Malili Lakes




J. Hales



Major Habitat Type

Montane freshwaters

Drainages flowing into

Gulf of Bone, Banda Sea

Main rivers to other water bodies

Lake Matano and Lake Towuti and are the two major lakes in the Malili Lake system. Other lakes include Mahalona, Masapi, Lontoa, and Wowontoa.



The Malili Lakes are located on the on the southeastern peninsula of the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.

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

The genera Paratherina, Tominanga, and Telmatherina (Telmatherinidae) are endemic to this ecoregion.

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For Southeast Asia, delineations were determined using a bottom-up approach that employed both published and unpublished field data and expert assessment (Abell et al. 2008; Kottelat 1990, 1991; Kottelat et al. 1993; Larson & Kottelat 1992). These lakes are distinguished by their high levels of endemism across various taxa, including 15 of 17 members of the family Telmatherinidae.


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Kottelat, M.;Whitten, A. J. (1993). "Freshwater fishes of Western Indonesia and Sulawesi: additions and corrections" Hong Kong: Periplus.
  • Kottelat, M. (1990). "Sailfin silversides (Pisces: Telmatherinidae) of Lakes Towuti, Mahalona and Wawontoa (Sulawesi, Indonesia) with descriptions of two new genera and two new species" Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters 1 (3) pp. 227-246.
  • Kottelat, M. (1991). "Sailfin silversides (Pisces: Telmatherinidae) of Lake Matano, Sulawesi, Indonesia, with descriptions of six new species" Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters 1 (4) pp. 321-344.
  • Kottelat, M.,Whitten, A. J.,Kartikasari, S. N.;Wirjoatmodjo, S. (1993). "Freshwater fishes of Western Indonesia and Sulawesi" Hong Kong: Periplus.
  • Larson, H.K.;M. Kottelat (1992). "A new species of Mugilogobius (Pisces: Gobiidae) from Lake Matano, central Sulawesi, Indonesia" Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters 3 (3) pp. 225-234.