Mediomastus californiensis and non-indigenous species

JAMES A. BLAKE jablake at
Fri Jan 31 00:37:17 EST 2003

Hi Folks, 

I told David privately that the species name californicus was a typographic 
error and mental lapse.  

However, this post was based on his review of a manuscript that dealt with 
introduced or non-indigenous species and this raises many issues.  

There is of course the issue of the origin of Mediomastus californiensis. 
Because the species was first described from California there is the usual 
and immediate thought that when it occurs in Florida it must be non-
indigenous.  This of course is ridiculous.  The species has been reported 
widely in North America and there is no evidence that it originated in 
California, only that Hartman was the first to find it there.  

In our work in New England, we identify M. californiensis routinely as the 
dominant species of Mediomastus north of Cape Cod; the dominant species 
south of Cape Cod is M. ambiseta, another species originally described from 

Therefore, I don't think that David or anyone should immediately conclude 
that either species of Mediomastus is non-indigenous anywhere in North 
America at this time.  My own feeling is that there are probably many, as yet 
unrecognized sibling species involved and that introductions may not be an 

I would welcome discussion on this topic.  We have have not had many of 

Jim Blake

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