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Tylomelania neritiformis shell 2.png
Apertural view of a shell of Tylomelania neritiformis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
(unranked): clade Caenogastropoda

clade Sorbeoconcha

Superfamily: Cerithioidea
Family: Pachychilidae
Genus: Tylomelania
Sarasin & Sarasin, 1897[1]
46 described species

Tylomelania is a genus of freshwater snails which have an operculum, aquatic gastropod mollusks in the family Pachychilidae.

A sister group (the closest relative) of Tylomelania is genus Pseudopotamis (2 species living on the Torres Strait Islands).[5] Tylomelania and Pseudopotamis split in the Middle Miocene c. 19.5 Mya.[5]


Distribution map of Tylomelania (red area) cover the majority of Sulawesi. Grey area with dashed line is showing Wallacea.

These freshwater snails are endemic to Sulawesi in Indonesia,[2] with the vast majority restricted to Lake Poso and the Malili Lake system (consisting of Matano and Towuti, and the smaller Lontoa (Wawantoa), Mahalona, Masapi).[6]

They probably cannot live at an altitude above about 700 m.[5]


There were known 34 described species in 2005.[2] Thomas von Rintelen with colleagues described 15 new species of Tylomelania in 2003-2008.

Tylomelania species diversification started in c. 5.4 Mya and was probably caused by the late Miocene and Pliocene orogeny.[5]

Species within the genus Tylomelania include:


In species within this genus, the albumen gland is very large.[2] Pallial oviduct evolved into an uterine brood (that release shelled juvenile snails).[2]

Comparison of apertural views of shells of twenty Tylomelania species (images are not to scale):


Species in the genus Tylomelania are ovoviviparous.[2] Newly hatched snails of some species of Tylomelania measure nearly 2 cm and are the largest newly hatched viviparous gastropods.[2]


  1. ^ Sarasin P. & Sarasin F. (1897). "Über die Molluskenfauna der großen Süßwasser-Seen von Central-Celebes". Zoologischer Anzeiger 539/540: 308-320. page 317.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am von Rintelen T. & Glaubrecht M. (2005). "Anatomy of an adaptive radiation: a unique reproductive strategy in the endemic freshwater gastropod Tylomelania (Cerithioidea: Pachychilidae) on Sulawesi, Indonesia and its biogeographical implications." Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 85: 513–542. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8312.2005.00515.x.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l von Rintelen, Bouchet P. & Glaubrecht M. (2007). "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 592:11-94. doi:10.1007/s10750-007-0765-8.
  4. ^ a b c d von Rintelen T. & Glaubrecht M. (2008). "Three new species of the freshwater snail genus Tylomelania (Caenogastropoda: Pachychilidae) from the Malili lake system, Sulawesi, Indonesia". Zootaxa 1852: 37-49. PDF.
  5. ^ a b c d von Rintelen T., Stelbrink B. Marwoto R. M. & Glaubrecht M. (2014). "A Snail Perspective on the Biogeography of Sulawesi, Indonesia: Origin and Intra-Island Dispersal of the Viviparous Freshwater Gastropod Tylomelania". PLoS ONE 9(6): e98917. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0098917.
  6. ^ von Rintelen T., von Rintelen K. & Glaubrecht M. (2010). "The species flock of the viviparous freshwater gastropod Tylomelania (Mollusca: Cerithioidea: Pachychilidae) in the ancient lakes of Sulawesi, Indonesia: the role of geography, trophic morphology and colour as driving forces in adaptive radiation." pp. 485-512 in: Glaubrecht, M. & Schneider H. eds. (2010). Evolution in Action: Adaptive Radiations and the Origins of Biodiversity. Springer Verlag, Heidelberg, Germany.
  7. ^ a b c von Rintelen T. & Glaubrecht M. (2003). "New discoveries in old lakes: three new species of Tylomelania Sarasin & Sarasin, 1897 (Gastropoda: Cerithioidea: Pachychilidae) from the Malili lake system on Sulawesi, Indonesia". Journal of Molluscan Studies 69(1): 3-17. doi:10.1093/mollus/69.1.3

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