, Volume 592, Issue 1, pp 11–94 | Cite as

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

  • Thomas von Rintelen
  • Philippe Bouchet
  • Matthias Glaubrecht
Primary Research Paper


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.


Freshwater gastropods Adaptive radiation Taxonomy Morphology Ecology Biodiversity 



We are very grateful to Ristiyanti Marwoto (MZB) for the immense support in arranging the field trip of 1999, which yielded a considerable part of the material studied. We also thank LIPI (Indonesian Institute of Sciences) for the permit to conduct research in Indonesia. Invaluable support was experienced from INCO at Soroako, Lake Matano. Without their help in providing accommodation, transport and general logistics this study would not have yielded the same amount of results. Thanks are also due to Ambros Hänggi, Urs Wüest (NMB) and Robert Moolenbeck (ZMA) for their courtesy and generous help with the loan of material. Many thanks go to M. Drescher, V. Heinrich, I. Kilias, (ZMB) and A. Munandar (MZB) for technical assistence, and to N. Brinkmann (ZMB) for her help with radula preparation. This study was made possible through continuous funding from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) through grants GL 297/1-1 and 1-2.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas von Rintelen
    • 1
  • Philippe Bouchet
    • 2
  • Matthias Glaubrecht
    • 1
  1. 1.Museum of Natural History, Humboldt University BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Muséum National d’Histoire NaturelleParis cedex 05France

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