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The Mollusks

A Guide to Their Study,


Collection, and Preservation

Edited by
Charles F. Sturm
Timothy A. Pearce
Ángel Valdés

A Publication of the American Malacological Society


Los Angeles and Pittsburgh

Universal Publishers
Boca Raton, Florida
USA • 2006
The Mollusks: A Guide to Their Study, Collection, and Preservation

Copyright 2006 American Malacological Society

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or
transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or other-
wise without the prior permission of the copyright owner.

Acknowledgment of permission to use copyrighted material:


Carl Zeiss, Germany: Figure 7.1
Eastman Kodak Company: Figure 7.4
A. & C. Black, London: Figure 19.2
Daniel Geiger: Figures 20.1 and 20.3
Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History: Figures 27.1-27.9

Acknowledgment of permission to use non-copyrighted material:


David Mulliner: Figure 3.1
Illinois Natural History Survey: Figure 25.1
The Festivus, San Diego Shell Club: Figure 24.4

This volume should be cited as follows:


Sturm, C. F., T. A. Pearce, and A. Valdés. 2006. The Mollusks: A Guide to Their Study, Collection, and
Preservation. American Malacological Society, Pittsburgh, PA, U.S.A. Pp. xii + 445.

Chapters should be cited as based on the following example:


Sturm, C. F., T. A. Pearce, and A. Valdés. 2006. Chapter 1. The Mollusks: Introductory Comments. In:
C. F. Sturm, T. A. Pearce, and A. Valdés, eds., The Mollusks: A Guide to Their Study, Collection, and
Preservation. American Malacological Society, Pittsburgh, PA., U.S.A. Pp. 1-7.

Universal Publishers
Boca Raton, Florida
USA • 2006
ISBN: 1-58112-930-0 (paperback)
ISBN: 1-58112-931-9 (ebook)

Universal-Publishers.com

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

The mollusks : a guide to their study, collection, and preservation / edited by Charles F. Sturm, Timothy
A. Pearce, Ángel Valdés.
p. cm.
ISBN 1-58112-930-0 (pbk. : alk. paper) -- ISBN 1-58112-931-9 (ebook)
1. Mollusks--Collection and preservation. 2. Mollusks--Study and teaching. I. Sturm, Charles, F. 1953-
II. Pearce, Timothy A., 1954- III. Valdés, Ángel.
QL406.5.M65 2006
594.075--dc22
2006016238
Preface
This volume promotes the educational mission of the American Malacological Society. The editors
and contributors have brought together a broad range of topics within the field of malacology. It is our
expectation that these topics will be of interest and use to amateur and professional malacologists.

The chapters in this publication have been peer-reviewed. Each chapter was reviewed by at least one
of the editors and by a minimum of two outside reviewers, including at least one amateur and one
professional malacologist. Chapters were then revised by authors and again reviewed by the editors,
and occasionally, when warranted, by another outside reviewer. Then authors made a second round of
changes and editors conducted a final review. While this review process has eliminated some errors and
inconsistencies, some may remain.

If anyone does uncover any error or inconsistency in formatting, grammar, or style, the editors would
appreciate it being brought to their attention. Constructive suggestions for improving this volume are
welcome. Comments can be sent to the editors at <doc.fossil@gmail.com>. Website addresses, cited in
this book, were active as of December 2005.

C. F. Sturm
T. A. Pearce
A. Valdés

vii
Table of Contents
Frontispiece .............................................................................................................................................ii
Preface...................................................................................................................................................vii
Table of Contents ................................................................................................................................... ix
1 The Mollusks: Introductory Comments ............................................................................................ 1
2 Field and Laboratory Methods in Malacology .................................................................................. 9
3 Remote Bottom Collecting .............................................................................................................. 33
4 Snorkeling and SCUBA Diving ...................................................................................................... 41
5 Archival and Curatorial Methods .................................................................................................... 45
6 Digital Imaging: Flatbed Scanners and Digital Cameras ................................................................ 59
7 Applied Film Photography in Systematic Malacology ................................................................... 73
8 Computerizing Shell Collections .................................................................................................. 101
9 The Molluscan Literature: Geographic and Taxonomic Works .................................................... 111
10 Taxonomy and Taxonomic Writing: A Primer............................................................................... 147
11 Cladistics and Molecular Techniques: A Primer ........................................................................... 161
12 Organizations, Meetings, and Malacology .................................................................................... 173
13 Museums and Malacology ............................................................................................................ 181
14 Donating Amateur Collections to Museums ................................................................................. 189
15 Fossil Mollusks ............................................................................................................................. 197
16 Aplacophora .................................................................................................................................. 207
17 Monoplacophora............................................................................................................................ 211
18 Polyplacophora .............................................................................................................................. 217
19 Scaphopoda: The Tusk Shells........................................................................................................ 229
20 Cephalopoda .................................................................................................................................. 239
21 Freshwater Gastropoda .................................................................................................................. 251
22 Terrestrial Gastropoda ................................................................................................................... 261
23 Rearing Terrestrial Gastropoda ..................................................................................................... 287
24 Marine Gastropoda ........................................................................................................................ 295
25 Unionoida: Freshwater Mussels .................................................................................................... 313
26 Non-Unionoid Freshwater Bivalvia .............................................................................................. 327
27 Marine Bivalvia ............................................................................................................................. 339
28 The Marine Aquarium: A Research Tool ....................................................................................... 349
29 An Introduction to Shell-forming Marine Organisms ................................................................... 359
30 Conservation and Extinction of the Freshwater Molluscan Fauna of North America .................. 373
31 Issues in Marine Conservation ...................................................................................................... 385
Appendices.......................................................................................................................................... 417
Appendix 1: Morphological Features of Gastropod and Bivalve (Pelecypod) Shells ........................ 418
Appendix 2: Expanded Table of Contents .......................................................................................... 427
Glossary .............................................................................................................................................. 441

ix
Contributors
When two addresses are listed for contributors, the first is their current address while the second is the
institution where they were when they submitted the first draft of their chapter.

Frank E. Anderson Jim Cordy


Chapter 20 Chapter 4
Department of Zoology Merritt Island, FL
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, IL Clement L. Counts, III
Chapter 17
Patrick Baker Department of Natural Sciences
Chapter 31 University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Princess Anne, MD
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL Kevin S. Cummings
Chapters 9, 25
B. R. Bales (1876-1946) Curator of Mollusks
Chapter 2 Illinois Natural History Survey
Center for Biodiversity
Arthur E. Bogan Champaign, IL
Chapters 25, 30
Curator of Aquatic Invertebrates Robert T. Dillon, Jr.
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences Chapter 21
Raleigh, NC Department of Biology
College of Charleston
Thomas A. Burch, MD Charleston, SC
Chapter 3
Bremerton, WA Daniel L. Geiger
Chapters 7, 10, 24
David Campbell Research Associate
Chapters 11, 15 Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
University of Alabama Santa Barbara, CA
Tuscaloosa, AL
Lucía M. Gutiérrez
Department of Geology Chapter 29
University of North Carolina Bióloga Marina y Científica del Medio Ambiente
Chapel Hill, NC Guatemala City, Guatemala

Eugene V. Coan Environmental Protection Commission of Hills-


Chapter 27 borough County
Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Tampa, FL
Santa Barbara, CA
Alexei V. Korniushin (1962-2004)
Bobbi Cordy Chapter 26
Chapter 4 Institute of Zoology and Zoological Museum
Merritt Island, FL The National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
Kiev, Ukraine

xi
Ross Mayhew Amélie H. Scheltema
Chapter 2 Chapter 16
Schooner Specimen Shells Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada Woods Hole, MA

Fabio Moretzsohn Enrico Schwabe


Chapter 6 Chapter 9, 18
Center for Coastal Studies Department Mollusca
Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi Zoologische Staatssammlung Muenchen
Corpus Christi, TX Munich, Germany

Department of Zoology Charles F. Sturm


University of Hawaii Chapters 1, 2, 3, 5, 9, 12, 13, 28, Glossary
Honolulu, HI Research Associate - Section of Mollusks
Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Aydin Örstan Pittsburgh, PA
Chapters 22, 23
Research Associate - Section of Mollusks Ángel Valdés
Carnegie Museum of Natural History Chapter 1
Pittsburgh, PA Associate Curator of Malacology
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
Timothy A. Pearce Los Angeles, CA
Chapters 1, 9, 14, 22, Glossary
Curator - Section of Mollusks Paul Valentich-Scott
Carnegie Museum of Natural History Chapter 27
Pittsburgh, PA Curator of Mollusks
Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
Delaware Museum of Natural History
Santa Barbara, CA
Wilmington, DE
Andreas Wanninger
Richard Petit
Chapters 9, 18
Chapter 9
Department of Zoomorphology
North Myrtle Beach, SC
University of Copenhagen
Copenhagen, Denmark
Gary Rosenberg
Chapter 8
Beatrice Winner
Chairman - Department of Malacology
Chapter 28
Academy of Natural Sciences
North Palm Beach, FL
Philadelphia, PA

Patrick D. Reynolds
Chapter 19
Biology Department
Hamilton College
Clinton, NY

xii
C. F. Sturm, T. A. Pearce, and A. Valdés. (Eds.) 2006. The Mollusks: A Guide to Their Study, Collection, and Preservation.
American Malacological Society.

