01 March 2007

Bulletin of the Brookville Society of Natural History

The journal you've been dying to read is finally on the Internet! HTML versions of the articles from the only 3 issues of the Bulletin of BSNH that were published between 1885 and 1888, along with historical information about the society are available at the web page of the Geology Library of the Indiana University.

Bulletin No. 1 featured an article by Moore and Butler titled Land and fresh water mollusca observed in Franklin County, Indiana. There are some interesting records of snails and slugs, if we can trust the identifications. But note that many of the names they used have since been replaced by others; you really need to sit down with your Pilsbry to figure out what species they were referring to.

I got curious and compared some of their records with the maps in Hubricht1. I noticed that Hubricht didn't show records in Franklin County for Deroceras laeve (=Limax campestris), Strobilops labyrinthica (=Strobila labyrinthica), Carychium exiguum, Vallonia pulchella, Philomycus caroliniensis (=Tebennophorus carolinensis), Gastrocopta armifera (=Pupa armifera), G. contracta and G. corticaria that Moore and Butler recorded. However, Franklin County is within the general range of those species (according to Hubricht's maps), so it is not surprising that they had found them there. But, 2 of the other species they recorded, Triodopsis fallax and Gastrocopta rupicola, fall considerably outside of their ranges in Hubrict. The former is a more eastern species, while the latter is confined to Florida, northern coasts of the Gulf of Mexico and the coasts of the Carolinas.

On the one hand, such old reports could help determine the historical ranges of snail species, but on the other hand, the lack of voucher specimens, good drawings or descriptions make them, especially when the authors were relatively unknown in the field, unreliable.

1Hubricht, L. 1985. The distributions of the native land mollusks of eastern United States. Fieldiana #24.

1 comment:

Marc Lavaleye said...

There was even a Brooklyn Conchological Club that published only one number of their Bulletin in 1907.