HomeNewsletter > No. 12

Number 12 October, 1997


Keeping the world of malacology informed.



Our aim is to further the study of Mollusca by individuals, societies and institutions world-wide.

ISSN 1011-2375

Unitas Malacologica Newsletter

Published by Unitas Malacologica

Editor: Winston F. Ponder

Australian Museum, 6 College Street, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia.

Phone 61 2 9320 6120, Fax 61 2 9320 6050.

Email wponder@extro.ucc.su.oz.au or winstonp@amsg.austmus.gov.au


Printing and distribution E.Gittenberger

Copy for Newsletter. If possible, send by email or disk (DOS, or, less preferably, Mac format).

Newsletters available at http://ucmp.Berkeley.Edu/mologis/mollia.html

Affiliated Organisations

American Malacological Union

Asociación Malacológica Argentina

Comite para los Congresos Latinoamericanos de Malacologia

Friedrich Held Gesellschaft

King Leopold III Foundation

Malacological Society of Australasia Ltd

Malakoloski Muzej

Nederlandse Malacologische Vereniging

Naturmuseum Senckenberg

Sociedade Brasileira de Malacologia

Sociedad Malacológica de Chile

Società Italiana di Malacologia

Société Française de Malacologie

Society for Experimental and Descriptive Malacology

The Western Society of Malacologists

Contacts with several additional malacological organisations exist, but have not (yet) been formalised.


Firstly, apologies for the late issue. It was delayed from the normal mid-year date at the request of Council so that it could be sent out with the information for the Congress in Washington DC next year.

In the last issues I have asked for news and information about projects, laboratories, individuals, meetings and books in malacology around the world. My pleas have largely fallen on deaf ears - such it seems, is the lot of a newsletter editor! In addition, the Mollusca list server, a good source of information, has been unusually quiet and sometimes malfunctioning. So, if your meeting or book is not here, it is because you have not sent the information!

Newsletter 11 is now available on WWW, on http://www.ucmp.Berkeley.edu/mologis/newslet3.html after an unavoidable delay. I am assured that NL 12 will be on the web within days of your receiving it by snail mail.

This issue brings with it more information on the World Congress to be held in Washington DC next year. This is an important historical event for Unitas as it is the first Congress to be held outside Europe. This event is symbolic of the more global role that Unitas is beginning to play. Hopefully we, like many international societies, will now have some future Congresses in other parts of the world to allow greater involvement of the entire malacological community.

From The President

Dear Colleagues,

Time to get your slides ready or your poster mounted... Although it seems that we have just returned from the Vigo congress - it's been more than two years and it is time to gear up for Washington!

The organising team members have been busy over the past months, putting together the framework for a broad range of scientific symposia as well as ensuring convenient housing and interesting "social" events. Much credit goes to AMU President Robert Hershler who, as the local organiser in Washington, shoulders the housing and meeting-site preparations. We had several on-site planning meetings over the past year, including a site visit by the Unitas council. The Smithsonian-sponsored meeting facilities are excellent, housing ranges from first-rate hotels to very acceptable (and affordable) university residence halls, and Washington's public transportation system is the best in the country. The nation's capital has tremendous offerings in museums and other tourist sites - there will be plenty to do if you bring your "significant others" and families along.

The symposium organisers are likewise progressing well. As I mentioned previously, we will be doing things a little differently this time: (a) the congress is arranged along thematic, rather than taxonomic lines, and (b) the major symposium talks in the mornings will have no concurrent sessions. The three broadly construed themes should provide plenty of food for thought (and might even entice us to talk to or collaborate with somebody outside our traditional peer groups). Knowing that a major component of these congresses are personal contacts, we have planned for a number of evening events to facilitate meeting old and new friends.

The "World Congress of Malacology " label was agreed upon by the councils of the two organising societies to give the organisers a tool to combine the participating societies under a structural umbrella, to facilitate effective advertising, and to allow for efficient fundraising from various sources. More importantly, the "World Congress" also signifies our aim to reach out to as many colleagues and societies with malacological interest as possible, even if they previously were not part of the UM community. I am pleased to say that this strategy has worked. We are already seeing many responses to the upcoming congress from "new" people and societies. Of the Latin American societies alone, the Comite para los Congresos Latinoamericanos de Malacologia, the Asociación Malacológica Argentina, the Sociedade Brasileira de Malacologia, and the Sociedad Malacológica de Chile, have formally endorsed the congress and pledged their support. The three national societies also have become new affiliated UM members in the process. The latest addition to the roster is The Western Society of Malacologists (WSM). WSM decided not to have its own 1998 meeting, but to join our Washington congress instead.

This issue of the newsletter contains the full registration packet, with detailed meeting information, registration form and call for papers/abstract. Please note the different addresses and deadlines on the forms and, most of all, MAKE PLANS TO COME! I look forward to seeing you in Washington.

Rüdiger Bieler


Unitas Congress

World Congress of Malacology, July 1998, Washington, D.C., USA.

See the supplementary information provided with the Newsletter.

Unitas projects

Worldwide mollusc species database.

See Newsletter 10. Contact: Gary Rosenberg. Email rosenberg@say.acnatsci.org.

CLEMAM (Check List of European Marine Mollusca).