CHAPTER 1
THE MOLLUSKS: INTRODUCTORY COMMENTS
CHARLES F. STURM
TIMOTHY A. PEARCE
ÁNGEL VALDÉS

1.1 INTRODUCTION subjected to a good revision in many decades. An


advanced amateur could review the world literature
Mollusks have been important to humans since our and summarize it into a well-researched revision-
earliest days. Initially, when humans were primarily ary work. Though this can be a daunting task, it
interested in what they could eat or use, mollusks could be the culmination of years of demanding
were important as food, ornaments, and materials and painstaking work. While such a project may
for tools. Over the centuries, as human knowledge take years or decades, if done correctly, it will be a
branched out and individuals started to study the valuable contribution to practicing malacologists.
world around them, mollusks were important sub-
jects for learning how things worked. This book is intended for three groups of people.
The first and foremost is the amateur community.
Initially, nobility and the wealthy (or scientists Amateur malacologists are those who study mol-
with wealthy patrons) carried out such studies on lusks out of an avocational desire, in contrast to the
the natural world. Later, in the 19th and 20th Cen- professional who is employed or was trained as a
turies, a professional class of scientists developed. malacologist or biologist. Some amateurs may be
Governments and industry also started supporting classified as paraprofessionals meaning that their
scientists. Although in some fields, as professional- depth of knowledge on a particular subject may be at
ism developed, non-professionals took a back seat; a professional level, however, they may not have the
in contrast, non-professionals studying mollusks breadth of malacological knowledge that a profes-
have consistently made important contributions. sional has. We hope that this book will give amateurs
the guidance and skills to deepen their interest in
Just as bird watchers contribute important ob- malacology and do so in a professional manner.
servations that allow professionals to study bird
migration and changes in populations, so amateurs Another group of people for whom this book is in-
play important roles to professional malacologists. tended is professional biologists, those individuals
Amateurs can study the mollusks of a given region whose work, at least in part, relates to mollusks. This
over time and see what changes occur in response group would include, among others, malacologists
to interactions with humans and natural forces. The and ecologists. The techniques outlined in this book
molluscan fauna is inadequately studied in many will be of use to them in their work. If you are a bi-
areas; amateurs can study such areas. You may have ologist, and have a need for an up-to-date reference
the opportunity to describe a new species. While on mollusks, this book is for you. It will be of use to
amateurs may not have the resources for undertak- biologists studying both fossil and recent mollusks.
ing molecular studies, they might collaborate with
professionals by providing samples. In addition, The final group of people is biology students begin-
many molluscan families and genera have not been ning their studies of mollusks. As with the above
2 Introductory comments

groups of people, this book will help open up the field • mesodermal origin of pericardioducts
of malacology to them. It will provide students with • rhogocytes (pore cells) associated with the ne-
a sourcebook that they can use in their studies. phridia (kidneys)
• tetraneury (two pairs of main longitudinal nerve
The terms conchology and malacology need clari- bundles)
fication. Conchology has traditionally been thought • intercrossing dorsoventral muscles
of as the study of molluscan shells. Malacology is a • crystalline style and associated ciliated midgut
broader term that includes the study of the animal digestive organs
that made the shell in addition to the molluscan • esophageal pouches
shell. In this book, we use the term malacology to • broad creeping sole or narrow hydrostatic foot
mean the study of mollusks and malacologist to • large ventral pedal glands that secrete mucus
describe anyone interested in mollusks, whether
their interest is only the shell or the molluscan fauna Mollusks will share some or all of these charac-
in the broadest sense. teristics. You may be unfamiliar with some of the
terms used; many are defined in the glossary found
What is a mollusk? Among the animals, Mollusca at the end of this book.
are in a group called Spiralia or Protostomia, which
also includes Annelids, Arthropods, and other small Mollusks first appeared at the end of the Pre-
phyla. The Spiralia, which make up more than 90% Cambrian. Many lineages of mollusks have died
of all living multicellular animals, share several out before Recent times. The living mollusks
developmental features including spiral cleavage comprise the following classes: Solenogastres
of blastomeres, formation of the mouth from the and Caudofoveata (together the Aplacophora),
blastopore, and predictable cell fates such as all Monoplacophora, Polyplacophora, Scaphopoda,
mesoderm being formed from the single cell 4d. Cephalopoda, Gastropoda, and Bivalvia. Mollusks
The circumpharyngeal nerve ring is present in many can be found in terrestrial, freshwater, and marine
Spiralia. Within the Spiralia, the group Eutrochozoa environments.
includes the Mollusca, Annelida, and other small
phyla, which all share a trochophore larva (top As indicated in the title, this book focuses on
shaped larva with an equatorial ciliated band and studying, collecting, and preserving mollusks. The
a dorsal cilia tuft), schizocoely (formation of body study of mollusks can take place in the field, in an
cavities from multiple bilaterally paired masses of aquarium, or in a collection in your home or at a
mesoderm), and paired excretory organs and ducts museum. Collection can refer to the collection of
that open externally. Regarding the Mollusca them- field observations or specimens. Preservation can
selves, despite the wide diversity of body forms, refer to the preservation of specimens in collec-
the groups of animals we classify as Mollusca share tions, or to conserving living mollusks and their
the following unique features (Eernisse et al. 1992, habitats.
Haszprunar 2000):
It is also important to know what this volume
• radula (absent in Bivalvia) does not cover. It provides only basic information
• mantle capable of secreting a calcium carbonate- on anatomy. It does not cover the biochemistry,
based shell or spicules physiology, or genetics of mollusks. Though raising
• mantle cavity and maintaining mollusks in aquaria or terraria is
• ctenidia (specialized gills having countercurrent mentioned in a few chapters, except for Chapter
oxygen exchange) 31, there is very little information on aquaculture
• osphradia (chemosensory epithelial organs) of mollusks.
(absent in Monoplacophora and Scaphopoda)
• pericardium around the heart (not around heart Now we give a brief overview of the remainder of
in Scaphopoda) this book. This overview should give you an idea
Sturm, Pearce, and Valdés 3

of the information to be found in each chapter and Moretzsohn, in Chapter 6, discusses digital imag-
help you use this book effectively. ing with flatbed scanners and digital cameras. He
begins with a basic discussion of the theory behind
1.2 CHAPTER REVIEWS digital imaging. He goes on to compare digital and
film imaging technologies. Digital cameras and flat-
The book is composed of 31 chapters. The first bed scanners are discussed. Finally, the printing and
14 chapters cover basic topics in malacology. The editing of digital images are reviewed. Moretzsohn
next seventeen chapters cover malacological issues also provides an extensive list of Internet sites
related to specific groups of mollusks. where one can go for further information.

