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Newsletter - October 2013

September Meeting
Margaret Morley chaired the meeting and was our speaker on two subjects ...

Epitoniidae
Following on from our focus on Epitoniidae at the August meeting, Margaret has done more research on this interesting family.
There are about 600 species worldwide and about 400 species identified from the fossil record. They are closely related to Janthinidae. The large beautiful Epitonium scalare (Linnaeus, 1758) was one of the first described.
Epitoniums have a wide distribution and can be found in all oceans from intertidal to deep water. They can be found living in sand around the base of sea-anemones on which they feed, and in the tropics they live on coral.
All are carnivorous parasites. They have a rasping radula, but most feed by sucking on sea-anemones.
The many protoconch whorls (3-5) indicate that they have a lengthy planktonic stage. Tropical Epitoniums grow quickly and are sexually mature in about 3 weeks.
Margaret showed pictures of a Florida species that looks identical to our endemic Cirsotrema zelebori.

The New Zealand Epitoniidae are comprised of 15 species in 10 genuses, but many of these species are under 10mm in length. Our Epitonium genus has 4 species which are found only in the North Island ...
. jukesianum - a slender shell with numerous axial ribs (18-20 per whorl). They live in sand near green anemones in mid-high tide rock pools. The animal is beautiful - transparent cream with white or brown spots. But it does not appear to have any eyes.
. minorum - smooth and shiny between the varices (about 10 per whorl). Lives in sand below low tide near rocks covered in orange anemones.
. bucknilli - a rare species that can be distinguished from jukesianum by its broader shape and very fine spiral striations between the varices.
. tenellum - easily distinguished by its brown colouration. Lives on mudflats near anemones, but is surprisingly difficult to find.

Margaret brought in a tray full of NZ Epitoniums, and Luen Jones again brought in his magnificent display of 40 worldwide species.

Mollusc Survey - Vivian Bay, Kawau Island
Having already completed mollusc surveys of the Waitemata Harbour, the Waitakere Coast, and the Tamaki Estuary, Margaret Morley and Bruce Hayward are now working on a similar survey of the Hauraki Gulf.
About 150 trips have already been completed in the Hauraki Gulf, mainly during spring low tides.
Their most recent trip was to Vivian Bay on Kawau Island. They had the use of a bach at North Cove which is a one hour walk through pine forest from Vivian Bay.
They also explored Moana Bay on west side of the island, as well as Rocky Bay on east side.
The end result of the survey will be a species list of all molluscs found, with a category of alive or dead, and an indicator of whether each species is abundant, common, uncommon, or rare. Bruce will then analyse this data and produce statistics on habitat associations etc.
Margaret illustrated her talk with a slide show, and also brought in a tray containing some of the many species found.

Next Meeting Tuesday 8th October
Epsom Community Centre, 202 Gillies Avenue, Epsom at 7:30pm (doors open at 7pm). Supper provided.

Peter & Brenda Hunt from the Adelaide Shell Club are joining us.
They will talk about their experiences crossing the Nullarbor Plain, finding shell fossils and spotting whales on the way.
They will also tell us about the Adelaide Shell Club and Shelling in South Australia.
Attendees please bring in any shells from South Australia.

Shell Auction - Albany Hall, Saturday 26th October 2013
Our annual Shell Auction will again be held at the Albany Hall, 3-21 Library Lane, Albany.
Helpers are needed to set up the hall from 9am 10am. Viewing will commence at 10am, and the auction will start at 1pm.
Sellers please ensure that your lots are labelled with the lot number, and all set up prior to 10am.
Sales tables will be available from 10:00am to 12:30am.
All care has been taken with labelling of the lots, however the Club cannot guarantee information. Changes to the schedule, if any, will be notified prior to the auction.
Payment is required on the day (cash or cheque only).
Proxy bids should be emailed to Peter Poortman at petermwp@gmail.com or posted to 26 Pendlebury Street, Green Bay, Auckland 0604. If successful you will be sent an invoice via post/email (including any packaging and postal charges) which must be paid in full before the items are despatched.

Enclosed is the Auction Schedule.
Contact Peter Poortman (petermwp@gmail.com or 09 817 1397) for more information.

Poirieria Magazine
We welcome contributions to our club magazine "Poirieria".
Anything related to shells or collecting would be greatly appreciated - Eg. shelling trips/finds, personal observations/tips, scientific research, historic anecdotes, a notable washup, etc.
Please email articles to Peter Poortman at petermwp@gmail.com, or post to 26 Pendlebury Street, Green Bay, Auckland 0604.

Club Library
We have an extensive collection of books, magazines, and scientific publications available, as well as a biological microscope.
The online library list has now been updated.

Other News
. The 10th Australian Shell Show will be held on 7-9th/February/2014 at the Balgowlah RSL Memorial Club 30-38 Ethel Street, Seaforth, Sydney, N.S.W. 2092. For more information email shellshow@sydneyshellclub.net. Michael Barlow (m.red.barlow@gmail.com or (09) 623 3231) has printed copies of the Show Schedule available for anyone who would like to have one.

. Items of interest for the monthly newsletter are always welcome - email to petermwp@gmail.com, or post to Peter Poortman, 26 Pendlebury Street, Green Bay, Auckland 0604.

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