J. Hales



Major Habitat Type

Tropical and subtropical coastal rivers

Drainages flowing into

Makassar Strait, Banda Sea, Celebes Sea, Flores Sea

Main rivers to other water bodies

Sadang River, Karama River, Lariang River, Palu River, Poso River, Bongka River, Jeneberang River, Pangkajene River, Lake Tempe, Lake Sidenreng, Lake Limboto, Lake Lindu



Sulawesi (formerly Celebes) is an Indonesian island located across the Makassar Strait from Borneo. The ecoregion includes the offshore Togian Islands, Peleng Island, Banggai Archipelago, Buton, Wowoni, Tukangbesi Islands, Muna, Kabaena, Selayar and Kalao, but excludes Lake Poso [751] and the Malili Lakes [750], which are distinguished as separate ecoregions.

Terrestrial habitats

The terrestrial ecoregions include Sulawesi montane rain forests [AA0124] and Sulawesi lowland rain forests [AA0123] (Wikramanayake et al. 2002).

Description of endemic fishes

There are 13 recorded endemic species in this ecoregion. However, it is estimated to contain as many as 20 endemic species, including three endemic monotypic genera: Tondanichthys (T. kottelati), Marosatherina (M. ladigesi), and Lagusia (L. micracanthus). (Collette 1995; Kottelat et al. 1993; Kottelat & Whitten 1996). Tondanichthys kottelati and M. ladigesi are both Vulnerable according the IUCN Red List (IUCN 2012). Other endemics include species of Nomorhamphus, Xenopoecilus, and Dermogenys. Sarasins minnow (Oryzias sarasinorum) is endemic to Lake Lindu.

Justification for delineation

For Southeast Asia, delineations were determined using a bottom-up approach that employed both published and unpublished field data and expert assessment (Abell et al. 2008). Sulawesi is considered as a single ecoregion, except for Lake Poso [751] and the Malili Lakes [750]. It is noted for its three endemic genera: Tondanichthys, Marosatherina, and Lagusia.

Level of taxonomic exploration

Little data exists for the island of Sulawesi. Data have been obtained only in the southwestern arm, and the northeastern tip of the island. Records from the early 1900s for the southeastern tip and Muna and Buton islands are somewhat suspicious as they include freshwater records of several families otherwise unknown in freshwaters (M. Kottelat pers. comm. 2006).


  • Abell, Robin,M.L. Thieme,C. Revenga,M. Bryer,M. Kottelat,N. Bogutskaya,B. Coad,N. Mandrak,S.C. Balderas,W. Bussing,M.L.J. Stiassny,P. Skelton,G.R. Allen,P. Unmack,A. Naseka,R. Ng,N. Sindorf,J. Robertson,E. Armijo,J.V. Higgins,T.J. Heibel,E. Wikramanayake, (2008). "Freshwater Ecoregions of the World: A New Map of Biogeographic Units for Freshwater Biodiversity Conservation" BioScience 58 (5) pp. 403-414.
  • Kottelat, M.;Whitten, A. J. (1993). "Freshwater fishes of Western Indonesia and Sulawesi: additions and corrections" Hong Kong: Periplus.
  • Wikramanayake, Eric,Dinerstein, Eric,Loucks, C.,Olson, D.M.,Morrison, J.,Lamoreux, J. L.,McKnight, M.;Hedao, P. (2002). "Terrestrial ecoregions of the Indo-Pacific: A conservation assessment" Washington, DC: Island Press.
  • Collette, B.B. (1995). "Tondanichthys kottelati, a new genus and species of freshwater halfbeak (Teleostei: Hemiramphidae) from Sulawesi" Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters 6 (2) pp. 171-174.
  • IUCN (2012) \IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2\ "<"">" (21 May 2013)
  • Kottelat, M.,Whitten, A. J.,Kartikasari, S. N.;Wirjoatmodjo, S. (1993). "Freshwater fishes of Western Indonesia and Sulawesi" Hong Kong: Periplus.
  • Kottelat, M. and Whitten, T. (1996) \Freshwater biodiversity in Asia with special reference to fish, World Bank Technical Paper No. 343\ Washington, DC, USA. The World Bank.