Chapter 2 presents many techniques for the collec- Geiger completes the topic of imaging with a re-
tion, cleaning, and preservation of mollusks. There view of traditional film photography. In Chapter 7,
are also sections about tagging and narcotizing mol- he begins with a discussion of the nature of light
lusks. In this chapter, Sturm, Mayhew, and Bales and basic photographic theory. He discusses camera
have tried to include not only the latest techniques, equipment and accessories. There is a discussion
but also older and still useful methods. The Walker regarding film. Special topics include infrared and
Dipper, first described in 1904, is illustrated here ultraviolet photography, underwater photography,
for the first time. photography of mollusks in aquaria, and storage
of images.
Chapter 3, primarily written by Burch, is on remote
bottom sampling. It updates his paper presented at In Chapter 8, Rosenberg discusses the use of
the annual American Malacological Union meet- computer databases in managing collections. In
ing in 1941. Burch relates stories about a lifetime his discussion he includes choosing a software
of dredging and provides useful insights on this package, the suggested fields to be included, and
activity. In the second part of this chapter, Sturm constructing the database. The discussion is general
discusses several other methods of sampling un- enough that it will apply to many different operat-
derwater sediments including grabs, box corers, ing systems.
tangle nets, and the like.
Chapter 9 by Sturm, Petit, Pearce, Cummings,
Snorkeling and SCUBA diving are covered by Schwabe, and Wanniger provides an introduction
Cordy and Cordy in Chapter 4. This chapter will to the malacological literature. The first part of
expose you to new ways of coming face to face with the chapter discusses the various types of malaco-
mollusks. While this chapter will not teach you how logical publications: monographs, iconographies,
to dive, the authors have covered the equipment that journals, and separates, just to name a few. The
is needed for snorkeling and SCUBA diving. The rest of the chapter categorizes over 700 works by
inherent risks of these activities are also covered. biogeographic zones and molluscan families. Thus,
if you have an unknown shell from Ecuador, under
Chapter 5 moves us out of the field and into our col- the Panamic Biogeographic Zone listing, you will
lections. If you want to learn how to help preserve find a list of references to help in identifying it. Also
your collection for the next millennium, this chapter listed are books of general interest and others for
will interest you. This chapter discusses curatorial those interested in taxonomic research.
practices and methods for archival protection of
your collection. The chapter starts with a discussion How to write a taxonomic paper is an art that is
of the risks to stored collections. It continues with a handled by Geiger in Chapter 10. Geiger shows
discussion of materials that are used in maintaining the components of scientific papers dealing with
collections, stressing archival materials and prac- both the new description of a genus or species and
tices. This chapter concludes with a list of sources of a revisionary paper. Geiger also gives a brief
for archival materials. overview of the International Code of Zoological
4 Introductory comments

Nomenclature, a set of rules governing the naming with them. Data can be intrinsic (for example color,
of species. Familiarity with the code is essential for size, and weight) or extrinsic (for example collected
anyone describing a new genus or species; for those where, when, and by whom). The importance of the
just interested in cataloging shells, it is useful know- extrinsic data is emphasized, as extrinsic data are
ing how names are determined and why a familiar often what makes specimens of vital importance to
name is sometimes replaced by a less familiar one. a museum. Also covered in this chapter are ways
to preserve soft tissue from molluscan specimens
If you are interested in finding out how researchers and how these may be of importance to a museum.
determine the tree of life, or how closely related dif- Finally, if you are contemplating donating your
ferent species are, Chapter 11, on cladistic analyses collection to a museum, Pearce discusses the way
and phylogenetic trees, will interest you. Campbell to do this so that the collection will be of greatest
explains cladistics and then covers some of the use to the museum and other researchers.
major techniques used in a cladistic analysis. He
then concludes with a discussion of molecular With Chapter 15, we will begin exploring differ-
biology and how it relates to modern phylogenetic ent molluscan groups, as well as techniques for
analyses. rearing mollusks. These chapters are followed by
a chapter on the marine biology of non-molluscan
If you have ever wondered whether or not to join organisms.
a malacological organization or go to a meeting,
Chapter 12 will be of use to you. Here Sturm dis- Chapter 15 by Campbell is a discussion of paleo-
cusses the basic functions that both amateur and malacology. Here you will learn about some mol-
professional malacological associations provide. lusks that exist only as fossils. Campbell provides
He describes the functions of such major organi- a general overview of fossils and ways to collect
zations as the American Malacological Society, fossil mollusks.
Conchologists of America, and others. He discusses
the benefits of meetings, both local and national. Chapter 16, by Scheltema, is a review of the
Six Internet-based discussion groups are listed with Aplacophora (worm mollusks). These organisms
directions on how to join them. comprise a fascinating group of mollusks that,
while often under our feet, are rarely collected
Museums are one of the places where we can go to by professionals or non-professionals. Scheltema
see fossil and Recent mollusks and to learn more discusses the basic biology of these mollusks and
about them. In Chapter 13 by Sturm, you will their ecologic context. She goes on to discuss ways
learn about the basic roles of museums in keeping of collecting aplacophorans and techniques for
collections and conducting research: they are not studying them.
just places that exhibit natural history artifacts! In
addition, you will take a quick tour of 22 museums Chapter 17 deals with the smallest class of living
in the United States and Canada. These museums mollusks, the Monoplacophora. Counts discusses
all have major malacological collections. So you this group, which was first known from the fos-
can learn more about these institutions and what sil record; the first living monoplacophoran was
they have to offer, the addresses for their Internet identified only in 1957. These mollusks are found
sites are included. in marine environments and at great depths. Counts
covers the biology and zoogeography of these
If you ever wondered about museum collections and organisms. If you are fortunate enough to find a
what museums do with donated specimens, Chapter monoplacophoran, directions for their preservation
14 by Pearce will inform you. Pearce begins by are covered.
discussing what makes a specimen valuable to a
museum. Most specimens will have some value if Schwabe and Wanniger write about the Polypla-
they have clear and accurate locality data associated cophora (chitons) in Chapter 18. These mollusks
Sturm, Pearce, and Valdés 5

have a shell composed of 8 plates and attach tena- how to collect snails with a leaf blower! They con-
ciously to the rocks on which they live. Schwabe clude with an exhaustive description of processing
and Wanniger discuss the external and internal and storing land snails as well as a discussion of
anatomy of these organisms as well as their mode record keeping.
of reproduction and where they live. They include
techniques for collecting and preserving the soft The discussion of land snails is continued in Chap-
tissues and shells of chitons. ter 23. Örstan begins with a review of the literature
on maintaining land snails in a terrarium. He goes
The Scaphopoda (tusk shells) are addressed in on to discuss short-term maintenance of a terrarium
Chapter 19. Here Reynolds begins with a discus- and rearing some North American woodland snails.
sion of the biology of the tusk shells and goes on to He concludes with a discussion of factors that can
review them in an ecological context. He discusses affect the health of land snails. Hans (see the fron-
ways to collect, preserve, and maintain collections tispiece) has been raised in captivity for the past 4
of tusk shells. years following the advice in this chapter.

If you ever wanted to know how to preserve a giant The treatment of the Gastropoda concludes in
squid, this next chapter is for you. In Chapter 20, Chapter 24. Here Geiger presents information on
Anderson discusses the Cephalopoda (i.e., squids the marine Gastropoda. He begins with an extensive
and octopuses). He begins with a review of the discussion of the shell and soft tissue anatomy of
biology and behavior of these mobile organisms. the marine gastropods. He continues with a discus-
This review is followed by a taxonomic review of sion of the major groups of marine gastropods. He
the class. He then goes on to discuss collecting tech- then discusses the various habitats where marine
niques and protocols for preserving cephalopods, mollusks can be found and the ecological aspects
including Architeuthis, the giant squid. Although of the marine gastropods. He concludes with a
you will need hundreds of liters of preservative, an discussion of techniques for collecting and preserv-
enormous vat, and weeks to months, this chapter ing marine gastropods, including the preparation
will prepare you for the undertaking. Anderson of radulae.
concludes the chapter with information on identify-
ing cephalopods and a section on the difficulties of The next three chapters cover the Bivalvia. Chapter
maintaining cephalopods in an aquarium. 25 by Cummings and Bogan reviews the Unionoida
or freshwater mussels. The larvae of these mollusks
Chapter 21 reviews the freshwater Gastropoda. spend part of their lives as parasites of vertebrates.
While some of these gastropods are vectors of Cummings and Bogan begin with a description of
disease, others are common aquarium inhabitants. the biology and ecology of the freshwater mussels.
Dillon starts off with a discussion of the biology This section is followed by a taxonomic treatment
and ecology of the freshwater gastropods. He also of this group. They briefly touch on issues relating
touches on some conservation issues relating to to conservation, a topic more fully developed in
this fauna. He describes techniques for collect- Chapter 30. They then provide an extensive descrip-
ing, preparing, and storing freshwater gastropods. tion of field collecting equipment and techniques,
Dillon concludes with techniques for maintaining information on identifying freshwater mussels,
freshwater gastropods in an aquarium. and methods of curating wet and dry collections
of these organisms.
Pearce and Örstan discuss the terrestrial Gastropoda
in Chapter 22. They begin by discussing the biology Korniushin, in Chapter 26, provides a similar treat-
of this group. There is an extensive discussion of the ment for the non-unionoid freshwater bivalves.
habitats of the land snails and how to locate them. He begins with a treatment of the Sphaeriidae,
They continue with a discussion of field methods commonly known as the fingernail, pea, or pill
used in collecting land snails; you will even learn clams because of their small size. This includes
6 Introductory comments

