Research project: Evolution and diversity of Australasian mudflat snails (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Amphiboloidea)
- Start date:
- James N. Kirby Foundation
The Amphiboloidea are a small group of snails which live in mangrove forest, mudflats and salt marsh habitats throughout Australia and Asia. The decline of mangrove forests throughout the tropics means that documentation of the species that live in this habitat is both necessary and urgent. Amphiboloid snails are wide-spread and often extremely abundant, sometimes occurring across vast expanses of mudflat at very high densities. As part of this project, the systematic of Amphiboloidea was revised in 2007 based on morphological data. This initial research led to an ongoing molecular survey of Amphiboloidea which aims to explore in detail the evolutionary history of the group, in particular to test the hypothesis that they originated in Australasia (Australia and New Zealand) and subsequently diversified across Asia. Other outcomes from this research are an investigation of reproductive anatomy and mating in Australian species, and a population-level molecular analysis of Phallomedusa solida in south eastern Australia, which identified two sympatric mitochondrial haplotype networks.