Molecular taxonomy and naming of five cryptic species of Alviniconcha snails (Gastropoda: Abyssochrysoidea) from hydrothermal vents

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Large symbiont-hosting snails of the genus Alviniconcha (Gastropoda: Abyssochrysidae) are among the dominant inhabitants of hydrothermal vents in the Western Pacific and Indian oceans. The genus was originally described as monotypic, but unique DNA sequences for mitochondrial genes revealed six distinct evolutionary lineages that we could not distinguish based on external morphology. Subsumed under the name Alviniconcha hessleri Okutani & Ohta, the distinct allopatric and sympatric lineages have been assigned placeholder epithets that complicate scientific communications. Based on the present multi-gene sequence data, we hereby describe five Alviniconcha species (in the order of their discovery) - A. kojimai sp. nov., A. boucheti sp. nov., A. marisindica sp. nov., A. strummeri sp. nov. and A. adamantis sp. nov. Thus, we restrict application of the name A. hessleri to specimens that are genetically similar (≥95% for COI) to those found at localities in the Mariana Trough. Single distinct Alviniconcha species inhabit vent fields along the Central Indian Ridge, the Mariana volcanic arc, and the Mariana back-arc basin, whereas vents in the Manus, Fiji and Lau back-arc basins may host two or three additional species. Formal recognition of these species facilitates future attempts to assess their physiological differences and symbiont associations. Furthermore, their reported distributions have significant biogeographic implications, affecting estimates of the diversity within and overlap among Indo-Pacific vent localities.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Johnson, SB; Warén, A; Tunnicliffe, V; Van Dover, C; Wheat, CG; Schultz, TF; Vrijenhoek, RC

Published Date

  • May 4, 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 13 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 278 - 295

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1478-0933

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1477-2000

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/14772000.2014.970673

Citation Source

  • Scopus