See Newsletter 10 for details. Available at http://www.mnhn.fr/base/malaco.html. Managed by Jacques Le Renard and Serge Gofas. Email gofas@cimrs1.mnhn.fr.

Letter to the editor

I am astounded to read in Newsletter No.11 that the venue for the Congress in 2001 has not been decided and that proposals are needed. At Vigo we were assured that it would definitely be held in Poland, following the decision (one I personally regret) to hold the 1998 meeting in Washington and not in Poland as intended earlier. If proposals are needed, explanations would also be welcome!

Leslie J. Elmslie, Via Orti Gianicolensi 5, 00152 ROMA

Bits and pieces

Award for George M. Davis

The (US) Association of Systematics Collections (ASC) announced (April 26, 1997) the recipient of its 1997 Annual Award for Service was George M. Davis, Pilsbry Chair of Malacology at The Academy of Natural Sciences. The award was given in recognition of his outstanding contribution to systematics collections, research, and to the community.

The Decline of Malacology in Australasia and Southern Africa

The Auckland Museum (New Zealand)

The following announcement (slightly modified) was made on Mollusca on the 8th of July.

It was announced on July 3 that the Auckland Museum proposed closing down its long-established marine departments (formerly Malacology Dept) and palaeontology, and would no longer be involved in these areas.

The Museum, which is largely funded by a levy on the ratepayers of the Auckland region, has recently developed a deficit in its budget (although the levy itself has generally kept pace with inflation in recent years). The Museum-funded budget for these departments in the 1996-7 year was less than it was 5 years ago. Administration and related areas of the Museum have grown substantially in the last 5 years (and have not been cut).

In the NZ Herald July 4th (p.A7) the acting Chairman of the Museum's trust board, Prof Richard Bellamy (not the famous English botanist) of Auckland University, said "other collections in the museum ranked higher and the management was forced to cull the departments". In a press release Prof Bellamy stated "To be effective, the museum can no longer afford to support its many small departments. It needs to focus on its strengths - its major collections - and on those other activities which best serve the public and provide for the protection of our cultural and scientific heritage. If it is to succeed as a modern museum - that is, provide the kind of services that the public and mainstream educational establishment, particularly schools, have increasingly come to expect - there is a need to rationalise the museum's activities and how they are funded."

The Museum's Marine Departments care for major biological, especially mollusc, collections stretching back over 100 years. They grew substantially under the 50 years of custodianship by Dr A. W .B. Powell (1920s - 1970s), who established one of the largest and most comprehensive mollusc collections in the southern hemisphere. They comprise approx 150 000 lots, including the largest collection of mollusc types (c.1600 holotypes) in New Zealand and possibly the most comprehensive collection anywhere of land snails from the SW Pacific Islands and New Zealand. Also included are approximately 20 000 New Zealand fossil mollusc lots including several hundred types.

The Museum's marine research is to be stopped in mid-stream. It includes a study of the biota of the Waitemata Harbour (see first paper in latest Journal of Royal Society NZ 27(1): 1-20), ongoing studies of the subtidal benthos of many northern harbours, taxonomic studies of NZ small land snails, the documentation of the taxonomy and ecology of crustaceans and polychaetes of northern NZ and the palaeoecology of rich Miocene fossil faunas around Auckland.

Made redundant are two Museum-funded curators, a central Govt-funded research scientist, one full-time and six part-time technicians and research assistants (all grant-funded), as well as four honorary research associates and six volunteers. Over 50% of the salary funding for this group (for everyone except the two curators) was already guaranteed for the forthcoming 1997-8 year from outside grants.

The decision to close down half of the natural history functional areas in the museum is said to be a "proposal at this stage" but has already been passed in principle by the Trust Board. The proposal will go before the Trust Board again for a final decision or rubber stamp at its next meeting on July 16th.

The well-established Conchology Section of the Auckland Museum is likely to be disenfranchised by these moves which are likely to result in the mollusc collection being offered to museums elsewhere.

Posted by Bruce Hayward and Brett Stephenson, (ex) Marine Curators, Auckland Museum

The above announcement was followed by this posting on the 21st of July from Bruce Hayward and Brett Stephenson.

The Auckland Museum Trust Board received well over 100 letters and faxes of support for the Marine functions and collections in their care. These letters came from individuals and organisations from around New Zealand and the world. A public meeting attracted 177 supporters last week and sent four strongly worded submissions asking for the Trust Board to reverse the decision. Several petitions containing over 700 signatures were also resented to the Trust Board by a delegation, supported by 40 enthusiasts on Wednesday. The media has been highly supportive with items in the NZ Herald and local newspapers almost every day, with an editorial and many letters of support. The exposure and support has been overwhelming and the Marine Team thanks you all very much.

The Trust Board and management faced with this level of public feeling decided that the marine collections (including fossils) are very valuable to Auckland and the Museum and have stated that they will keep them and look after them. For that purpose they have reversed their decision to make several grant and part-museum funded technicians redundant. The collections will remain as they are, under the care of a new smaller Natural History section with one (part Lottery, part Museum-funded) technician largely looking after them (on a contract that expires in 12 months). The half-time geology technician will now be funded entirely by the Museum (also on a contract that expires in 12 months) largely to continue work on display development. A further part-time Lottery-funded technician will work out her contract. It appears that all volunteers and research associates will be invited to stay on if they so wish and help with the care of the collection and continue their research on it.

