At our meeting to be held in June, Bruce Hayward will be speaking on the impact of marine invaders on Waitemata Harbour benthos. Bruce is an incredibly knowledgeable and interesting speaking. Guaranteed to be another very informative evening.
Shell families for the meeting - shells found in our local (Auckland) harbours.
We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday 10th June, 2008 at Epsom Community Centre, 202 Gillies Avenue, Epsom. You are welcome to arrive from 7:00 pm with the meeting commencing at 7:30 pm.
As usual there shall be a lucky door prize (kindly provided by Doug and Judith Snook) and supper.
New Zealand Register of Largest Shells
If you have any unusually large New Zealand shells in your collection then we would like to hear from you
A register of the largest known shells owned by NZ collectors is currently being built, and is already accessible on our website at http://members.tripod.com/~nz_seashells/.
This register will also be used to record any sinistral specimens that you may have.
Overseas collectors are claiming world record sizes for many NZ species, so get out your tape measures and let's set the record straight!
Measurement rules and details on how to make submissions are contained in the register on our website.
News in Short
Patricia's operation was a success and she is progressing steadily. Patricia expressed her thanks for the card and flowers (arranged by Lyn Gumm) which was a lovely surprise.
The Editors of the forthcoming AWA Book of NZ Science have approached the Section seeking permission to use an extract from an old Poirieria in their book. It is an article by the late Sir Charles Fleming titled "shell collecting in the 1920s". Naturally, permission been given and we have been promised a hardback copy of the book for our library!
Plans are progressing well for the 2009 Auckland Shell Show. In the committee meeting preceding our May meeting Heather, Peter and Martin discussed various aspects of the show weekend. Peter and Heather shall be finalising the competition schedule shortly. The shell show shall be held on 27-29 March 2009 and members should be thinking about their entries and preparing their trays any time now.
May Meeting Feedback
The meeting was attended by about 10 members - as usual there was plenty of interaction and questions along the way and we all come away a little the wiser.
Margaret Morley spoke and showed us the way through the New Zealand Ostreidae family. The species are four, with a insufficient finds concerning a fifth (Lopha cristagalli) for it to be considered a part of the New Zealand fauna.
First, there was the Auckland Rock Oyster, species glomerata, genus changeable, the correct and latest being Saccostrea.
Then there was the introduced Crassostrea gigas, which arrived in New Zealand waters from about 1970 and soon supplanted glomerata to become the oyster cultivated in oyster farms because of its superior size and growth rate.
Then there was the Bluff Oyster, Ostrea Chilensis, several older species names, eg lutaria, heffordi are all considered now as forms of the same species, which is known all the way to Chile at least.
Last was the newest discovery from about 1981, Ostrea aupouria. This oyster is smaller than the rest. Margaret showed us examples of about 4cm diameter. It is typically found a little deeper than the glomerata or gigas if one looks at the oysters on a typical Waiheke Island wharf pile. It is Aupourian in distribution, and has distinguishing tiny projections called chomata along the edges inside near its hinge. Lyn is now trying to figure out how to find the chomata inside a fossil oyster and when she does we may learn how early it was in our waters prior to 1981.
Margaret had wonderful specimens of all the shells she talked about and these were handed around - and none were dropped! Her champion gigas came from just a few miles away in Orakei Basin.
Several other members had brought in their oysters and related shells including Peter and Heather who both had amongst their collections, lovely small fresh specimens of Pacific Pinctada types found beached in Northland. These are close kin to the Pearl Oyster and as such belong in a different Order, Pterioida, to the oysters in Ostreidae in Ostreoida. Is Pinctada going to establish in New Zealand some time soon, or just keep drifting down and dying here?
A new date has been set. The shell auction will be held on Saturday, 13 September 2008 at Albany Hall - mark it in your diaries now!
Any members who would like to submit auction lots please contact Jan on 09 444 8460 or email email@example.com.
Please book your lots as soon as possible, as we want to keep the auction to around 250 lots. Lot booking cut off date being 15th June, however we do not require actual lists until 15th August.
This year you have the option of trialing a Dutch auction on your lots. Ie. the Auctioneer starts at the top price (which you nominate) and works down, first bidder wins. Advise with your list whether you have a reserve, or if you would like to try a Dutch auction.
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