AASAGACITY.NET
   Knowledge is Empowering
A scoring system to define a species; an evaluation of a taxon/some taxa, using the Sensible Species Definition.  5 points between taxa makes a different species.



Geographic separation/Chance
of cross-breeding
Physical differences Voice

Song/Calls

Habitat preference
Behaviour
including
migration
Known
genetic differences

Total Points
sp
or
subsp

Scoring 0-1-2-3 0-1-2-3 0-1-2-3 0-2-3-4 0-1-2-3 0-2-4-5

A SENSIBLE SPECIES DEFINITION (Anderson 1998 and 2012)
Species are populations that are interbreeding and which are reproductively isolated from other such populations by their reproductive isolating mechanisms.
These may include -
     geographic separation / chance of cross-breeding;
    morphological and plumage differences;
    voice;
    habitat preference;
    behavioural differences such as nest-building, social grouping or migration;
    consistent DNA differences.
Each mechanisms can be weighted according to the strength of difference from a recognised species and given a score between 0 and 5; a total of 5 would give the taxon species status.
0
 
 
 
 
 
1
 
 
 
 
 

2

 
 
  
 
3




4





5




Broad hybrid zone





e.g. Narrow and stable hybrid zone,
or good chance of interbreeding.



e.g A small chance of interbreeding.



No chance of interbreeding.

Feather tracts and/or bare parts a little different,


Feather tracts and/or bare parts noticeably different,


Feather tracts and/or bare
parts very different.

Feather tracts and/or bare
parts completely different.
Not so different voice range and/or song phrases.

Noticeably different voice range and/or song phrases,







Completely different voice range and/or song phrases.
Similar or slightly different habitat preferences.








Noticeably different habitats.







Completely different habitats.
Slightly different behaviour.





Noticeably different behaviour.




Very different behaviour.
Genetic differences are barely measurable.




Genetic differences are measurable.



Genetic differences are larger, e.g. net nucleotide
divergence may be > 3%.



Genetic differences are large enough to probably have non-viable offspring.




Genetic  differences are so great that viable inter-breeding would be impossible.




Ramphocelus flammigeus
Flame-rumped Tanager

Comparison of a Universally Accepted Species with Other Taxon such as a Subspecies
 Geographic separation/Chance
of cross-breeding
Physical differences Voice

Song/Calls

Habitat preference

Behaviour
differences

Genetic differences

Total Points
sp
or
subsp
Research -
Ramphocelus flammigeus      Flame-rumped Tanager
Ramphocelus icteronotus      Lemon-rumped Tanager
Remarks -
²  Before habitat loss in southern Colombia allowed the two taxon to interbreed.
Conclusion -
This is a no contest.

0
  2 ²



0
0


0
0





0
0








0
0






0
0






0
2







sp
subsp