The Museum Trust Board has determined to confirm 17 full-time and 11part-time redundancies however to save $700 000 p.a. These redundancies include the two curatorial positions in the Marine Departments (Brett Stephenson & Bruce Hayward) and the Govt-funded (FRST) research scientist (Hugh Grenfell). The Board has agreed to negotiate with Bruce towards transferring the FRST-funded contract from the Museum to him.

Thus it appears that the marine collections have been saved and the opportunity left open for reinstating marine curators or departments in the future. Hopefully access to the collections by outside researchers can be maintained in the meantime - but these are early days in the new regime....

This event generated considerable attention in New Zealand with quite a lot of TV commentary and marches in the street led by, among others, likes of Prof. John E. Morton and Prof. Jack Grant-Mackie. As these pleas were posted on Mollusca, I trust that many Unitas members took the time to respond. This could happen to you one day! (Ed.)

Changes in Australia and the loss of mollusc workers

Fred Wells has left the Western Australian Museum to become a consultant and C. C. Lu has taken early retirement from the Museum of Victoria and now lives in Taiwan. Neither scientist is being replaced by their institutions.

 Threat to South African Malacology. The Natal Museum

This is part of a message posted on Mollusca in June.

The survival of the Natal Museum as a research organisation is under serious threat, and the support of overseas colleagues is desperately needed.

For several decades the Natal Museum has played a small but significant role in the study of world molluscan faunas. Many researchers around the world have made use of our collection, as it contains the most representative and extensive samples of southern African and Mozambican molluscs in existence, and is particularly rich in material dredged on the continental shelf and upper slope. It is worldwide in scope and is by far the largest mollusc collection on both the African continent and the entire Indian Ocean rim (our molluscan type collection alone contains 2 633 lots).

Apart from providing loans to other workers and acting as the national centre of malacological expertise, over the past 30 years the Department of Mollusca has published 91 taxonomic papers and one book (Kilburn & Rippey 1982). Current projects include a guide to the non-marine molluscs of eastern South Africa, which will be followed by an identification manual on marine molluscs. A detailed, annotated catalogue of the S.A. marine molluscan fauna is also currently under preparation. At a global level we appear to be among the relatively few surviving institutes still actively undertaking taxonomic research on their molluscan faunas.

The Natal Museum has until now been funded as a national (state) museum. Political restructuring of South African museums has decreed that only two museums will remain nationally funded, leaving the entire eastern part of the country without a national museum. It is planned to devolve the Natal Museum to the KwaZulu-Natal provincial authorities, where it will fall under the Department of Education and Culture. All personnel involved in drafting this plan have exclusive Arts and Culture backgrounds (see the journal "Nature" vol. 377 p. 5, Sept.1995), and have no understanding of the research carried out by museum natural scientists or its significance, and show no interest in its perpetuation. In fact this action displays total disregard for the aims of our Biodiversity Green Paper of 1996 (now at the White Paper stage), which officially expresses concern at the existing threats to taxonomic collections in South Africa. Thus, no inquiry as to the nature or significance of the Natal Museum collections has been made prior to the decision and we have never been allowed to participate in the policy-formulation process.

Since the portfolio of Science & Technology, and currently developing biodiversity initiatives are to be retained as national responsibilities, reducing the Natal Museum to a provincial level will isolate its scientists from their spheres of relevance to these. Worse still, within provincial structures there is no provision for, nor obligation towards, scientific collections or research, and there is no certainty whatsoever that these will continue to be funded.

Ironically, Drinkrow et al. 1994 (Sth. Afr. J. Science 90: 477) showed that per-capita output of scientific papers by Natal Museum zoologists EQUALS that of one of the two institutes destined to remain national, and EXCEEDS that of the other!

Dick Kilburn & Dai Herbert, Natal Museum, P/Bag 9070, Pietermaritzburg 3200, SOUTH AFRICA. Phone 0331 451404/5, Fax 0331 450561, Email Dherbert@nmsa.org.za; dkilburn@nmsa.org.za.


Minutes before this newsletter was sent to press, Dick Kilburn sent me the following message.

We essentially have no definite news about our fate, which is why we have not sent out a "state-of-play" bulletin. But here is the position.

The volume of response from institutes and colleagues around the world had a most salutary effect, and certainly took the South African officials concerned by surprise. As a consequence, the case of the Natal Museum is still receiving consideration. The latest news is that a team of scientists (one natural scientist, two human scientists!) has been appointed to visit the Museum in mid-November to assess our role and potential under national as opposed to provincial control. We will send out a bulletin as soon as there is finality.

There can be no doubt that without the reaction of our international colleagues our fate would have been sealed long ago. Dick Kilburn and Dai Herbert would like to express their appreciation and gratitude for the support and kind words of all those who sent faxes, letters and e-mail messages to our government.

Other (happier) news from Museums

Molluscan Section, National Museums and Galleries of Wales, Cardiff.

