Return home

Conchology Section
Auckland Museum Institute

Return home

Newsletter - November 2000

Bruce Hazelwood has been collecting slugs around Ellerslie and was intrigued to find what are probably albino specimens of Limax maximus.
Margaret had collected large specimens of Perna canaliculus, Cyclomactra ovata and sand burrows probably made by crabs at Bucklands Beach. These species and burrows were in life position in recently exposed sandstone at high tidal level. Jack explained that these were about 5000 years old, living when the water was 3o warmer and sea levels were 1-2m higher than today.. The flats behind the beach were the original intertidal beach. Bruce Hazelwood has seen many Cyclomactra tristis on intertidal flats dead in life position at Miranda.
Les brought in a tray of fossils including the bivalve Euciroa. When Mike Eagle saw them he contracted a severe dose of trip fever. They immediately went into a planning committee.
The introduced bivalve Theora lubrica has now been found in the Manukau Harbour. Large specimens can be collected from low tidal mud on the edge of the channel in Big Muddy Creek, near Parau. A spring low is needed, when you sink in up to your knees it is time to start sieving!
Joan Coles won the door prize of a large land snail Strophochelius musculus from Argentina.

Comments from competitors and members of the public have been positive and everyone enjoyed themselves. Glenys thanked Peter again for his organising, while he was full of praise for the committee and other support. All competitors are to be congratulated as the standard of entries was very high. The lectures were a popular addition. Competition results are on the second sheet.
Top prize winner Doug, requests that the same judges are asked for the next Shell Show!
A prized shell belonging to Paul Leary mysteriously disappeared while he was setting up his exhibits. It is a very distinctive Poirieria zelandica with coiled spines. If you know of its whereabouts please phone Paul (09) 849 5311 or any committee member.

Our treasurer Nick is waiting for bank statements and will have a summary at the AGM.

Bundles of old Poirierias (minimum of 30 different publications) are now available for $15. These make interesting reading, with stories about wash-ups, rare finds, trips and scientific articles. The information is timeless giving wonderful insights into earlier club activities. Send your cheque (made out to the Conchology Section) to Peter Poortman, 23 Staincross St., Green Bay, Auckland.

The shirts sold at the Shell Show are now available by mail order. Royal blue polo shirts with collar and small logo on the pocket are $20 and indigo T shirts with large logo are $15. Send your cheque, size, S,M,L or XL, please include $2 for postage, to Glenys Stace, 41 Coatesville Highway, Albany.

Peter’s Polinices simiae measured 35mm and his Muricopsis octogonus 65mm. Both dredged in 40m off Pakiri, found on Mission Bay. The Muricopsis (no longer Murexul) was alive but the Polinices is believed to be a fossil.
Beverley Elliot reports that she has a 218mm Perna canaliculus from Moeraki, Otago. This beats our existing record of 205mm from the September competition.
Doug Snook brought in a specimen of Dicathais orbita measuring 119 mm.
The WHOPPER species for next month will be Amalda mucronata and Austrofusus glans, so get busy with the rulers!

The speaker Carol Diebel proved that there life after the Shell Show. Her excellent video showed marine life seen from a submersible in clear off shore waters both day and night. Gyrating translucent Venus girdle and jellyfish were common. For one piece of research it was necessary to video the trail of a salp. After trials with a range of substances it was found that injecting milk did the job satisfactorily! Salps are colonial animals attached in a chain. They capitalise on a bloom of food. When asked if she was frightened, she said that the submersible was rammed by a swordfish on her first dive, after that nothing fazed her!
Some of the footage was taken in California, some in the Bahamas. Species, like the shrimp we saw, occur in many open water locations. The videos are valuable research material because animal habits are seen. Some of the fish often swim sideways or upside down and shrimps’ attennae trail behind. Fish were noted bouncing off their noses along the bottom.
Wade Doak has noticed shoals of maomao skimming off rocks at the Poor Knights. As they do not actually touch the rock they cannot be getting rid of lice as has been suggested. His numerous diving observations have convinced him that they are just having fun, maybe stimulating the lateral line gives them a buzz!
Thank you very much Carol, the video and commentary was most enjoyable.

The Oceans gallery at the Auckland Museum needs a large good quality specimen of Charonia capax for the diversity case. If you can donate one, contact Carol Diebel, phone 306 7070 Ext 648.
Also wanted -a dream home for Nancy Smith. However meantime she is at 35 Burwood Crescent, Remuera, phone (09) 522 5191.

Any individual or group wishing to make a submission on this important topic can obtain the discussion document from the local DOC office, local Ministry of Fisheries office or public library. It is well set out for comment, interesting, in colour and free. Submissions close 22 December 2000.

We welcome...

Please bring your subs, which remain at $20, to the AGM or post to the treasurer. Nick de Carteret, 117 Wood Bay Rd, Titirangi, AUCKLAND 7

Please consider coming onto the committee. Members holding positions including Glenys are all willing to hand over the reins so nominate someone else, who is willing, or yourself. Phone any committee member if you want more information. Elections will be held at the December meeting at the AGM. Nominations can be in writing but will also be accepted at the meeting.

12 December 7:30pm. Auckland War Memorial Museum.
Entry by the Administration door between 7:15 and 7:45pm. No late admittance.
After the AGM Kathy Campbell, from the Geology Department at Auckland University, will speak on deep sea vents. This promises to be a very interesting topic.
Please bring a gift wrapped shell and a plate for Christmas supper.

Margaret Morley: Ph (09) 576 8323
Peter Poortman: Ph (09 817 5697: Email


Previous Newsletters