Melanoides polymorpha


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Melanoides polymorpha
Species Authority: (Smith, 1877)
Taxonomic Notes: The Melanoides of Lake Malawi are currently under genetic and morphological research and revision. As there is no clear consensus at this writing, we present the taxonomy in Brown 1994, however interested readers should consult papers by T. Kristensen and coauthors, and M. Genner, E. Michel, and co-authors for updates (e.g. Elblom and Kristensen 2003; Genner et al. 2004). As Melanoides are generally clonal, species ID can be problematic. (E. Michel, pers. comm.)

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2004-05-30
Assessor(s): Kaunda, E., Magombo, Z., Kahwa, D. & Mailosa, A.
Reviewer(s): Seddon, M.B. & Kristensen, T. (Mollusc Red List Authority)
This species is close to meeting Vulnerable. It has an EOO of less than 20,000km², based on areas of two localities down to 21 m deep. However, the threats are localised and dispersed.
2004 Near Threatened

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to Lake Malawi. This species is known from Mbamba Bay and Msumbi.
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Population densities provided in Genner and Michel (2003) for mixed Malawi Melanoides state a max of 1370 individuals/m2. Louda et al. (1983) states at 123 individuals/m2 at Cape Maclear, shallow water
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is found in soft sediment (silt, sand, fine gravel) in Lake Malawi.
Systems: Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): No information available.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No information available.

Citation: Kaunda, E., Magombo, Z., Kahwa, D. & Mailosa, A. 2010. Melanoides polymorpha. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 27 March 2015.
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