This last six months has seen many changes. Graham Oliver is now Head of a new department of Biodiversity and Systematic Biology (which includes botanical and zoological collections). He maintains his research interests in marine bivalves, and expects to be back in the Indian Ocean next year. Mary Seddon takes over the Mollusca section management, with Alison Trew continuing as collection manager. Eva Sharland has been appointed as an assistant, mainly working on the East African pulmonate collections, which had been added to significantly through the award of the Darwin Inititaive Grant last year. Eva has worked on the Melvill-Tomlin collection before preparing (the still unpublished) catalogue of Clausiliidae. The Darwin project has generated two visits to Kenya (Northern Kenya and Kakamega) and one visit to Tanzania (Udzungwa Scarp and Ulugurus) in the last eight months. Work is currently ongoing in collaboration with the National Museums of Kenya and the National Museums of Tanzania. We expect the two Musuem assistants Charles Lange ( Kenya) and Christine Meena ( Tanzania) to arrive in the UK this month, for a period of professional development in taxonomy and collection management skills. Work will continue on databasing the East African material in the Melvill-Tomlin collection. Provisional databases are also available for the Helicidae and Oleacinidae.

Alison Trew has now transferred all the type, figured cited material (recognised to date) onto a single database, which we hope to make available on-line by the end of the year. She is also continuing her work on bio-bibliographic Indexes, and has embarked on another new names project - the Sowerbys'!! She is also busy with freshwater surveys of Margaritifera. Ian Killeen continues his association with us, working on both marine and freshwater projects. Peter Tattersfield has spent a good part of last year with Mary on the Darwin Initiative project.

Mary Seddon, Curator, Biodiversity & Systematic Biology , National Museum & Galleries of Wales, Cathays Park, Cardiff UK.

Phone 44-1222-573343, Fax 44-1222-239009, Email Mary.Seddon@nmgw.ac.uk

The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum

Founded in 1991 by R. Tucker Abbott, the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum officially opened on November 18, 1995. It is the only museum in the United States devoted solely to the natural history of shells and molluscs. It has a large exhibit hall and a scientific collection of 150,000 to 200,000 specimens and a comprehensive library of 3,000+ titles, plus most modern malacological journals, and an extensive reprint collection. The Museum is collaborating with local and national organisations and offers facilities for visiting researchers and students. The R. Tucker Abbott Visiting Curatorship was created to annually sponsor a visiting scientist to help us curate and organize the collection. A private donation that will enable us to join the Smithsonian Institution next summer in a series of submersible dives to retrieve rare deep-water shells in sinkholes off the coast of Southwest Florida. Further information can be obtained from the Director, Dr José H. Leal, P.O. Box 1580 Sanibel, FL 33957, USA Phone (941) 395-2233, Fax (941) 395-6706, Email leal@water.net

José H. Leal


Unitas Congress

See information provided with this newsletter.

The other 99% - The Conservation and Biodiversity of Invertebrates. Australian Museum, Sydney, 9-12 Dec., 1997. For further information contact Dr. W.F. Ponder (see contact details on first and last page).

Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (formerly the American Society of Zoologists), Boston, Jan. 3-7, 1998. See NL 11 for details. For further information on the meeting, contact the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, 401 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611-4267, U.S.A. Phone 800 955 1236, Fax 312 245 1085, Email sicb@sba.com.

Alan Kohn (President).

Southern California Unified Malacologists (Scum), January 10, 1998, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. SCUM is an informal association of professional, amateur, and student malacologists in southern California, active or interested in molluscan research. There are no dues, officers, or publications. SCUM is patterned after the Bay Area Malacologists (BAM), which has been hosted by malacologists at different institutions each year. The first meeting of SCUM was hosted by George L. Kennedy at San Diego State University 11 January 1997 and attended by 21 people. All persons interested in Recent and/or fossil mollusks are invited to attend.

James H. McLean. Phone (213) 763-3377, Fax (213) 746-2999, Email jmclean@nhm.org and Lindsey T. Groves, Phone (213) 763-3376 or (213) 744-3369, Fax (213)746-2999, Email lgroves@nhm.org

Molluscs And Molecules, Malacological Society of London. The Natural History Museum, London, on 7 January 1998. The applications of new molecular technology to diverse aspects of molluscan biology. Enquiries to David Reid, The Natural History Museum, London SW7 5BD. Phone 44 (0)171.938.8750, Fax 44 (0)171 938 8754, Email dgr@nhm.ac.uk

Fifth International Congress on Medical and Applied Malacology, Chiangmai, Thailand, 27-30 Dec., 1998. Contact Prof. Dr Suchart Upatham, or Prof. Dr Maleeya Kruatrachue, Dept of Biology, Mahidol University, Rama 6 Road, Bangkok 10400, Thailand Phone & Fax (662) 2477058, Email scsut@mahidol.ac.th

The 1999 American Malacological Union meeing Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. at the Sheraton Station Square, 4-8 July 1999. The meeting will feature a symposium being organised by Bud Rollins and Ellis Yochelson (University of Pittsburgh and Smithsonian Institution) entitled "New Looks at Old Mollusks: Recent Perspectives on Molluscan Evolution". In addition to contributed papers, there will be special sessions on shell microstructure and biomineralization (organized by Joe Carter, University of North Carolina), molluscan genetics (organized by Laura Adamkiewicz, George Mason University), and women in malacology (organized by Louise Kraemer, University of Arkansas). Rich Lutz (Rutgers University) will present the keynote address on "Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vents: Exciting New Discoveries". Contact: Robert S. Prezant, President-elect, American Malacological Union. Email rprezant@grove.iup.edu

Molluscs 2000. Malacological Society of Australasia, December, 2000, Sydney, NSW, Australia. Details to be announced next year.

