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BIOLOGY AND REPRODUCTION OF THE FRESHWATER SNAIL MELANOIDES TUBERCOLATA (GASTROPODA: PROSOBRANCHIA) IN ISRAEL

In: Israel Journal of Ecology and Evolution
Authors:
G. LIVSHITS Department of Zoology, George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel Aviv University

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L. FISHELSON Department of Zoology, George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel Aviv University

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This study describes the biology and reproduction of several isolated populations of Melanoides tuberculoid found in various water bodies in Israel and the Sinai Peninsula. Although these snails are described as parthenogenetic, we find that some populations in Israel contain 20–33% of males producing motile spermia, while other populations consist only of females. In all populations the offspring are incubated in brood-pouches. The length of incubation is correlated to population density. Electrophoretic studies of esterase (two loci) and acid phosphatase isozymes show that the observed distribution of genotypes within some of the snail populations are in good agreement with the Hardy-Weinberg expectation. As offspring of single females bear proteins not found in the mothers, we conclude that fertilization occurs within the population.

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