the biology and ecology of and methods for col- he also discusses the fisheries for abalones, Queen
lecting and preserving these organisms. He then Conchs, scallops, clams, mussels, and cephalopods.
briefly discusses the Corbiculidae (Asian clams) He includes tables listing gastropods and bivalves
and Dreissenidae (zebra mussels). that are covered by state or federal regulations,
common edible or commercial mollusks that are
The marine Bivalvia are discussed in Chapter 27. not covered by specific regulations, and information
Coan and Scott begin with a discussion of the biol- for states with marine fishery agencies.
ogy of these organisms. They then give an overview
of the five groups (orders) of marine bivalves. They Following Chapter 31 are two appendices and a
then discuss techniques for the collection, preserva- glossary. Appendix 1 consists of four plates il-
tion, and study of these animals. lustrating morphological and anatomic features
of gastropods and bivalves. Appendix 2 is an
Chapter 28 deals with establishing and maintaining expanded table of contents. It will give you a de-
a marine aquarium. Winner begins the chapter with tailed overview of each chapter and help locating
a discussion of the uses of and observations that can information in the book. In the Glossary, you will
be made in an aquarium. The physical components find definitions for many of the technical terms used
of the aquarium are then discussed: water, plants, throughout this volume.
rocks, and food. She then describes fourteen marine
organisms that she maintained in her aquaria and This book is meant to be sampled piecemeal and
the observations that she made. not necessarily read from cover to cover, though
one could do this. The book is meant to be sampled
In Chapter 29, Gutierrez gives a brief overview of in portions relating to one’s interests. If you are
marine biology. The aim of her chapter is to intro- interested in bivalves, you will concentrate on
duce marine organisms that are sometimes mistaken Chapters 25-27. If you wish to delve into freshwater
for mollusks. Some examples are calcareous algae, malacology, Chapters 21, 25, and 26 would be on
annelids, brachiopods, and echinoderms. your reading list. If you are interested in field tech-
niques, read Chapters 2-4, 6-7, and the chapters for
The last two chapters cover issues of conservation. the organisms in which you have an interest.
One covers freshwater mollusks while the other
covers marine mollusks. We hope that you will find the information and dis-
cussions in this book helpful. As with all books of
In Chapter 30, Bogan reviews the sad conservation this type, compromises had to be made. The authors
history of freshwater Gastropoda and Bivalvia in and editors sought to present a balanced handbook
North American streams, rivers, and lakes. He of techniques and background information. In
explores the patterns of extinction that have oc- preparing each chapter, the authors attempted to be
curred and the reasons behind them. On an upbeat comprehensive in approach while presenting only
note, he does discuss some reversals in these what they felt would be useful. If there are areas
trends. Bogan includes tables listing the threatened, or topics that you feel were slighted or overlooked,
endangered, and extinct freshwater mollusks of let us know.
North America.
1.3 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
In the final chapter of this book, Chapter 31, Baker
discusses marine molluscan fisheries. He explores The senior editor (CFS) owes a debt of gratitude
the attitudes towards marine mollusks and marine to many individuals for their involvement with this
conservation in the 20th and 21st Centuries. He goes book. The book is partially an outgrowth of a work-
on to examine specific examples involving mol- shop at the 1999 American Malacological Society
lusks. He extensively reviews the oyster fisheries on (AMS) meeting held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
both coasts of the United States. Less extensively, Opinions as to what topics should be addressed in
Sturm, Pearce, and Valdés 7

the workshop were offered by Paul Drez (1947- The American Malacological Society sponsored
2004), William Frank, Ross Mayhew, Timothy this project and provided financial support. Two
Pearce, Michael Penziner, Richard Petit, Robert chairs of the AMS Publications Committee have
Prezant, Gary Rosenberg, and Evangelos Tzimas. helped us with this book. The project was started
Presenters at that workshop included Kevin Cum- under the guidance of Ronald Toll and came to
mings, José Leal, Timothy Pearce, Richard Petit, completion under Janice Voltzow’s tenure. Paul
and Gary Rosenberg. Robert Prezant deserves spe- Callomon offered valued insight into the intricacies
cial thanks, for presenting CFS with the opportunity of publishing books.
to organize this workshop.
The quality of this book has been greatly enhanced
We would like to extend our thanks to all the con- by the assistance of three librarians who helped track
tributors to this book: Frank E. Anderson, Patrick down cited literature and provided help in obtaining
Baker, B. R. Bales (1876-1946), Arthur E. Bogan, interlibrary loans. This work has benefited greatly from
Thomas A. Burch, David Campbell, Eugene V. the assistance of Bernadette Callery, Sun Xianghu, and
Coan, Bobbi Cordy, Jim Cordy, Clement L. Counts, Marie Corrado of the Carnegie Museum of Natural
III, Kevin S. Cummings, Robert T. Dillon, Jr., History Library.
Daniel L. Geiger, Lucia M. Gutierrez, Alexei V.
Korniushin (1962-2004), Ross Mayhew, Fabio We would like to thank Emily C. Ullo and Amanda
Moretzsohn, Aydin Örstan, Richard Petit, Patrick D. E. Zimmerman for commissioned artwork request-
Reynolds, Gary Rosenberg, Amélie H. Scheltema, ed by CFS. Ms. Ullo painted the cover and drew the
Enrico Schwabe, Paul Valentich-Scott, Andreas illustrations in Chapter 21. Ms. Zimmerman drew
Wanninger, and Beatrice Winner. illustrations in Chapters 2, 3, 9, 11, and 29.

We are thankful for all those individuals who agreed CFS is extremely appreciative of the help given by
to review submissions. They are: James Albarano, the two associate editors, Timothy Pearce and Ángel
Amir Amiri, Kurt Auffenberg, Glenn Burghardt, Valdés. They joined the project in an editorial capac-
Laura Burghardt, Henry Chaney, Eugene Coan, ity in 2004. Their assistance in copy-editing and
Louise Corpora, Robert Dillon, Douglas Eernisse, layout helped bring this project to its conclusion.
James Fetzner, Daniel Geiger, Jose Juves, Al-
bert Koller, Harry Lee, James Lee (1922-2005), Lastly, CFS thanks his wife Pat for her patience
Richard Lee, James McLean, Paula Mikkelsen, with and encouragement for this project.
Paul Monfils, Mohan Paranjpe, Kristin Petersen,
Robert Prezant, John Rawlins, Lutfried von Salvini- 1.4 LITERATURE CITED
Plawen, Gerhard Steiner, Patricia Sturm, Michael
Vecchione, Janice Voltzow, and Amy Wethington. Eernisse, D. J., J. S. Albert, and F. E. Anderson. 1992.
Annelida and Arthropoda are not sister taxa: a phy-
In addition to individuals already mentioned, we logenetic analysis of spiralian metazoan morphol-
would also like to thank James T. Carlton, Harry ogy. Systematic Biology 41: 305-330.
A. ten Hove, and Peter J. Wagner for helping to Haszprunar, G. 2000. Is the Aplacophora monophyletic?
resolve specific questions that arose during the A cladistic point of view. American Malacological
editing process. Bulletin 15: 115-130.
C. F. Sturm, T. A. Pearce, and A. Valdés. (Eds.) 2006. The Mollusks: A Guide to Their Study, Collection, and Preservation.
American Malacological Society.