Reports on meetings

International Congress on Palaearctic Mollusca

This meeting was held from September 1-4 in Munich, Germany, with an excursion program of two additional days. The congress was organised on behalf of U.M., under the auspices of the Friedrich-Held-Gesellschaft and the Deutsche Malakozoologische Gesellschaft. The congress venue was in the Bavarian State Collection for Palaeontology and Historical Geology, situated conveniently in the centre of Munich. In total, 123 participants had registered, 84 of which, representing 19 countries, were really attending the congress. For unclear reasons, the participants did not form a random sample of malacologists interested in Palaearctic Mollusca. Some countries were not well or not at all represented. Nevertheless, the meeting was considered a very successful and inspiring one by everybody present. The good opportunities for personal contacts and the fact that there were only two parallel sessions at most, clearly contributed to these positive feelings. A broad range of topics related to Palaearctic molluscs was discussed, giving a good impression of the main areas of actual interest. The organisation in general and during the congress made this a professional congress indeed, worth the link with U.M. The sessions were well chaired, the poster session was enhanced by explanations by the authors, and there was an interesting social program and very successful excursion. A problem with the third circular, which did not reach everybody in time, proved to be incidental only. There was general agreement during the closing session that high standard international congresses of this kind, with a restricted theme, organised under a U.M. umbrella by a local malacological society, may fill a gap, in Europe and probably elsewhere as well. I would like to thank here all those who made this congress possible and a success, in particular the omni-present Falkners.

Edmund Gittenberger

63rd Annual Meeting of the American Malacological Union, 1997 and 30th Annual Meeting of the Western Society of Malacologists

Held jointly in Santa Barbara, California, from 21-27 June 1997, at the Radisson Hotel. Over 200 malacologists attended from 14 countries, including 10 participants from Russia.

Symposia included - molluscan fauna of the deep sea, convened by M. G. Harasewych with 16 papers and two posters, and phylogenetic systematics, convened by Gary Rosenberg with 17 papers on methodologies and newly developed cladograms on particular groups. A session on the cephalopods of the North Pacific was organised by F. G. Hochberg had 21 papers and 12 posters. Contributed paper sessions featured many additional papers on taxonomy and evolution and on biology and ecology.

The AMU President for 1997-1998 is Robert Hershler of the National Museum of Natural History; the 1998 meeting will be held in Washington, D.C., 25-31 July, together with Unitas (see information provided with this newsletter). The President-Elect is Robert S. Prezant, of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, who will hold the 1999 AMU (see under Meetings). The newly elected Vice-President is Terrence Gosliner of the California Academy of Sciences, who is considering a meeting in San Francisco in 2000.

The Council of the American Malacological Union adopted changes in the organisation's purposes to include the promotion of the field of malacology and the conservation of molluscs and their habitats, and it adopted a comprehensive conservation policy for the first time. The Council also decided to begin a program of research grants for students.

Gene Coan (AMU President, 1996-1997)

 The Third Latin-American Malacological Congress

Held in October 13-17 in Ensenada, Mexico, The III CLAMA covered a wide range of topics, including aquaculture, systematics, palaeoecology, reproduction and development, fisheries, pathology, community ecology, genetics, and several other interdisciplinary subjects. The abstracts book lists 182 presentations and posters. Almost all Latin-American countries were represented, as well as Spain, Portugal, and Australia. Hans Bertsch, Mel Carriker, Roberto Cipriani, Gene Coan, and myself represented institutions from the USA. During the closing ceremonies, new officers were appointed for the Committee for Latin-American Malacological Congresses (COCLAM). COCLAM is now headed by Dr. Pablo Penchaszadeh (Venezuela, President) and Dr. Toshie Kawano (Brazil, Vice-President). In order to further communication between Latin-American malacologists and those from other countries, COCLAM officers urged the audience to participate in the Unitas Malacologica/AMU joint meeting next July in Washington, DC. Roberto Cipriani (University of Chicago) was appointed liaison between COCLAM and the organising committee for the upcoming Unitas/AMU meeting, which will be the first Unitas meeting to be held outside Europe. The next Latin-American meeting will take place in Coquimbo, Chile, in 1999.

Jose H. Leal



Unitas Publications available for purchase


1st Congress, London (fl. 55,00); 2nd Congress, Copenhagen (fl. 28,00); 3rd Congress, Vienna (fl. 65,00); 4th Congress, Geneva (fl. 145,00); 5th Congress, Milan (fl. 90,00); 6th Congress, Amsterdam (out of print); 7th Congress, Perpignan (fl. 165,00); 8th Congress, Budapest (fl. 65,00); 9th Congress, Edinburgh (fl. 120,00); 10th Congress, Tubingen (fl. 136,00).

