Taxonomic and population genetic re-interpretation of two color morphs of the decollate snail, **Rumina decollata** (Mollusca, Pulmonata) in southern France
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Genetica. - The Hague
, p. 281-292
University of Antwerp
The hermaphroditic terrestrial snail Rumina decollata has a mixed breeding system with a high prevalence of self-fertilization. In the Montpellier area (France), the species is represented by a dark and a light color morph. Based on allozyme data, both morphs have been reported as single, homozygous multilocus genotypes (MLG), differing at 13 out of 26 loci, but still showing occasional hybridization. Recent DNA sequence data suggest that each morph is a different phylogenetic species. In order to further evaluate this new taxonomic interpretation, the present contribution explores to what extent populations or color morphs indeed consist of single or few MLG. As such it is shown that both morphs are not single, homozygous MLG, but instead reveal a considerable amount of allelic variation and substantial numbers of heterozygous microsatellite genotypes. This suggests that outcrossing may be more prevalent than previously reported. Nevertheless, both morphs maintain a diagnostic multimarker differentiation in the presence of outcrossing in sympatric conditions, implying that they may be interpreted as species under the biological species concept. Finally, our data challenge the idea that simultaneous hermaphrodites should be either strict selfers or strict outcrossers.