CHAPTER 2
FIELD AND LABORATORY METHODS IN MALACOLOGY
CHARLES F. STURM
ROSS MAYHEW
B. R. BALES (1876-1946)

2.1 INTRODUCTION 2.2 COLLECTING BASICS

Your first exposure to the world of mollusks may Other than being given a collection, there are three
have been picking up a seashell on a beach while basic ways to build a collection. You can buy speci-
you were on vacation. It may have been finding mens, trade for them, or collect them yourself.
a snail or slug in your garden. It may have taken
many years before you decided to pursue a more 2.2.1 Purchasing. If you chose to purchase shells,
in-depth interest in these organisms. This chapter you first have to find a dealer. They can be found
will introduce you to ways to collect, clean and advertising in publications such as American Con-
prepare mollusks. chologist, La Conchliglia, and Of Sea and Shore.
A comprehensive worldwide listing of dealers can
Part of this chapter was a paper written by B. R. be found in Tom Rice’s A Sheller’s Directory of
Bales and presented for him by R. Tucker Abbott Clubs, Books, Periodicals and Dealers compiled by
at the Eleventh Annual Meeting of the American Tom Rice (2003) and at several good Internet sites
Malacological Union in 1941 (Bales 1942). This such as <www.manandmollusc.net> and <www.
paper with minor alterations was reprinted in Ab- conchologistsofamerica.org/home>.
bott et al. (1955, 1966) and Jacobson (1974). While
much of what Bales had to say is still relevant, There are several advantages to purchasing shells
some of his suggestions have not stood the test of from a dealer. First, they are already cleaned. Second,
time and are no longer considered appropriate in they are identified. Most important, you can obtain
the context of current curatorial practices. In this material from places that you may never be able to
chapter we (CFS and RM) copy and paraphrase collect from yourself, and from fishing boats and
from Bales’ paper. In addition, we have added other sources inaccessible to the average collector.
information that updates his views and we add
information that was not in his original work. The drawbacks to purchasing shells are two-fold.
Due to our use of Bales’ original paper, we have First, having good locality data is usually impor-
included him as an author; to do otherwise would tant, and the locality data of purchased shells may
be tantamount to plagiarism. be sparse or suspect. Knowing that you are buying
from a reliable dealer helps to minimize this risk.
In addition to the recommendations in this chapter, Second, you lose the ability to study the organisms
you will find additional information in Chapters 3 in their natural habitat.
to 5, and 15 to 27. Bergeron (1971), Lipe and Lipe
(1993), and Weil (1998) are other works in which Dealers use a grading system to indicate the quality of
you can find advice and opinions on how to collect, their material. The international standard dictates that
clean, and maintain a molluscan collection. “Gem” specimens are absolutely perfect to the naked
10 Field and laboratory methods in Malacology

publications. The benefits (and hazards) are the same


as with purchasing from dealers. In addition, if you
are not trading for a specific shell, you will have the
excitement that comes with receiving a shipment of
unknown material. As with purchasing from dealers,
when you trade with someone, make your first trades
modest ones of material that you can afford to lose.
If all goes well, mutual trust will develop and larger
trades will ensue with confidence. Often, but not
always, the material you trade for has been self-col-
lected and therefore the collection data may be more
complete and reliable than with purchased material.

2.2.3 Self-collecting. In spite of building a collec-


tion by purchasing or trading shells, eventually you
may desire to start field collecting yourself. You
may decide to collect shells in which the animals
have died (dead collecting) or living material (live
collecting). Section 2.4 deals with some techniques
that you can use to collect mollusks.

The simplest way to self-collect is to look for dead


material. You can walk along the beach picking
Figure 2.1 Collecting devices and aids. up seashells, an activity known as beachcombing.
A. Allison Scoop, B. Ferriss Hoe, C. Davis Rake Drag,
A particularly good time to try beachcombing is
D. Walker Dipper, E. van Eeden Scoop, F. Clam tube
or clam gun, G. Bales Hook. after a storm. Sometimes you will find material
from deeper water thrown up on the beach. Also,
eye, “F++ or Gem-”, which some dealers call “F+++” pelagic material may be blown onto the beach by
specimens, are so close to perfect that any flaws have the storm’s winds.
to be searched for, “F+” indicates a specimen with
minor flaws that do not detract much from its aesthetic You might walk along the shores of a lake, pond, or
appeal, “F” (stands for “Fine”) specimens have sig- river and search for freshwater material. Sometimes
nificant flaws, Good specimens are not good at all, and you may be lucky and find a shell midden. This is
Fair and Poor are recognizable as that species, but just a pile of shells left behind by an animal such as a
barely. That said, grading is subjective, and there is an raccoon or muskrat after it has eaten a meal of mus-
understandable temptation to over-grade. If you see sels. Section 2.4 describes some of the techniques
a dealer’s list with mostly gem designations, beware. of field collecting.
Caveat emptor is a useful watch-phrase. When plac-
ing an order from a dealer you are unfamiliar with, it You might also be interested in collecting terrestrial
is best to start small. Make a few modest purchases, gastropods. These can be found under rocks or leaf
and if you agree with the dealer’s grading of the shells litter. Techniques for collecting these mollusks are
and the quality of the associated data, you can make covered below and in Chapter 22, Sections 22.4
larger purchases with confidence. Often dealers will and 22.6.
learn your interests and notify you of material in
which you might be interested. 2.3 COLLECTING EQUIPMENT

2.2.2 Trading. Trading has several rewards. One can Many different tools or implements may come
trade shells and/or publications for other shells and/or in handy from time to time, and, while you may
Sturm, Mayhew, and Bales 11

achieve a measure of success with very little equip- strainers, these may be constructed or purchased in
ment (such as a spade, a kitchen strainer, some vials many sizes and forms. The size of the screen and
and collecting jars, rubber boots, snorkeling equip- height of the sides depend upon the individual user.
ment, sharp eyes, and plenty of patience), you will It should not be so large that it taxes the strength,
eventually find that some specialized tools will be for it should be remembered that to be successful in
necessary as you progress in the study of malacol- screening, the collector must be persistent and many
ogy (i.e., the study of mollusks as living animals), hours are usually spent in this manner. It is a fascinat-
or conchology (i.e., the study of the calcareous ing form of collecting and the time flies all too soon.
exoskeletons of mollusks, otherwise known as Seldom will the collector stop sifting without trying
“shells”). What follows now are descriptions of “just one more screenful” of material.
some such tools.
Some collectors prefer several graduated sizes of
2.3.1 Allison scoop. Allison (1942) described a screen (brass, aluminum, stainless steel, or zinc-
scoop for collecting Campeloma (a freshwater coated mesh are best, since they are corrosion-re-
gastropod) from stream bottoms. The scoop was sistant), but most prefer just two; the inside screen
triangular in shape, had a wire basket with a rein- to be 6-8 mm mesh (1/4 inch) and the outer one of
forced leading edge and it was attached to a pole 3-4 mm mesh (1/8 inch). If you are interested in
(Figure 2.1A). By varying the size of the scoop microshells at all, a third one, of 1 mm or smaller
and the mesh size of the basket, this scoop can be mesh (0.04 in or less) will be necessary. This one
modified to collect a wide variety of mollusks. will catch most of the smallest shells. The inner
screen with the larger mesh should fit snugly into
2.3.2 Ferriss hoe. Walker (1904) described an the outer one with the smaller mesh, but not too
implement called the Ferriss hoe. This is a garden snugly. Allowances should be made for the natural
hoe with its blade trimmed to 75 mm (3 in) at the swelling of the frames, although much swelling will
top and tapering to a sharp point. The handle is be avoided by painting the frames. Some collectors
trimmed to the length of a walking cane (Figure nail a small cleat to the ends of the outer screen
2.1B). This device is a good tool for turning over to obtain a firmer grasp. The same results may be
logs and rocks, breaking up rotting logs, and dig- obtained by sawing a narrow horizontal slit in the
ging through rotting leaves and around stumps. It is end of the frame. The size of frame and mesh being
also long enough to pull down tree branches. of individual preference, it is sometimes advisable
to try out several before the ideal one is found, and
2.3.3 Davis rake drag. Davis (1964) described a even then, many collectors change from time to
type of dredge to be used from the shoreline. He time as the occasion demands. You might also find
took a garden rake and to the crossbar of the rake soil sieves useful. These are nested sieves about
he attached a 6-8 mm (1/4 in) wire mesh that looped 20 cm (8 inches) in diameter. They are generally
around and was attached to the ends of the tines. He made of brass. They can be purchased from general
then attached a pipe, filled with sand, to the crossbar scientific and forestry supply companies (see the ap-
to give the device added weight (Figure 2.1C). A rope pendix in Chapter 5 for a list of such companies).
was attached to the handle of the rake. The device
was then thrown out into the water and pulled back One form of screen that is sometimes used has no
so that the wire basket and tines would bite into the upright frame on one side and is held in place on the
substratum. The rope was pulled drawing the device bottom of a body of water by the collector’s foot.
back to shore. The device was then tilted, emptied, The sand, mud, marl, or other material is raked or
and the contents examined for specimens. drawn into the screen by the use of a hoe, rake, or
other utensil. This type of screen avoids having to
2.3.4 Screens, dippers, and nets. To collect the lift the material and to deposit it in the screen for
smaller specimens from shallow water, a screen those who like to adhere to a less energetic regimen
comes in handy. Once you progress beyond kitchen while collecting.
12 Field and laboratory methods in Malacology