Symposium Volumes

Second International Symposium on Evolution and Adaptive Radiation of Mollusca, Perpignan, 1980. fl. 110,00

World-Wide Snails. Symposium Volume, 1984. fl. 85,00

Biodiversity and Conservation of the Mollusca, 1995. fl. 68,00

Ordering address: Backhuys Publishers, P.O.Box 321, 2300 AH Leiden, the Netherlands. Phone 31-71-5170208, Fax 31-71-5171856, Email: backhuys@euronet.nl

 Another symposium volume, Prosobranch Phylogeny (Malacological Review Supplement 4), 1988 is available from Malacological Review, PO Box 3037, Ann Arbor, MI 48106, USA.

Just published, the Journal of Molluscan Studies, 63 (3) (August 1997) includes several papers from the session on molluscan phylogeny held as part of the 12th International Malacological Congress in Vigo, Spain.

Other Books

Crosnier, A. & P. Bouchet (eds), 1997. Campagne Franco-Indonesienne KARUBAR. Résultats des Campagnes MUSORSTOM, Volume 16. Mémoires du Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, 172: 1-668. ISBN 2-85653-506-2 Price: 600 French Francs (ca. 100 US$). Distributed by: UBS, P.O. Box 321, 2300 AH Leiden, the Netherlands. Fax: (31) 71 517 1856. E-mail: backhuys@euronet.nl

Ever since the explorations of the Danish Expedition to the Kei Islands, led by Th. Mortensen in 1922, the eastern seas of Indonesia have been renowned as a hotspot of marine biodiversity. In 1991, the French-Indonesian KARUBAR cruise took place on board R.V. "Baruna Jaya I" in the Banda and Arafura Seas, off the Kai and Tanimbar Islands. The expedition collected a rich material of deep-sea benthos between 200 and 1200 m. The volume contains a narrative of the cruise and 13 papers on various groups of marine invertebrates, with emphasis on faunas from Eastern Indonesia: Scleractinia (1 paper), Mollusca (5 papers), Crustacea Decapoda (6 papers) and Crinoidea (1 paper). Altogether the contributions report new data on over 400 species of invertebrates, of which 97 species and 11 genera are described as new. Because of the key biogeographical position of Indonesia, the results bear relevance to a vast region in the tropical Indian and Pacific Oceans.

Papers on Mollusca include:- Dijkstra & Kastoro: Pectinoidea (Propeamussiidae and Pectinidae) from eastern Indonesia. (pp. 245-286); Houart: The Muricidae collected during the Karubar Cruise in eastern Indonesia. (pp. 287-294); Verhecken: Arafura Sea Cancellariidae collected during the Karubar Cruise. (pp. 295-324); Sysoev: New deep-water turrid gastropods (Conoidea) from eastern Indonesia. (pp. 325-356); Norman, Hochberg & Lu: Mid-depth octopuses (200-1000 m) of the Banda and Arafura Seas (Octopodidae and Alloposidae). (pp. 357-384).

All mollusc papers are in English. Separate articles are also obtainable from the distributor.

Harbeck, K., 1996. Die Evolution der Archaeopulmonata. Zoologische Verhandelingen, Leiden. 305, 133 pp, 33 plates comprising 512 figures of shells, microsculpture and radulae. Price Hfl. 66,50 (net price) at Backhuys Pbls., P.O. Box 321, NL 2300 AH, Leiden, NL. Contains a variety of data on morphology and ontogeny (larval shells) of Archaeopulmonata, both fossil and Recent (In German).

The non-marine molluscs of Albania. 1996. Various authors. Schriften sur Malakzoologie, Heft 9, 224 pp. Price DM 50, from Haus der Natur, Baederstrasse 26, D 23743 CSMAR, Germany. Contains the first published list of the 292 known Albanian non-marine molluscs, with distribution maps, 221 figures of shells, and a bibliography.

At the printers: Mollusca: The Southern Synthesis. Fauna of Australia Vol. 5

Australian Biological Resources Study

Publication date Jan. 1998, 1250 pp approx, colour illust, hardback: 0 643 06034 0 NYP (bound in two volumes: A and B, not sold separately).

This is undoubtedly the most, comprehensive and authoritative treatment ever of Australia's marine, freshwater and terrestrial molluscs, and one of the most comprehensive works on molluscs yet published. It has contributions from 70 authors, based on over 7000 papers in the primary literature. It is a key reference for: malacologists world-wide, many of the families described for Australia having global distributions. It is or particular interest to those interested in Indo-Pacific molluscan faunas or in southern temperate faunas and Gondwanan linkages, and in the diversity of non-marine mollusc faunas.

It reviews in detail taxa at all levels to family, with accounts for the 423 molluscan families presently recognised in the region. At each level details are presented on morphology and physiology, natural history, biogeography and phylogeny, history of discovery, and economic significance. The overview of the fossil record is complemented by summaries for each family. The comprehensive glossary will assist readers less familiar with special molluscan and other terms used in the volume, ranging from preferred reproductive terms to definitions for geological periods in different regions. The 30 000 entries in the index will ensure ready access to information in the text and figures.

The book is illustrated profusely with 200 colour and 500 black and white photographs plus over 2500 especially commissioned line drawings by 15 artists.

