Yes, in the strictest sense that would be incorrect as well, though common usage would dictate otherwise. Nominate refers to the first subspecies (the holotype of the original species description from the type locality) described when a species is split into subspecies. If you follow the current taxonomy there are no subspecies of any dart, so the term nominate does apply.
Technically, you could use the term holotype, as the location of highland population from Cainarachi was listed in the original description of the species. However, the type locality was listed as the entire department of San Martin, and there are several populations of variabilis in that department. Not to mention that the line between variabilis and ventrimaculata is more than a little blurry.
In fact, that whole situation is an HGM (hot genetic mess), so in an effort to keep things clean, simple and as accurate as possible, let's just call them highlands.
The southerns are still southerns and any old line (linbo or nishihara) should be identified as such.
Using highland and southern as labels for these guys is also misleading because both forms come from the highland regions. I think 'southern' is a fine name but highland is weak...I would argue that 'nominal' rather than 'highland' should be the preferred name. Whether or not it is technically correct, I don't care too much, because everyone knows that nominal means the original population used for the description of the species. So, in this case, it's more informative than highland.
I get what you're saying. My only concerns about changing common names in the hobby come from how difficult it is to get people to accept the change and let go of the old one, even for subjective names like 'Standard' which have no business being used. The worry would be that we would then have people calling these frogs by 3 different names (Highland, Northern and Nominal). The frogs are listed as Highland in the TMP from TWI's ASN so that would require a change as well.
I guess what we really need is a common name standardization project so people had a go to list for reference purposes.
Dont we have a few 'lines' that need clarification as to their distinctness/relationship?
1. INIBICO project variabilis [Are these Caynarachi Valley frogs, yes?]
2. UE 'Southern' Variabilis [clearly a separate population]
3. UE 'Nominate' Variabilis [Are these Caynarachi Valley frogs, yes?]
4. Tor Lindo EU imports from the 1990's
From my readings and research on them I have been under the impression that the "Highland" was the UE/INIBICNO (C. Valley) lines and the Nominant was the Old line Tor Lindo line. While "Southern" was always "Southern"......Am I confused or not?
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