A handy device often used consists of a small round (3-6 inches) and 1 to 1.5 meters long (3-4 feet). It is
sieve that has been attached to a long handle. It is closed on one end with a cap that has a handle and
easily made from a 12-15 cm (5 or 6 inches) gravy small vent hole (Figure 2.1F). When you locate a
strainer to be had at most hardware or discount clam burrow, place the tube over the burrow. Rock
stores. They have two bent prongs in front that must the tube back and forth and twist it so that it drills
be bent backward so as not to interfere with the use of into the sediment. When you believe that the shell
the net. No device equals this when working in waist is within the tube, cover the vent hole. Doing so
or chest deep water. You might also want to make creates a suction effect when you withdraw the
and use a Walker Dipper (see Figure 2.1D, Chapter tube from the ground. You will pull up a plug of
21, Freshwater Gastropoda, and Walker 1904). sediment that should include the clam. Empty the
contents onto a screen, wash them, and remove
When collecting the specimens on various types the shell. This device works best in muddy and
of aquatic grasses (eel, turtle, etc.), a net made of sandy substrates; it does not work well in bottoms
mosquito or other fine netting sewn around a but- composed of gravel and rock.
terfly net hoop is extremely useful, especially if
you wish to be as ecologically sensitive as possible, 2.3.8 Hammer. A geologist’s or bricklayer’s ham-
leaving the grasses in place instead of collecting mer with a chisel end can be quite useful in several
them and washing the mollusks into fine (the 24- respects. You can scrape through leaf litter, dig into
mesh) screens using fresh water. the upper layers of soil, turn over rocks (which of
course should always be replaced as they were,
2.3.5 van Eeden scoop. Another variation of scoop before leaving the scene), use it in the pursuit of
was described in van Eeden (1960) (Figure 2.1E). paleomalacology (fossil collecting), chip away
The scoop was designed for collecting freshwater the soft rocks in which burrowing species such
gastropods. It is a square frame made from a 5 mm as many of the family Pholadidae (e.g., Barnea
iron rod. The square is 25 cm on a side. The frame and Zirfaea spp.) live, and the chisel end comes in
is angled upwards about 30 degrees two thirds of handy when taking apart pieces of sunken wood
the way back from the leading edge. The leading that may harbor ship worms (Families Teredidae
edge is reinforced with iron or tin sheeting. A wire and Xylophagidae). It is useful to paint part of
screen of appropriate mesh size is attached to the these tools a bright yellow or orange. Otherwise,
frame. The frame in turn is attached to a handle of you will learn the hard way how easily such tools
appropriate length (2-3 m). can be overlooked when put down in the field and
searched for at a later time.
2.3.6 Shovels. Some collectors use a shovel to dig
up clams. Commonly, these shovels have a blade 2.3.9 Bales hook. According to Bales, one of the
75-100 mm wide (3-4 inches). The blade is longer most important tools is a device made from a 15
than it is wide, and it is slightly curved. These mm (5/8 inch) metal rod. One end is looped to make
shovels are sometimes called clam guns. Insert a handle and the other is formed into a point. About
the shovel so that it curves away from where you 75 or 100 mm (3 or 4 inches) above the point, a
believe the clam to be and start digging. Dig and curved hook is welded onto the rod giving a form
scoop the sediment away from the clam burrow; similar to an elephant hook (Figure 2.1G). With
keeping the shovel blade parallel to the clam bur- such a device, you have an implement that can be
row. When you see part of the clam reach down used as a walking stick, to turn over rocks, to pull
and grab it. It is important not to dig towards the things closer to you, and to pull down branches
clam; doing so may damage it. when looking for arboreal snails. Estwing makes
a similar tool called the Gem Scoop®. Instead of a
2.3.7 Clam tube. There is another device also hook, it has a small basket. Of course, many collec-
called a clam gun or sometimes a clam tube. This tors make their own tools as best as they can, given
is a metal or plastic tube, 75-150 mm in diameter their budget and circumstances, so the implements
Sturm, Mayhew, and Bales 13

described in this chapter can be taken as a starting to mix things up and difficult to take detailed notes,
point - an assemblage of ideas and advice, for you but care nevertheless should be taken to keep facts
to adopt or adapt as you see fit. and specimens straight. Any details that you note
regarding the habitat can be jotted down afterwards
2.3.10 Water pumps. When the ocean floor is of while they are fresh in the memory.
rock that is more or less honeycombed with small
potholes, it is surprising what fine specimens of the Freshly taken specimens should never be placed,
smaller varieties may be obtained by the use of a even temporarily, in a rusty metal container or in
common bilge pump, which is standard equipment contact with rusty chains or other rusty objects for
on small boats. The end of the pump is placed in it is remarkable how soon they will become rust
a sand-filled pocket in the rock. The sand as well stained. It is almost impossible to remove these
as the mollusks that have taken refuge in the hole stains without damaging the shell in the process.
are pumped with the water onto a screen; the sand Sturdy plastic buckets serve the same purpose at
and water flow through, leaving the specimens all a very reasonable cost, and are easier on fragile
ready for the collector. species than metal ones.

2.3.11 Bags and collecting containers. Very impor- 2.3.12 Glass-bottomed bucket. A useful adjunct
tant to the collector’s outfit is your collecting bag, to shallow water collecting is the glass-bottomed
and this may consist of almost anything from an old bucket (first used by sponge collectors), or an
tin can, a burlap or nylon sack, a pocket handkerchief equivalent device - sometimes called a water glass or
or some such makeshift affair, to a real game bag or water bucket. Collectors often use one that is square
collecting bag. They are usually made from light- or oblong. An easy way to construct one is to make
weight canvas and carried in some cases by a strap the frame or box of not too heavy wood and fasten
over the shoulder. Such bags are useful when extra the glass or plexiglas to the open bottom by means
heavy specimens are anticipated. A bag that may of quarter rounds available at any lumberyard. A
be tied or secured about the waist is much handier bead of silicone caulking is placed around the open-
and has the advantage of always being in place and ing between the wood and plexiglas. This ensures
does not drop in front of the collector when he or a watertight seal. Visualization will be improved if
she stoops to secure a specimen. Many collectors the inside is painted dull black. You can also take a
favor a bag containing partitions: one compartment plastic or metal bucket and cut out the bottom leaving
for tools, vials and other equipment apart from the a 10 mm (1/2 inch) rim. To this rim, a circular piece
shells that are collected, and others for samples of of Plexiglas can be attached with silicone caulking.
various sorts. You might even find that a carpenter’s When in use, frequent wetting of the inside of the
apron makes a useful collecting bag. glass makes vision clearer and eliminates fogging.

