In this study we report the first animal invasion, to our knowledge, into Lake Malawi. The colonizer is a non-native morph of the gastropod Melanoides tuberculata that differs substantially in external shell characters from co-occurring indigenous forms. However, because the species possesses extensive within-Africa geographical variation in shell morphology, it was unclear whether the invasion was range expansion of a native African morph, or a colonization from elsewhere. Mitochondrial DNA sequences indicate a southeast Asian origin for the invader, suggesting that shell variation found among indigenous allopatric populations camouflaged an intercontinental invasion.
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