Ancient lakes as hotspots of diversity: a morphological review of an endemic species flock of Tylomelania (Gastropoda: Cerithioidea: Pachychilidae) in the Malili lake system on Sulawesi, Indonesia

Hydrobiologia (Impact Factor: 2.21). 11/2007; 592(1):11-94. DOI: 10.1007/s10750-007-0765-8

ABSTRACT The viviparous freshwater gastropod Tylomelania (Caenogastropoda: Cerithioidea: Pachychilidae) endemic to the Indonesian island Sulawesi has radiated extensively in two
ancient lake systems. We here present the first systematic species-level review of taxa in the five lakes of the Malili lake
system, which contains the most diverse and best studied freshwater fauna on Sulawesi. Our results indicate a significantly
higher diversity of Tylomelania in these lakes than previously perceived based on morphological evidence for delimiting the taxa. We describe nine new species,
thus increasing the number of taxa known from the Malili lakes to 25. Tylomelania species are inhabiting all available substrates in the lakes, and the diversity of habitats is reflected in an unparalleled
range of radula types in this closely related group. Several species show a high intraspecific variability in some characters,
and their closer investigation will probably lead to the discovery of more cryptic species. As it is, this species flock on
Sulawesi is among the largest freshwater mollusc radiations known. Since the Malili lake system also contains other large
endemic species flocks of e.g. crustaceans and fishes, it is a major hotspot of freshwater biodiversity in Asia to become
a conservation priority.

1 Bookmark
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Feeding specialisation is a typical feature of adaptive animal radiations. Different kinds of feeding specialisations have evolved in the endemic sailfin silversides species flock in Lake Matano (Central Sulawesi, Indonesia), including egg-feeding. The present study focuses on Telmatherina sarasinorum, a sailfin silverside species feeding on the eggs of related Telmatherina antoniae. Stomach content analyses supported T. antoniae eggs to be the dominant food item, independent of daytime. We hypothesized that the egg-feeders use alternative tactics for maximising egg consumption under varying densities of both, spawning T. antoniae pairs and competing conspecific egg-feeders. Focal behavioural observations were applied to describe different feeding tactics and to analyse feeding success and the related costs in terms of competitive interactions. Egg-feeders followed single courting pairs of T. antoniae or, alternatively, they switched between different spawning pairs. Following-behaviour, covering one or more spawning events of the host species, was positively related to enhanced egg consumption. Compared to feeding by switching frequently among different spawning pairs, the following tactic came at the cost of likewise increased competition. Behavioural observations suggest that some males monopolize courting pairs of T. antoniae and gain increased amounts of eggs compared to others avoiding competition by switching among pairs. The present results confirm that egg-feeding is a distinct trophic specialisation in T. sarasinorum and increase the scale of behavioural specialisation in Lake Matano’s evolving Telmatherina radiation.
    Hydrobiologia 04/2012; 693(1):131-139. · 2.21 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Ancient lakes are hotspots of biodiversity, often harboring a large number of endemic species that make them prime model systems for evolutionary biologists. Besides such well-recognized ancient or long-lived lakes as Baikal, Biwa, Ohrid, and Tanganyika, there are other potentially old and biodiverse lakes in the world with poorly specified ages and under-studied faunas. We here report on the mollusc fauna of one such lake, Lake Trichonis in continental Greece. This graben lake is situated in a highly tectonized area, characterized by karst features and probably of middle to late Pliocene origin. Lake Trichonis is deep, oligotrophic, and rich in such specific habitat types as macrophyte meadows, rocky shores and sublacustrine spring systems. Moreover, it is a hotspot of freshwater biodiversity in Greece, particularly in molluscs. After reviewing newly collected material and the published mollusc records, we found that at least 33 mollusc species occur in Lake Trichonis, with 24 gastropod and 9 bivalve species currently being recognized. This is 24% of the total freshwater mollusc diversity of Greece; 21% of the gastropods (five species) are endemic to Lake Trichonis. If the whole Trichonis Basin is considered, which also includes neighboring Lake Lysimachia, eight species (33%) of the total fauna appear to be endemic. Taking lake surface areas into account, the index of gastropod endemism of 0.442 (log Nendemic species/log Asurface area) for the Lake Trichonis Basin resembles on a world-wide scale values known for Lake Baikal, Russia, and Lake Biwa, Japan, and is only exceeded by Lake Ohrid, Macedonia/Albania, and ancient lakes of Sulawesi, Indonesia. Despite the limited knowledge about the lake's evolutionary history, the suggested age of origin, the palaeogeographical characteristics, and the potential timing of phylogenetic events reviewed here support the presumed status of Lake Trichonis as an ancient lake. From a conservational standpoint, more research, management and conservation efforts are necessary because ancient lakes are among the most vulnerable and threatened ecosystems on earth. Effects of human-induced environmental change are already noticeable in Lake Trichonis. Recognition of Lake Trichonis as a unique system with an unusually high biodiversity may help promoting conservation efforts.
    Malacologia 02/2009; 51(Aug 2009):357-375. · 0.98 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The complex geological history of the Indonesian island Sulawesi has shaped the origin and subsequent diversification of its taxa. For the endemic freshwater snail Tylomelania a vicariant origin from the Australian margin has been hypothesized. Divergence time estimates from a mtDNA phylogeny based on a comprehensive island-wide sampling of Tylomelania fit regional tectonic constraints and support the 'out-of-Australia' vicariance hypothesis. The Banggai-Sula region of the Sula Spur, the Australian promontory colliding with West Sulawesi during the Miocene, is identified as a possible source area for the colonization of Sulawesi by the ancestor of Tylomelania. The molecular phylogeny also shows a rapid diversification of Tylomelania into eight major lineages with very little overlap in their distribution on the island. Haplotype networks provide further evidence for a strong spatial structure of genetic diversity in Tylomelania. Distribution boundaries of the major lineages do at best partially coincide with previously identified contact zones for other endemic species groups on Sulawesi. This pattern has likely been influenced by the poor dispersal capabilities and altitudinal distribution limits of this strict freshwater inhabitant. We suggest that late Miocene and Pliocene orogeny in large parts of Sulawesi has been the vicariant event driving primary diversification in Tylomelania.
    PLoS ONE 06/2014; 9(6):e98917. · 3.53 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
May 28, 2014