The prepublication offer has still not been issued by CSIRO, although we were informed at one stage that it would be a 25% discount off the RRP of $Aus230.00 (this level of discount should still apply after publication if one buys any two ABRS publications). It can be ordered from CSIRO Publishers, PO Box 1139, Collingwood VIC 3066.

Contact Ted Hamilton, Sales Manager, Academic and Reference, CSIRO Publishing, P O Box 1139 Collingwood Vic. 3066, Australia. Phone 61 3 9662 7640; Fax 61 3 9662 7555

e-mail ted.hamilton@publish.csiro.au


Claus Hedegaard (1997), Ph.D. thesis "Molluscs - Phylogeny and Biomineralisation", Dept. of Biology, University of Aarhus. This thesis consists of an introduction and eight manuscripts (published and unpublished; with and without coauthors). It deals with collecting data on, and interpreting, biomineralisation - the formation of hard tissues (i.e., shells), in a phylogenetic context. It introduces x-ray diffraction pole figure analysis as a tool to investigate shell structures. The introduction presents a brief historic overview of phylogeny, and discusses modern analyses as steps on the way to understand evolutionary patterns, but not a final goal. The individual papers contain 1) a phylogenetic analysis of the Neritopsina; 2) an interpretation of the evolution vetigastropod shell structures; 3) heterochrony of shell structures in Marginellidae; 4) a cladistic analysis of the distribution of nacre and crossed lamellar structures, and an examination of their properties; 5) an x-ray texture analysis of shell structures (nacre and crossed lamellar); 6) the identification of a Triassic limpet as a patellogastropod by means of shell structure synapomorphies; 7) the earliest record of the wood eating patellogastropod clade Pectinodonta with a discussion of Pectinodonta dispersal and description of a new species; 8) investigations of the preferred crystallographic orientations of the aragonitic shell structures of Cypraea testudinaria .

Claus Hedegaard, Institute of Bioloy, Dep. of Population Biology, University of Aarhus, Ny Munkegade, Bldg. 550, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark. Phone 45 89 42 33 31, Fax 45 86 12 71 91, Email claus@pop.bio.aau.dk


Molluscan mailing lists

Mollusca mailing list. The first molluscan mailing list and is indexed and fully searchable. To subscribe - email to listproc@ucmp1.berkeley.edu and send the following message:- subscribe mollusca <your full name>.

To post items email messages to:-


Maintained by Rob Guralnick, robg@ucmp1.Berkeley.Edu.

The Mollusca archives and Mollia are available at http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/mologis/mollia.html.

The Cephalopod Page Listserver is now up and running. This listserver is not restricted to scientists so anyone may join. The list will be moderated by Erika Chen, the operational moderator. Most members will be aquarists although some divers, students and scientists have already expressed an interest. To subscribe send a message with "subscribe ceph-list" in the body (and nothing else, i.e. no .sig files, etc) to mailserv@ac.dal.ca.

More detailed information about the list is at http://is.dal.ca/~ceph/tcplist.html

James B. Wood, Department of Biology, Dalhousie Univestity, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3H 4J1 Phone (902) 494-6697, Email ceph@is.dal.ca.

The Ceph. Page http://is.dal.ca/~ceph/wood.html

See NL 10 for additional mailing lists.


Mollusc WWW sites

MOLLIA. When first conceived over two years ago it was hoped that the web site MOLLIA would serve as a central point for logistic information about malacology available on the internet. However, with the ever increasing proliferation of sites and the simplicity with which they can now be created, it is obvious that such centralisation is neither possible nor desirable. Other events including the availability of powerful web search engines and changes to both the software and hardware on the platform that hosts MOLLIA have led to our reexamination of the role of MOLLIA.

After consultation with Museum system administrators and several colleagues we have decided to reduce the content and scope of the site. MOLLIA will continue to serve as the web site for the listsever MOLLUSCA as well as provide access to UNITAS Newsletters, and the Instructions to Authors pages for many malacological journals. Information and links to meetings, collections, and other malacological sites are being discontinued. Malacological societies and institutions are best able to handle meeting and collection information, as that is where the primary information and responsibility resides. And while maintaining links to other malacological information sources is highly desirable and beneficial to the community, it has proven too difficult and time consuming to maintain in a reliable manner.

We appreciate the assistance and support we have received during our experiment and look forward to a more reasonable and reliable role for MOLLIA in the future. MOLLIA is now located at: http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/mologis/mollia.html.

D. R. Lindberg

Email davidl@ucmp1.berkeley.edu

The Malacological Society of Australasia has changed the address of its website. The site has been extensively upgraded. If you have links to the old address could you please update them, or if you know of such links, could you please alert the relevant web managers to the change. The new address is: http://www.austmus.gov.au/htm/mal/malsoc/malsoc1.htm

Bill Rudman, Email billr@amsg.austmus.gov.au

Deepsea Newsgroup: New email and web page http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/8431/deepsea.html

Dr. Andrew G. McArthur,

Email mcarthur@onyx.si.edu

'EQMal' - European Quaternary Malacologists, has a new address at the Netherlands Institute of Applied Geoscience TNO (National Geological

