Integrative taxonomy of a new and highly-diverse genus of onchidiid slugs from the coral triangle (Gastropoda, Pulmonata, Onchidiidae)

Tricia C. Goulding, Munawar Khalil, Shau Hwai Tan, Benoît Dayrat

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A new genus of onchidiid slugs, Wallaconchis Goulding & Dayrat, gen. n., is described, including ten species. Five species were previously described but known only from the type material: Wallaconchis ater (Lesson, 1830), W. graniferum (Semper, 1880), W. nangkauriense (Plate, 1893), W. buetschlii (Stantschinsky, 1907), and W. gracile (Stantschinsky, 1907), all of which were originally classified in Onchidium Buchannan, 1800. Many new records are provided for these five species, which greatly expand their known geographic distributions. Five species are new: Wallaconchis achleitneri Goulding, sp. n., W. comendadori Goulding & Dayrat, sp. n., W. melanesiensis Goulding & Dayrat, sp. n., W. sinanui Goulding & Dayrat, sp. n., and W. uncinus Goulding & Dayrat, sp. n. Nine of the ten Wallaconchis species are found in the Coral Triangle (eastern Indonesia and the Philippines). Sympatry is high, with up to six species found on the island of Bohol (Philippines) and eight species overlapping in northern Sulawesi (Indonesia). Wallaconchis is distinguished from other onchidiids by its bright dorsal colors (red, yellow, orange) but those are extremely variable and not useful for specific identification. Internally, the reproductive system can be used to identify all Wallaconchis species. The copulatory organs of Wallaconchis species are especially diverse compared to other onchidiid genera, and the possible role of reproductive incompatibility in species diversification is discussed. All specimens examined were freshly collected for the purpose of a worldwide revision of the Onchidiidae Rafinesque, 1815. The species are well delineated using DNA sequences and comparative anatomy. Mitochondrial DNA analysis yields thirteen molecular units separated by a large barcode gap, while nuclear DNAyields nine units. By integrating nuclear DNA and mitochondrial DNA with morphology, ten species are recognized. The natural history of each species (e.g., the microhabitat where they are found) is also documented. Nomenclature is addressed thoroughly (the types of all onchidiid species were examined, lectotypes were designated when needed, nomina dubia are discussed). Morphological characters, transitions to new microhabitats, and diversification processes are discussed in the context of a robust molecular phylogeny.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-111
Number of pages111
Issue number763
StatePublished - 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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