Allozyme comparison of four littorinid species morphologically similar to Littorina sitkana

  • N. I. Zaslavskaya
Conference paper
Part of the Developments in Hydrobiology book series (DIHY, volume 111)


Eight species of the genus Littorina were hitherto recognised in the north-western region of the Pacific Ocean: L. sitkana, L. brevicula, L. mandshurica, L. squalida, L. aleutica, L. naticoides, L. kasatka and L. subrotundata. Using allozyme electrophoresis it has been demonstrated that, in the Kurile Islands, three of these species (L. sitkana, L. subrotundata and L. kasatka) co-occur, together with a fourth, still undescribed species (L. sp.). These four species were compared at 16 loci coding for 13 enzymes. All species were easily distinguished by diagnostic enzyme markers. The mean genetic distances and ranges between species pairs are: L. sitkana and L. sp. D = 0.622 (0.561–0.741), L. sitkana and L. subrotundata D = 0.981 (0.821–1.110), L. subrotundata and L. sp. D = 0.975 (0.955–0.995). The genetic distance between L. kasatka and each of the other three species was greater than 1 (range 1.123–2.087). These data suggest that L. sitkana, L. subrotundata and L. sp could be members of a species complex; according to current classifications these three belong to the subgenus Neritrema. However, the genetic distance between L. kasatka and L. sitkana is much greater than between L. sitkana and other Neritrema species, and thus supports the classification of L. kasatka in the subgenus Littorina.

Key words

Littorina sitkana Littorina kasatka Littorina subrotundata genetic relationships genetic distance sibling species 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Backeljau, T. & T. Warmoes, 1992. The phylogenetic relationships of ten atlantic littorinids assessed by allozyme electrophoresis. In J. Grahame, P. J. Mill & D. G. Reid (eds), Proceedings of the 3rd International Symposium on Littorinid Biology. The Malacolog-ical Society of London, London: 9–24.Google Scholar
  2. Boulding, E. G., J. Buckland-Nicks & K. L. V. Alstyne, 1993. Morphological and allozyme variation In Littorina sitkana and related Littorina species from the Northeastern Pacific. Veliger 36: 43–68.Google Scholar
  3. Golikov, A. N. & O. G. Kusakin, 1978. Recent molluscs of the littoral zone of the USSR. Nauka, Leningrad, 256 pp.Google Scholar
  4. Janson, K., 1982. Phenotypic differentiation in Littorina saxatilis Olivi (Mollusca, Prosobranchia) in a small area on the Swedish west coast. J. moll. Stud. 48: 167–173.Google Scholar
  5. Janson, K., 1983. Selection and migration in two distinct phenotypes of Littorina saxatilis in Sweden. Oecologia, Berlin 59: 58–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Janson, K., 1985. A morphologic and genetic analysis of Littorina saxatilis (Prosobranchia) from Venice, and on the problem of saxatilis-rudis nomenclature. Biol. J. linn. Soc. 24: 51–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Johannesson, K. & B. Johannesson, 1990. Littorina neglecta Bean, morphological form within the variable species L. saxatilis (Olivi)? Hydrobiologia 193(Dev. Hydrobiol. 56): 71–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Nei, M., 1972. Genetic distance between populations. Am. Nat. 106: 283–292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Nei, M., 1978. Estimation of average heterozygosity and genetic distance from a small number of individuals. Genetics 89: 583–590.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Raffaelli, D. G., 1982. Recent ecological research on some European species of Littorina. J. moll. Stud. 48: 342–354.Google Scholar
  11. Raffaelli, D., 1990. Epilogue. Hydrobiologia 193(Dev. Hydrobiol. 56): 271–273.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Reid, D., 1990. A cladistic phylogeny of the genus Littorina (Gastropoda): implications for the evolution of reproductive strategies and classification. Hydrobiologia 193(Dev. Hydrobiol. 56): 1–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Reid, D. & A. N. Golikov, 1991. Littorina naticoides, new species with notes on the other smooth-shelled species from the northwestern Pacific. Nautilus 105: 7–15.Google Scholar
  14. Reid, D., N. I. Zaslavskaya & S. O. Sergievsky, 1991. Littorina kasatka, a new species from the Kurile Islands and Okhotsk Sea Nautilus 105: 1–6.Google Scholar
  15. Sokal, R. R. & P. N. A. Sneath, 1963. Principles of numerical taxonomy. Freeman, San Francisco, 359 pp.Google Scholar
  16. Swofford, D. L. & R. B. Selander, 1981. BIOSYS-1: a Fortran program for the comprehensive analysis of electrophoretic data in population genetics and systematics. J. Heredity 72: 281–283.Google Scholar
  17. Ward, R. D., 1990. Biochemical variation in the genus Littorina (Prosobranchia: Mollusca). Hydrobiologia 193(Dev. Hydrobiol. 56): 53–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Zaslavskaya, N. I., 1989. Genetic variability in four Pacific species of periwinkles (Mollusca: Gastropoda). Genetika 25: 1636–1644.Google Scholar
  19. Zaslavskaya; N. I., S. O. Sergievsky & A. N. Tatarenkov, 1991. Allozyme similarity of Atlantic and Pacific species of Littorina (Gastropoda: Littorinidae). J. moll. Stud. 58: 377–384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Zaslavskaya, N. I., (in press). Genetic variability in 3 littorinid species morphologically similar to L. sitkana. Biologiya Morya.Google Scholar
  21. Zaslavskaya, N. I., B. A. Kalabushkin & A. I. Pudovkin, (in press). Intrademic and interdemic genetic differentiation of the gastropod mollusk Littorina sitkana. Genetika.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. I. Zaslavskaya
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Marine BiologyVladivostokRussia

Personalised recommendations