Diversity and molecular phylogeny of freshwater sponges from thane region of northern Maharashtra, India.

Author(s): Dilip Keshav Kakvipure
Email (s): drshindepramod@gmail.com
Institution or organization of origin: B.N.N. College
Country: India


The Western Ghats, which is one among the 25 global hotspots of biodiversity, extends for over a length of 16,00 kms. Lying parallel to the Indian coast. The distribution and taxonomy of fresh water sponges (Porifera) in the Western Ghats Region of India has not received widespread attention. In an initial effort to begin the systematic taxonomic distribution of fresh water sponges, two lakes and one river from the northern part of the Western Ghats were identified. The selected collection sites were Tansa lake (19° 58′ N, 73° 25′ E), Varhala Devi lake (19° 20’N, 73° 00’E) and Pinjal river (19° 37′ N, 73° 60 E). From every collection site, 2 sponge species were collected and identified by using morphological characters. The sponges collected from Varhala Devi lake were identified as Ephydatia sp. and Eunapius carteri. The sponges from other two locations are being identified. The molecular phylogeny analysis of all the sponge species is also being attempted. This investigation highlights the presence of fresh water sponges; the most primitive metazoan in the Western Ghats of Thane region and opens up new research avenues to understand the ecological significance of this little known group of animals. Key Words – Western Ghat, Ephydatia sp. Eunapius carteri, Varhala, Tansa, Pinjal.

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