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cladospeciesKladospezies (ger.)

  • The smallest monophyletic unit in phylogenetic analyses of speciation.

    Species or terminal taxa of the chrysippus kind, marked by autopomorphies if monotypic, or synapomorphies if polytypic, we propose to call cladospecies

    Ackery, P.R. & Vane-Wright, R.I. (1984). Milkweed Butterflies, Their Cladistics and Biology. Brit. Mus. (Nat. Hist.) Publ. No. 893: 21.


    giving species rank to the smallest recognizable monophyletic or unresolved units pins down the meaning of speciation. Speciation would be the process of origination of a separate lineage characterized by a new trait. I find this proposal very attractive and urge that it be adopted. However, it would be valuable to distinguish between the two kinds of smallest units, because some questions are appropriately asked only of one kind or the other. Ackery and Vane-Wright […] reached a similar conclusion, and suggested that “positively” monophyletic units be called “cladospecies” and that the smallest unresolved units be called “paraspecies”.

    Donoghue, M.J. (1985). A critique of the biological species concept and recommendations for a phylogenetic alternative. Bryologist 88, 172-181: 179.