When collecting small mollusks, a good supply of 2.3.13 Lights for night collecting. If you have
glass or plastic vials of various sizes, will prove never collected at night, hunting by the aid of ar-
most useful. These should be cylindrical and of tificial light is a revelation. Many mollusks (such
the screw top sort without a narrow neck. Nylon as Conus) hide wherever they can in the daytime
mesh bags are often useful when collecting larger and mainly venture out to feed at night. This is also
shells such as bivalves. You should be careful to true of Marginella, Cypraea, Hydatina, and the like.
keep shells from different habitats separate, label- While specimens may be taken by the combined
ing the vials and containers in the field using pencil use of water glass (see above) and flashlight, you
and strong paper, and/or a grease pencil applied might also try snorkeling or SCUBA (see below
to the container. Basic information will include and Chapter 4, Snorkeling and SCUBA Diving).
date, locality, collector, and as a good and brief a Use a bright waterproof flashlight and make cer-
description of the habitat as possible. In the heat of tain that you have spare batteries. Extremely good
collecting, especially when racing the tide, it is easy underwater lights can be purchased for less than
14 Field and laboratory methods in Malacology

$200, and inexpensive models will cost much less. Another interesting device that may interest you is
A headlamp with a halogen or LED bulb will give the Emoscop SME. This device has been described
a good cone of light and leave your hands free for as an optical Swiss army device. It comprises 3
collecting. Surprisingly, these can be purchased sets of lenses and depending on how you put them
for less than $100 at most dive shops. Remember, together, you can make several devices. The lenses
if snorkeling or diving, have a buddy with you, can be arranged to make a 3X monocular, a 3X
especially if you are collecting at night. telescopic magnifier, a 5, 10, or 15X loupe, or a 30
and 35X microscope. The optical elements compact
2.3.14 Forceps/tweezers. While collecting small to 20 mm by 40 mm, and the lenses and microscope
species, a pair of spring forceps comes in handy for base fit in a carrying case that is 30 mm x 65 mm.
small shells like Caecum, Rissoina, Cerithiopsis, The device can be purchased from the manufacturer
Sphaeriidae, etc. Being small, forceps frequently at <www.emoscop.com> and costs $58.
are lost and prudent collectors (especially if they
have lost a pair or two) never fail to use a string, tied 2.3.16 Thread. One of the most useful (and inex-
to both the instrument, and to a wrist or to clothing. pensive) things to have in the collector’s kit is a
However, be sure to make the string long enough compact roll of rather loosely spun cotton thread or
so your reach is not restricted. ribbon for holding bivalves together, for tying small
chitons to drying boards and other uses that may
2.3.15 Loupes. Another device that may prove use- pop up in the field. Use white thread or ribbon so
ful in the field is a small loupe, sometimes called that you do not have to worry about dyes leaching
a magnifier or a magnifying glass. These range in and staining your specimens.
magnifying strength from 2X to 20X. Though you
might think higher magnification is better, you 2.3.17 Tide tables. To attempt intertidal or subtidal
may be mistaken. For most fieldwork and labora- (shallow water) collecting without first consulting
tory work, 5-10X is perfect. This gives sufficient the tide table would be the height of inefficiency,
magnification without distortion at the edges of for all collecting of this type is dependent upon tide
the field, and enough working distance between conditions. Where there is excellent collecting at
the specimen and the loupe to allow for adequate a given place at low tide, it would be simply out
lighting (although some loupes can be obtained of the question to do any worthwhile collecting at
with a built-in light). With loupes of 15-20X, you high tide. Local or regional tide tables may be ob-
will get higher magnification but a very small field tained from the government in most countries (or a
of view. If this degree of magnification is necessary, fisherman’s supply outlet). One can also obtain tide
you should consider using a stereoscopic dissecting information from the Old Farmers Almanac or on
microscope. the Internet - just look up “tide tables” in any good
search engine such as www.google.com or www.
Loupes can be found at craft and jewelry supply dogpile.com. Using the tables is more essential
shops, at geologist specialty stores, and sometimes the further north one goes, since ice scouring and
even at hardware stores. Two loupes that seem to sub-freezing air temperatures restrict the number
be good for malacological work are a 7X Hastings of species able to live in the intertidal and shal-
Triplet (Bausch and Lomb) and Master Optician’s low subtidal zone. In many boreal regions such as
5X Magnifier (Edmund Optics, Inc., <www.ed- Eastern Canada, there is decent collecting only at
mundoptics.com/onlinecatalog/displayproduct. a few new and full moon periods each year, you
cfm?productID=1789>). The former can be at- miss one, and it is months before the next arrives.
tached to a lanyard and worn around your neck Further south, conditions are much more congenial
while the latter is useful at a workbench. These to inter- and sub-tidal collecting.
particular loupes will cost from $30-50 but will last
a lifetime. Quite satisfactory 5-10X instruments can 2.3.18 Miscellaneous items. One should not forget
be found in the $15-20 range. items such as maps, a compass, a global position-
Sturm, Mayhew, and Bales 15

ing system device (GPS), notebooks, field-guides, Many terrestrial gastropods enjoy warm, moist
clothing appropriate for weather conditions, and of areas. Find a site that you believe will contain a
course towels and spare clothing for when you stop molluscan fauna. Take a cotton or burlap sack. Fold
collecting and wish to get a bit drier and warmer. it several times and soak it with water. Place it on
Also, consider insect repellent, sunscreen and a first the ground. On top of the sack place a pile of stones
aid kit. Additional equipment, such as syringes and that will somewhat protect the sack from drying
dissecting needles, are often used when cleaning out. Check under the sack after several days or a
specimens. These items are described in the section week. You may find a number of slugs and/or snails.
on cleaning mollusks (Section 2.7). Be observant, there will likely be other organisms
such as insects, snakes, lizards, and amphibians. In
2.4 FIELD COLLECTING TECHNIQUES place of the sack, you can also use several layers
of corrugated cardboard.
2.4.1 Land snails. Collecting land snails is a fine
art and can be infinitely rewarding. The main Cleaning and preserving land snails is more difficult
problem land snail collectors encounter is that of than for marine species, since the periostracum, the
identification. Since many species are endemic to layer of material that protects the shell from erosion
a particular region or even small localities such as and acidic conditions, must not be removed: it con-
isolated valleys or particular portions of mountain tains the colors and other external characteristics
ranges, there are few general identification guides, that are vital for identification and appreciation.
and obtaining regional or national identification Chlorine bleach cannot be used as it will remove
literature can be difficult and time-consuming. or damage the periostracum. The best way to go
Nevertheless, the huge variety of forms, shapes, is boiling and picking out the animal with small
colors, and sculpture (fine-scale superficial detail) hooks or pins, followed by vigorous shaking, but
make land snail collecting quite worthwhile. See leaving them spread out where ants, flies, and other
Chapters 9 and 22 for the titles of books that will insects can get at them is a very effective method
help you identify land snails. when possible. Small species can be preserved with
80% ethanol.
The first thing to remember when collecting terres-
trial mollusks is that mollusks need moisture. Thus, See Section 2.6 for further cleaning tips for terres-
you must look where and when moisture is to be trial mollusks and Chapters 22 and 23 for additional
found. After rain and early in the morning when the information on land snails.
dew is still present, are the best times to collect from
gardens, grasses, bushes, trees, stone walls, and on 2.4.2 Freshwater mollusks. Freshwater mollusks
limestone outcroppings that provide a rich source of include both gastropods and bivalves. May of them
calcium for shell formation. Many species will be can be found by walking along the shallow edges of
found in the leaf litter on the forest floor, in localities ponds and lakes, or in shallow streams and rivers. In
where the soil is alkaline enough not to dissolve the slightly deeper water one can use an Allison scoop
shells. You will find an assortment of living and dead or a van Eeden scoop (see Section 2.3 above) or
material this way - some of the dead being very fresh a Walker dipper (see Chapter 21.4). In yet deeper
(which saves you the trouble of cleaning them while water, you will need to consider using devices such
still providing decent specimens). Bags of leaf littler as dredges, grabs, or bails. More on specific aspects
from damp localities can be collected in the field of collecting freshwater mollusks will be found in
and many happy hours can be spent at home sifting Chapters 21, 25, and 26.
through it with screens and careful observation es-
pecially with the aid of a microscope. Yet another set 2.4.3 Marine mollusks. Live material can be col-
of species can be found under rocks and old logs. As lected as well as dead, although most collectors
with marine collecting, the more habitats you check, prefer the live material. Live material tends to be
the more species you come across. preferred as the colors in the shells are more intense
16 Field and laboratory methods in Malacology

