the people receiving the funding. These same people would be shooting themselves in the foot by reclassifying it. “Hey guy, this is just another tinc, lets pack up our bags, c-ya.” There is more politics to science than you may believe.

-R
 

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If they're objective researchers, then the status of their funding won't come into play when classifying a species.
I agree. If genetic evidence dictates, there shouldn't be any scientific objections to reclassification. Considering how similar they are in appearance to Koetari and New River tincs, I'm surprised this hasn't been debated before. And perhaps their introduction as a Tinc morph will generate newfound interest in the species as a whole.
 

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I still don't think you understand what I am saying...

I do follow your logic and see the points you are making, but this is reality. Researchers are human beings who go to work, have to eat, sleep and get paid just like every other person reading these posts. I don’t mean to trivialize this, but… Why would anyone do something to essentially get themselves laid off? Changing the name of the species does not alter the azureus’ uniqueness, rarity or behavior. Leaving the species as is does not change the objectivity of the researchers. There still needs to be the same conservation effort to preserve the species. Unfortunately, that effort will hit a HUGE road block if this becomes another tinctorius. Please understand how funding, both private and public works. If there is money to study/save azureus and suddenly there is no 'azureus', that money is gone.

Besides, if you truly love the animal, why would you want to see it jeopardized any more than it already has been? For semantics? So hobbyist can say D. tinctorius ‘azureus.’ The genetic typing has been done. There is no question on what azureus really are.

Yeager said:
Just for the record D. azureus is genetically the same as D. tinctorius-- this info courtesy of Ed Kowalski.
j
There’s your proof.

To be honest, I hope these researchers aren’t obsessed with trivialities such as this for there are far more urgent topics to tackle.

Oh, and I bet there could be hundreds of dart species yet to be classified.. or reclassified. :D

Good day,
Richard Sines
 

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Maybe I'm just not familiar with the Azureus conservation efforts, or who is involved. I'm aware that Azureus populations are extremely localized and only present in southern Suriname, but why would changing their taxonomy affect that? An endangered species or subspecies is still threatened no matter what you call it. I'm not saying that I would blame the researchers involved for wanting to stay employed, but I'm not making the correlation between the two.
 

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To Richard:

You're thinking 'Why would these people cut themselves off from a paycheck by classifying D. azureus as a D. tinctorius when it really is but the taxonomists just aren't going to say it is because it will cost money?'

This argument can go for many different living things. Color variations over different geographic areas by the same species are documented for many, many species of plants and animals. If you looked at a Blue Jeans pumillio and a Bruno pumillio, they look very different, but they're not a different species. They're both D. pumillio. Or how about Citronella and Alanis D. tinctorius?

None of them look any more different (and some less so) than D. azureus and some acknowledged morps of D. tinctorius. As pointed out earlier, the New River and Koetari tinc morphs look strikingly close to D. azureus. Signs have pointed to D. azureus being a D. tinctorius morph for a long time.

No, I would not like to see azureus go into extinction in the wild, but it's importat that each species of organism be treated equally. You can't pick and choose what organisms belong to what species just on basis of looks and location alone.
 

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Here is the relationship as far as I understand it…

There is a finite amount of money granted for this 'rare' species. This blue frog really holds the entire world's attention. "Don't lose this amazing blue jewel" or something to that effect. For whatever reason, this is one of the most popular PDF to the general public.

Now, as we all know money is written into budgets, limited budgets. Researchers and conservationist had to fight and convince legislators or larger conservation societies for that money. This means, presenting the dangers this species faces and what can be learned from saving it, etc, etc. If suddenly this become D. tinctorius, that money is no longer good because it very specifically is allotted for D. azureus. D. tinctorius as a whole is not in the same immediate danger as D. azureus. Tincs are not defined by their collection location, but as a species in general. So, even if the same amount of money was up for grabs to preserve, D. tinctorius ‘azureus’, ALL tinctorius would be eligible, spreading the money thinly. Most likely saving a subspecies will not command the same urgency as saving a separate species. Most likely azureus would not typeout to be a subspecies, but simply a color variation. You’ll have to speak to Ed about that.

Make more sense?
-Richard
 

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So you're saying that even if the researchers do find out that D. azureus is really a D. tinctorius color variation, then they should lie about it and say that they're not because that would be best for the frogs?

Science is the search for the truth. That's why we have it. We may not always WANT the truth, but that doesn't stop it from being the truth.
 
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Taxonomy is a purely human contrived apparratus. When it comes to natural laws taxonomnical names mean nothing. Its a word game. Delineating species in an attempt to preserver is more noble than other instances (where, hey bob's been working with beetles forever lets name this slight variation bobbeetlius). *shrug* I think shakespeare said it best (or at least most memorably) a rose by any other name....

-Tad
 

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All of you have brought up some very interesting points. I'll have to side that officially declaring azureus a morph of tinctorius will not significantly alter the distribution of funds. I feel that those who pick out where the money goes are either not educated enough to single out these differences (such as a non-dendroboard politician), or educated enough to see the value in the differences, despite the naming convention. And those who are really educated, such as the PhD crew, will be aware of this debate and both sides of the argument. Yes, the azureus has excellent public appeal. But this is because of it's appearence, not it's name.

Regarding the offical taxoinomic classification, whoever makes that decision, I notice than numerous bacteria and fungi species have their name changed on a regular basis, depending what the latest research shows (personally I think the microbiologist are doing this to stay employed). As long the importance can be justified for that particular organism, as with disease agents, the larger grouping is less important in the funding decision.

I certainly would be interested in hearing your replies. Not wanting to change the subject too much, but would this now make it ok to crossbreed azureus with other tinc morphs? (just kidding).
 

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Azureus

Azureus has always been a high profile species, one that has raised awareness of habitat destruction and preservation of precious resources. This benefit has carried over into other countries and other species, the blue frog should stay exactly as it is, reclassifying would only diminish years of effort by many hard working people who's only objective was to protect a blue frog and benefit wildlife....not someone's pocket book. Many in the scientific community for years have considered Azureus a Tinctorious but have seen no reason to push for a change, what would that accomplish?
The Cincinnati Zoo had and may still have a joint venture with Surinam and conservation, the driving theme of all of their efforts, financial and otherwise was the "save the blue frog".
It's ashame many of us see only one aspect of these animals and this hobby, there is a lot of history that I realize is becoming more important as this hobby evolves.
Mark
 
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