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Conchology Section
Auckland Museum Institute

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Newsletter - July 2000

In the absence of our president, who with other club members is boning up on the latest at Shell Shows in Australia, Fiona welcomed everyone to the meeting. The overseas group sent an Email assuring us that the warm weather and the Shows are being much enjoyed.
It is good news that John Morton is back at home and beginning to feel better after his fall. There is also bad news, Joan Willan had a heart attack and was in hospital for checks but is improving at home now. Peggy Town was hospitalised to find the cause of abdominal pains.
We enjoyed the varied displays brought in. Peter Poortman had a darkly patterned specimen of Tonna cumingii from his trip to Bland Bay. If this gem was not enough he had about a dozen Natica migratoria, Pupa kirki, large Pervicacia tristis and Tomopleura albula. Joan Coles showed a tray of Cypraea, including C. engelerti from Easter Island, C. lamarki from Durban, Natal and C. coxeni from the Philippines.

Doug Snook started the evening with hints on how his extensive collection is organised. He makes his own open sided boxes from black cardboard. For ease of rearranging, each individual box size is double that of the previous one. He recommends the purchase of a detailed world atlas to assist in checking data and finding obscure localities. Records of all his travels, newspaper articles and shell related topics are pasted up in a scrapbook. His trays of diverse overseas shells demonstrated his care with data and cleaning.

Among his displays was a treasured specimen of the very rare Conus vicweei from deep water off Surin Island in Burma, some rare nautilus from the Solomons and New Caledonia, an albino Bulla ampulla and a sinistral Cynbiola vespertilio from the Philippines. Doug’s collection takes pride of place in his garage, (in fact most of the place!), the car definitely takes second preference!

For the second half of the evening Margaret showed slides. These ranged from the endemic buccinid Pareuthria campbelli found snorkelling on Campbell Island, sea lions on Enderby Island in the Auckland Islands, dozens of Diloma niggerima feeding on washed up bull kelp Durvillaea antarctica, through to shots of the nudibranch Archidoris wellingtonensis at Tata Beach near Nelson, good collecting spots on Great Barrier Island, to vivid red starfish and colourful nudibranchs taken by divers in the Kermadec Islands. Both speakers were thanked for their presentations.
The door prize was won by Fiona.

Peter suggested building a list of sinistral shells of normally dextral species, found by members. Send the details of any in your collection to Peter Email (see below) or phone (09) 817 5697. It would be good to see these at a meeting.

Bruce Hazelwood asks that all trophies won at the Shell Show in Auckland 1993 be returned as soon as possible. Phone Bruce (09) 525 0065. Shell Show arrangements are steadily progressing are the competitors doing likewise? Contact Glenys Stace if you have specimens you would like put in the auction.
Donations of shells are needed for raffles to be held during the Shell Show. We hope some of these will be desirable New Zealand species to attract eager ticket buyers. If you can offer shells contact Bruce Hazelwood Ph (09) 525 0065. Donated shells are welcome for the club trading table.

The sand bar usually retaining the lagoon behind Lion Rock was recently washed out in the storms. It is well worth a visit especially if you want to add Xenostrobus securis to your collection.

In the Wellington Shell Club address please change c/o Director Malacology to c/o Mollusca Section.

NEXT MEETING 8 AUGUST 2000 7.30PM At the Auckland War Memorial Museum.
Entry by the Administration door between 7:15 and 7:45pm. No late admittance. The speaker will be Jack Grant-Mackie. His topic will be “Guessing the environment and mode of life of fossil shells”. Please support this topic by bringing in a tray of fossils.
Peter is keen to follow Whangarei’s idea of checking maximum shell sizes. To start the ball rolling bring in your largest specimens of Bulla quoyii and Turbo smaragdus.
There will be a door prize of Strophochelius musculus from Argentina. Come to the meeting to find out what this is!

Margaret Morley Phone 576 8323.    Email: Peter Poortman
Conchology Section website: http://members.tripod com/~nz_seashells


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