Survey). The new URL is: http://www.nitg.tno.nl/eqmal/eqmal.html

Tom Meijer, Phone 31 (0)23 530.03.51; Fax 31 (0)23 540.17.54, Email: T.Meijer@nitg.tno.nl

For Haliotis buffs. two new web sites:- http://nhm.org/~dgeiger contains photographs of some molluscs, some unpublished radula pictures of abalone (Vetigastropoda: Haliotidae), plus some colour pictures of abalone shells including the neotype of Haliotis unilateralis Lamarck, 1822. Daniel L. Geiger, Department of Biological Sciences, Allan Hancock Foundation 233, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089-037, USA. Email dgeiger@scf.usc.edu

A bibliography on the biology of abalones is at http://www.dada.net/naturama/malafile.html. Updating welcomed. Riccardo Giannuzzi-Savelli, Naturama, C.P. 28 (Succ. 26), 90146 Palermo, Italy, Email naturama@mbox.vol.it; propal@mbox.vol.it, www http://www.dada.net/naturama

American Malacological Union (AMU) now has a web site, maintained by Deborah Wills. At http://erato.acnatsci.org/amu/

Southeast Asian molluscs, mainly live landsnails available. http://handel.pacific.net.sg/~chansy/. Chan Sow-Yan, Email chansy@pacific.net.sg

The Malacological Society of London, http://www.sunderland.ac.uk/~es0mda/msl1.htm. Mark Davies, Ecology Centre, University of Sunderland, Sunderland, SR1 3SD, UK. Email mark.davies@sunderland.ac.uk

Okinawa Slug Site. http://www.imicom.or.jp/~bolland/. Robert F. Bolland, University of Maryland/ASIA, PSC 80, Box 14149, APO AP 96367. Email bollandr@emh.kadena.af.mil

IUCN 1996 Red List searchable database at http://www.wcmc.org.uk/species/data/

Land snail page. http://www.geocities.com/Paris/LeftBank/6559 or www.ozemail.com.au/~varman. Dr Robert Victor Johannes Varman, Email varman@ozemail.com.au

The Liguus Home Page. http://pw1.netcom.com/~ejpower/lighompage.html. Emilio Jorge Power

Hawaiian Cowries http://www.oaktree.net/makuabob/. Includes 3D images and references and an index of Kay's Hawaiian Marine Shells. Bob Dayle, Email makuabob@hotmail.co

See NL 9-11 for additional WWW sites.



Current annual subscription to Unitas Malacologica is Swiss francs 25. Account no.: 10-941,085.0, Swiss Bank Corporation, CH-4002 Basel.

Visa, Eurocard and Mastercard are accepted as are all other kinds of payment mentioned in previous newsletters: international postal money order, payment by eurocheque or personal cheque, by bank draft or even by sending cash. Only in this latter case is a receipt sent unless requested.

Application for membership can be made by writing to (or faxing) the Secretary (Prof. E. Gittenberger) or the Treasurer, Dr J. Van Goethem (address above).


Is your address incorrect?

If your address label is incorrect, do not tell the editor but please inform the Treasurer.


Council of Unitas Malacologica


Dr Rüdiger Bieler, Centre for Evolutionary and Environmental Biology, Field Museum of Natural History, Roosevelt Road at Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605, USA. Phone 312 922 9410 (extn 270), Fax 312 663 5397, Email bieler@fmnh.org


Prof. Edmund Gittenberger. Nationaal Natuurhistorisch Museum, Postbus 9517, NL-2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands. Phone 31 71 5162614, Fax 31 71 5133344, Email E.Gittenberger@ThuisNet.LeidenUniv.NL or Gittenberger@NNM.NL


Dr. Jackie Van Goethem. Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Vautierstraat 29, B-1000 Brussels, Belgium. Phone 32 2 627 4343, Fax 32 2 646 4433, Email vangoethemj@kbinirsnb.be

Retired President

Dr. Angel Guerra. CSIC Inst. de Investigaciones Marinas, Eduardo Cabello 6, E-36 208 Vigo, Spain. Phone 34 86 292758, Fax 34 86 292762, Email brc1@iim.csic.es

Members of Council

Prof. Klaus Bandel. Geologisch-Palaontologisches Institut und Museum, Bundesstrasse 55, D-20146 Hamburg, Germany. Phone 49 40 4123 5080, Fax 49 40 4123 5007, Email Bandel@geowiss.uni-hamburg.de

Dr Yuri Kantor. A.N. Severtzov Institute of Animal Evolutionary Morphology and Ecology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Lenin Ave. 33, Moscow 117071, Russia. Phone 7 95 124 7950, Fax 7 95 954 5534, Email kantor@malaco-sevin.msk.ru.

Dr. Beata M. Pokryszko. Museum of Natural History, Wroclaw University, Sienkiewicza 21, PL-50-335 Wroclaw, Poland. Fax 48 71 22 28 17.

Dr. Winston F.Ponder. Australian Museum, 6 College Str., Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia. Phone 61 2 9320 6120, Fax 61 2 9320 6050, Email wponder@extro.ucc.su.oz.au or winstonp@amsg.austmus.gov.au.

Dr John D. Taylor. Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, UK. Phone 44 171 938 9359, Fax 44 171 938 8754, Email j.taylor@nhm.ac.uk.