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Conchology Section
Auckland Museum Institute

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Newsletter - May 2002

Greetings from the President.
Our April meeting was well attended. One of the 8 part series of our new video, The Oceans, was shown and it was a most informative testimony to the diverse and highly coloured creatures of the deep. These videos are available from our Library.
Thanks to all members who exhibited trays of shells. We were delighted to have as guests at the meeting, Heather and Paul Johnson of; 59 Moor St, Earlsdon, Coventry, CV5,6EU, U.K. As collectors their particular interest is Volutidae. They would be interested in buying or exchanging with Kiwi collectors.
The speaker this month is not to be missed! Our member Heather Smith has just returned from a trip to Lord Howe Is, famous for the Earth's southern most coral reef. We will be staging the 'World Premier' of her short video on the Island and its marine environs. Heather has also promised to display the many photographs that she took on the Island and at the recent 4th. Australian Shell Show in Brisbane.

Next Meeting: Tuesday 14th May 7:30 pm at the Museum.
Entrance by the rear Admin door between 7:15-7:30pm. We regret there can be no late admittance due to security regulations. Mystery door prizes!
Speaker: Heather Smith will talk about her recent expedition to Lord Howe Is. Her shell collection from the trip will be displayed.
Feature Shells: Lord Howe Is. shells. This is also NZ. open shell night Please bring along a selection of your favourite Kiwi shells, from any location, for display and discussion.

Next Committee meeting: Tues. May 14th, 6pm, at the Museum
Dinner meeting before the ordinary meeting.

Shell Auction 2002.
The shell auction will be held on Sun. Nov 10th at the Albany Hall, Albany. Please mark this date in your diary now!

Bits and pieces.

Library News
Librarian Gladys Goulstone (new address 38A Church Rd. Mangere Bridge, Ak.) ph. (09) 634-2823, will be in attendance at the Library in the Mataapuna Gallery on the Monday afternoon 2-3 pm before each meeting date. Please contact her re. books on the list mailed Sept 01 - Gladys has extra copies of this. She will deliver your book order to the meeting, or if you send her an A4 P.O. handy bag with $2-95 in stamps, for each book, she will mail books to you. Please return books to Mataapuna as soon as possible or to Gladys at the next meeting, or mail them to her address above.

Hyridella found at Kiritehere - From the field notes of Glenys Stace.
On a recent visit by the Geo. Club to Kiritehere, Glenys found a living Hyridella (fresh water mussel) in a stream flowing down to the ocean. Later, over coffee, this discovery prompted a debate on the apparent mobility of the stream's population of Hyridella and the modus operandi it employed to reestablished itself upstream.

A.W.B. Powell commented that the elusive Hyridella, an elongated oval bivalved shellfish which grows up to four inches in length with a dark exterior a pearly interior and hooks and a long filament on the lower inside edge of the shell, inhabits most of our fresh-water lakes rivers and streams.

The infant Hyridella (the larva has a smooth, triangular shaped shell) is remarkable in that it indulges in a parasitic lifestyle with certain species of fresh-water fishes, namely Galaxias brevipennis and Gobiomorphus gobioides.

This explains the presence of the hooks and filament on the shell: the larva, known as glochidium, develops its larval shell armed with the hooks and uses the filament to sense the presence of the host fish. After detection the tiny glochidium hooks itself onto the unsuspecting fish. The parasitic glochidia have been found clinging to various parts of the host fishes: the pectoral fins, snout, upper lip and even the roof of the mouth. Thus in this manner Hyridella are transported up and down the stream bed.

Powell does not elaborate at what stage of its lifecycle the glochidium lets go of the fish: if it hangs on with murderous intent until its host dies, or dislodges itself when it becomes an adult and sinks to the bottom. However, these shellfish are known to spend their adult lives buried beneath the mud.

Ref: A.W.B. Powell. Shells of NZ., 1957 pp.33-34 or 1979 pp.384. R.K. Dell, The Freshwater Mollusca of NZ. Part 1. The Genus Hyridella. Trans. R.S.N.Z.81 (2), pp. 221-237.

Tony and Jenny Enderby, P.O Box 139 Leigh, require articles for the next Poirieria issue. Queries: ph. 09-422-6127 or Email: (Back copies available.)

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Subscriptions are due for 2002. The annual subscription is $20-00. Please make cheques to; Conchology Section C/o R.A. Tyson, 16 Kain St, Mt Eden, Auckland 4, New Zealand.

I/we enclose $20.00 for my/our annual subscription:

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Editor: Rosa Tyson, Phone (09) 620-4523
Secretary, Peter Poortman: or Phone (09) 817 5697
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