Genus - species - subspecies
I just looked up "Subspecies" at Wiki' and found nothing to validate the removal of the subspecies designation so I either dreamed the gripe below or am having an LSD flashback. I do remember being told by many years ago that it had been deleted or changed.
I find it annoying that the nomenclature in the title is no longer valid. I grew up in the 50's and 60's using it and it worked just fine. Everyone I knew thought the change was silly and done by some narcissistic busy-body. My older by 12 years brother took me hunting in the back hills of the Northern Ozarks when I was about four years of age and it had a profound effect on my young mind that has lasted a lifetime. We hunted what are called "Cedar Glades" which are small clearings within the deciduous forests and contain small bushes, cedar stands and flat limestone rocks. Lifting those rocks is such a rush and if a brightly colored red, white and black Red Milk Snake happens to be there it goes from rush to near disbelief. Snake hunting was my passion by 7th grade and Joe, my friend and fellow snake enthusiast, was by my side any time I had my hook in hand. We built our own cages and snake hooks and my dad even helped me create a neat set of tongs from scratch. We would give presentations for grade school kids at the local library and had probably memorized all of the reptile books on their shelves. If we brought in a Black Rat Snake we would also include the Latin, Elaphe obsoleta obsoleta, along with the common name. The Latin designation by the way has changed over the years removing it from the common rat snake group to it's own Genus Pantherophis. If there are several varieties of a particular Genus we would refer to them as subspecies and that worked just fine and in my opinion painted a clearer picture. My favorite snake in this area is the Red Milk Snake or Lampropelts triangulum syspila versus a gentilis or taylori or any of the other Milk Snake subs. I don't recall exactly when "subspecies" as a term was dropped but I still use it and don't give a ***** what anyone thinks. When snake season comes to the Trans-Pecos region of West Texas each spring and the motels fill up with hunters they visit each others' rooms each day to discuss the previous nights' hunt and every single one uses the old system.
Just for the record, don't confuse what we were doing with these so-called rattlesnake roundups (massacres), we buy our small game permits and drive the farm-to-market roads after dark looking for that record length or most beautiful example. Road cuts were my primary interest and after investing a considerable sum on Brinkmann Q-Beam spotlights, motorcycle batteries, chargers and adapters as well as a battery of floods across the top of the windshield on my Geo Tracker I would spend from dusk to dawn walking every road cut from Alpine to Terlingua and the so-called River Road beyond.
Someone referred to me as the Tramodol Kid...........not funny.