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J Fish Biol. 2013 Jun;82(6):1916-50. doi: 10.1111/jfb.12121.

Species compositions and ecology of the riverine ichthyofaunas in two Sulawesian islands in the biodiversity hotspot of Wallacea.

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  • 1Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research, School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology, Murdoch University, Perth, WA 6150, Australia.


This account of the riverine ichthyofaunas from the islands of Buton and Kabaena, off south-eastern mainland Sulawesi, represents the first detailed quantitative checklist and ecological study of the riverine fish faunas in the biological hotspot of Wallacea. The results are based on analysis of samples collected by electrofishing at a wide range of sites from July to September in both 2001 and 2002. While the fauna was diverse, with the 2179 fishes caught comprising 64 species representing 43 genera and 22 families, the catches were dominated by the Gobiidae (26 species and 25% by numbers), Eleotridae (seven species and 27% by numbers), Zenarchopteridae (three species and 22% by numbers) and Anguillidae (two species and 12% by numbers). The most abundant species were the eleotrids Eleotris aff. fusca-melanosoma and Ophieleotris aff. aporos, the anguillid Anguilla celebesensis, the zenarchopterids Nomorhamphus sp. and Nomorhamphus ebrardtii and the gobiids Sicyopterus sp. and Glossogobius aff. celebius-kokius. The introduced catfish Clarias batrachus was moderately abundant at a few sites. Cluster analysis, allied with the similarity profiles routine SIMPROF, identified seven discrete groups, which represented samples from sites entirely or predominantly in either Buton (five clusters) or Kabaena (two clusters). Species composition was related to geographical location, distance from river mouth, per cent contribution of sand and silt, altitude and water temperature. The samples from the two islands contained only one species definitively endemic to Sulawesi, i.e. N. ebrardtii and another presumably so, i.e. Nomorhamphus sp., contrasting starkly with the 57 species that are endemic to Sulawesi and, most notably, its large central and deep lake systems on the mainland. This accounts for the ichthyofaunas of these two islands, as well as those of rivers in northern mainland Sulawesi and Flores, being more similar to each other than to those of the central mainland lake systems. This implies that the major adaptive radiation of freshwater fishes in Sulawesi occurred in those lacustrine environments rather than in rivers.

© 2013 The Authors. Journal of Fish Biology © 2013 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

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