(the shells have not been bleached by exposure to generally thought, but they and other carnivorous
the sun) and live shells tend to have less physical wildlife should be treated with due caution and
damage than ones that are dead and exposed to the respect. You should never tease or relate to them
action of the surf. Others prefer collecting dead with casual familiarity or carelessness. Jellyfish
shells since no animal has to be killed and the prepa- can be particularly nasty, as can eels and other
ration of the shell requires less work; that is, they inhabitants of holes and crevices in rocks or reefs.
do not need to have the dead animal cleaned out of Use the utmost caution in tropical and sub-tropical
them. Some species can most commonly be found waters when trying to find out what is in places one
dead - such as deeper water and pelagic species cannot directly see. A special caution is in order for
found on the shore after storms or in dredge spoil. cone snail collectors. Many species, not just the
Some taxa require special methods of collecting, very venomous ones (Conus geographicus Lin-
and these will be mentioned later. When collecting naeus, 1758, C. striatus Linnaeus, 1758, C. textile
in water, you will be limited by how far you can Linnaeus, 1758) can sting you, sometimes with
free dive or reach with your arm or a device like a painful results. Living cone snails should always
Walker Dipper (see Chapter 21.4). As a result, many be handled with care.
collectors progress to SCUBA diving or dredging
to obtain material. With shore-based collecting, the more habitats
investigated, the more species one is likely to find.
2.4.4 SCUBA diving. The advent of SCUBA diving Unless you are looking for a particular species or
has opened up a completely new world for collec- group that you know to be found only in specific
tors, as divers with moderate experience can reach habitats, the more inquisitive you are, the more you
depths up to 30-35 m (around 100 feet) for short will find. Sandy bottoms are generally of limited
periods without special gas mixtures. Beginners interest. When investigating a reef, it is wise to
would be ill advised to venture beyond 20 m (60-65 explore associated rubble fields and dead as well
feet) until they are able to handle emergencies with as living coral heads. In places where sponges are
fluency and calmness. With this type of collecting, abundant, interesting species (triphorids, cerithop-
safety is of paramount importance: we do not rec- sids, etc.) can often be found via the judicious
ommend diving alone or in places where currents harvest of a few sponges for through dissection on
or turbulence pose significant hazards. At depths land. For a more extensive treatment of SCUBA
below 15 m (45-50 feet), things can go wrong very diving and snorkeling, see Chapter 4
quickly, and the results can be dangerous in the
extreme. Good, well-maintained equipment and 2.4.5 Ex pisce collecting. Sometimes mollusks can
the training to use it properly and with confidence be found in the digestive tracts (stomach and intes-
are necessary. Wise divers never push their luck tines) of bottom dwelling fish. The first challenge in
by going deeper than they trained for, or habitually ex pisce (Latin: from fish) collecting is to obtain the
staying down to the last minute of air. Always give fish or the digestive tracts. The easiest method is to
yourself a good safety margin: not to do so may obtain them from the crew of a commercial fishing
cost you your health or even your life! boat. You can either accompany the crew and get
the digestive tracts of the bottom feeding fish they
Much could be written about SCUBA collecting, catch or you can supply them with covered buckets
but the experience of the authors and the scope in which they can save the digestive tracts for you.
of this chapter allow only the presentation of a They might be more willing to save material for
few general principles. In addition to the above you if you offer to pay for the captain and crew’s
cautions, wearing a wet-suit is usually a good assistance. When they give you the entrails ask for
idea, especially in cooler waters (hypothermia is locality data such as longitude and latitude of the
insidious and can sneak up on one) or around cor- catch, bottom depth, and bottom type if known. Es-
als, which can often sting exposed flesh with only pecially provident in the Atlantic Ocean are toadfish
a light touch. Sharks are much more benign than and batfish - the latter more often taken by trawling
Sturm, Mayhew, and Bales 17

than by angling (H. Lee, pers. comm.). The dover sodium hypochlorite) for several minutes. When the
sole can be used in the Pacific Ocean. tissue starts breaking up, it is washed with water in
a funnel lined with coarse filter paper. The resultant
Start from the stomach and work your way down residue is allowed to dry and then examined with
the length of the intestine. When you encounter a a loupe or dissecting microscope. The shells are
solid feeling object cut open the organ where you picked out with fine forceps.
feel it. Wash the object and see if it is a shell. Record
where it was found. Shells in the upper portion of While this may seem to be a labor-intensive tech-
the digestive tract are likely to be from the locality nique, for the collector interested in micro-shells
where the fish was caught while shells further down it may be quite productive. Porter (1972, 1974 and
may be from a site some distance from where the references therein) should be consulted for further
fish was collected (Clapp 1912). details regarding this technique.

Take the semi-solid intestinal contents and place 2.4.7 Tidal pools. You can search tide pools for
them in a strainer or sieve with a fine mesh. Wash mollusks. These are generally found in rocky areas.
the material until the water that drains from the Be forewarned, in many areas tide pool collecting is
mesh is clear. Allow this material to dry (it will regulated or illegal. Know what is allowed in your
be fairly odorless if washed sufficiently), and then area before you proceed.
examine it with a loupe or microscope. You may
find many micro-shells this way. 2.4.8 Traps. In recent years, mollusk traps have
been used to take many of the carnivorous mollusks
While large shells are not found this way, this method and shells of non-carnivorous mollusks inhabited
has advantages. It can be used for depths where you by hermit crabs, and reports from those who have
would not be able to collect by snorkeling or SCUBA used traps have been very encouraging. Some
diving. Also, it may be productive in areas with rocky collectors reported success collecting these types
bottoms where a dredge would not work. Lastly, the of mollusks by simply placing a piece of meat or
cost of equipment is negligible; definitely less than a dead fish between two sheets of wire mesh and
the cost of dredging equipment and a boat. weighting it down with stones overnight. Others
have weighed down canvas packets of dried animal
2.4.6 Sea stars (starfish). Sea star (formerly known dung. For those with limited resources, this remains
as starfish) stomachs may also be a source for some a very practical collecting method. For more on this
mollusks. Sea stars can often be obtained as a by- technique see Allison (1942). If you can obtain the
product of commercial fishing. Sea stars have two cooperation of lobster or other trap-based fisher-
modes of feeding. Those with long, thin arms [e.g. men, all the better! You can even develop your own
Asterias forbesii (Desor, 1851)] bring the mollusks specialized traps, if the fishermen will agree periodi-
to their mouth; they then evert their stomachs and cally to collect and re-distribute them for you.
eat and digest the mollusks. These types of sea stars
do not contain mollusks. Sea stars with short or stiff 2.4.9 Navigational buoys. Navigational buoys can
arms [e.g. Astropecten articulatus (Say, 1842) and be searched for evidence of sessile mollusks. If one
Luidia clathrata (Say, 1825)] swallow mollusks can gain access to buoys when they are brought in
whole and their stomachs may contain shells. for cleaning, many attached specimens may be re-
covered. You may be able to obtain the records that
To extract the mollusks, one needs to dissect the indicate when the buoy was placed and recovered.
digestive tract out of the sea star. The plates from This will allow you to study the colonization of the
the ventral surface of the sea star are removed from buoy over a defined time period.
the central disc to a point approximately one third of
the way out the arms. The digestive tract is removed Other avenues of research that occur when study-
and placed in full strength household bleach (5% ing the fauna attached to buoys include variation