The 15th meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Malacologists took place yesterday at the Delaware Museum of Natural History (DMNH) in Wilmington, Delaware. I counted 35 names on the sign-up sheet, 12 of whom gave talks.Here are the speakers in the order they spoke and the not-more-than-two-sentence summaries of their talks.
17 March 2013
18 January 2013
These shells of the land snail Cecilioides janii were positioned on plasticine for photography. In an e-mail, Francisco Welter-Schultes wrote: "...your picture looks really good, like the artist's interpretation of a scientific snail photo." The artistry was an unintentional outcome of the plasticine being an old piece with mixed colors (that story is here).AnimalBase. And a manuscript about the presence of this species in Turkey is in works.
Posted by AYDIN ÖRSTAN at 09:00
24 December 2012
After a long hiatus, I return with one last post before the year ends.In the fourth edition of The origin of species (1866), Charles Darwin, while discussing the results of his limited experiments on the survival of land snails after prolonged exposure to sea water, added that someone named Baron Aucapitaine had recently tried similar experiments. Darwin summarized Aucapitaine's results, but did not give his source of Aucapitaine's data. Presumably, this was in accordance with the more relaxed standards of citation of the period. Generations of writers have quoted Darwin's paragraph as a support for the potential dispersal of land snails via rafting over the oceans. But no one seems to have bothered to determine if and where Aucapitaine had published his results. So back in June of this year, to satisfy my curiosity I spent several days scouring the internet. My efforts paid off eventually and I was able to track down Aucapitaine's relevant publication. Read about Henri Aucapitaine, his work with snails and his interaction with Darwin, which may never have taken place, in my short note on p. 15 of the November newsletter of the wonderful Society for the History of Natural History. I wish everyone a Happy New Year. I will try to post more often in 2013. Maybe.
Posted by AYDIN ÖRSTAN at 21:51
30 July 2012
One can learn much about gastropod anatomy by watching live animals and studying their photographs. In fact, there are certain aspects of gastropod anatomy that are hard to appreciate in preserved specimens. Some examples with nice photos are in this article of mine that recently was published in Mollusk World, the magazine of the Conchological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. A pdf copy is available here.
Posted by AYDIN ÖRSTAN at 12:37
16 July 2012
In August 2008, I announced here my finding of the snail Discus catskillensis on Mont Royal in Montreal, Canada*. Subsequently, a few readers questioned my identification and suggested that the snail I had found was more likely the European species D. rotundatus. While the former species is a native of North America, the latter was introduced to the eastern U.S. early in the 20th century and later to Canada.
For a more definite identification, I needed more specimens. But I did not have a chance to go back to Mont Royal until August 2011 when I was able to collect a few more shells. Last fall, I compared the Montreal specimens with the shells of several Discus species. The results indicated that the Montreal species was indeed D. rotundatus.
The final outcome of this project was a short paper that recently got published in Check List. You may download a copy of it from here.
*I have now deleted the original post of 2008. Attempting to revise it would have been too much trouble.
Posted by AYDIN ÖRSTAN at 14:22
02 June 2012
One of the 2 Cepaea nemoralis I have been keeping
since last winter dug a deep hole in the soil and deposited eggs in it a few
days ago. Today I removed all of the eggs. There were so many that I couldn't
get an accurate count; I estimate the total to be more than 70.
Posted by AYDIN ÖRSTAN at 19:45
21 April 2012
The intertidal snail Batillaria minima has been the subject of numerous posts on this blog (for example, check out this and this). Batillaria minima inhabits tidal flats with low rocks often in dense populations. At low tide, snails become emersed and large numbers of them can be collected easily. These characteristics make the species a suitable subject for different studies. So I've been collecting data on various aspects of the biology of this species during vacation trips in Florida since the early 2000s. One short paper comparing shell heights of large samples measured in 2007 and 2009 has just come out. A pdf copy is available. I am hoping to put out additional papers about B. minima in the future.
Posted by AYDIN ÖRSTAN at 08:00
01 April 2012
The 14th meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Malacologists took place yesterday at the Delaware Museum of Natural History (DMNH) in Wilmington, Delaware. There were about 35 attendants, one of the highest numbers in recent years.
Here are the speakers in the order they spoke and the not-more-than-two-sentence summaries of their talks.
Once again I will take this opportunity to thank to Liz Shea, the curator of mollusks at the DMNH and Leslie Skibinski, the collection manager, for organizing this wonderful meeting. I am already looking forward to next year's gathering.
Participants, with only a few missing, posing outside the DMNH after the meeting.
The bootleg transactions of the 13th MAM meeting are here
Posted by AYDIN ÖRSTAN at 10:55