Evolutionary systematics of the viviparous gastropod Sermyla
While most Cerithioidea are marine, some occur in brackish and freshwater habitats. Many members are systematically problematic due to variability or homoplasy in conchological characters, which has led to taxonomic redundancy, but also because of discrepancies between phylogenetic trees and morphologically distinguishable units as revealed in recent molecular genetic studies. We have chosen an evolutionary systematic approach and combine analyses of shell biometry and geometric morphometrics with the analyses of reproductive traits and molecular genetics based on mtDNA and AFLP markers in order to resolve the relationships among species of the genus Sermyla. We describe a new species from Sulawesi, Sermyla kupaensis sp. nov., which is characterized by a distinct reproductive strategy. This unique reproductive strategy corresponds with its distinct molecular genetic signal. However, it is not possible to distinguish S. kupaensis from S. riquetii based on shell morphology alone. We also provide data on the population structure of the endemic Australian species Sermyla carbonata, for which we found a drainage-based population structure. Overall, we present a new concept of the relationships among the species within the genus Sermyla based on morphological and genetic data.