Report of Nonmarine Recording activity, 2006

Jan Light

During 2006, at the request of Council, I agreed to act as Non-marine Recorder in a temporary capacity following the resignation of Geraldine Holyoak and pending appointment of a successor. My brief was to collate and hold record submissions, respond to pertinent enquiries and where necessary refer material requiring verification to an appropriate expert. I do not hold the recent (last 7 years) Society archive relating to Non-marine recording which was held by my predecessor in Cornwall. During the year Robert Cameron visited the Conchological Society non-marine archive in the Mollusca section of the Natural History Museum (NHM) for research purposes and whilst there, checked and itemised current holdings as follows:

  1. A set of card drawers with all the standard record cards sent in to Michael Kerney or made by him from fieldwork or chasing up records until 1998. These are arranged by 100 km square, and within each by 10 km squares. These drawers also have a separate set of pre-1950 records. There is, however no “master card” for each 10km square with all records on it. One would have to use the Atlas, or the records in NBN, to get that, or do it by hand from the cards from that square. All cards post 1998 are currently stored by Geraldine Holyoak, pending the appointment of a new non-marine recorder. There was a separate box of Cornish cards, with a note from Geraldine Holyoak saying she had returned them, presumably after digitisation.
  2. A set of the individual rare species record cards (pink), but with no post 1998 records. It is not clear if these represented all the records. Some annotations on these cards require clarification. All pink cards post 1998 are currently stored by Geraldine Holyoak, pending the appointment of a new non-marine recorder.
  3. There is a filing cabinet with correspondence relating to the scheme (in alphabetical order). The latest correspondence dates to 2000.

We can conclude that the archive is intact, and in good order. The last seven years’ worth of records will be returned to the Society when the new Non-marine Recorder has been appointed.

During the year I received records from Ron Boyce, Robert Cameron, Barry Colville, Rosemary Hill, David Long, Adrian Sumner and Peter Topley. All these contributors are thanked, and their records are being held in a file ready for further processing when a new Recorder is appointed.

An unusual sighting of Eobania vermiculata was made at Lewisham railway station by David Notton of NHM and reported in Mollusc World 11, July 2006.

The following await confirmation that they are new Vice County records:

Mid-west Yorkshire (64) Hygromia cinctella. On 23 September at a meeting of the Yorkshire Naturalists’ Union 3 specimens were found by Leeds & Liverpool Canal (SE 27381 34255. Four days a later a further search at the same locality produced a further three specimens, submitted by Adrian Norris.

Roxburghshire (80) Vertigo pusilla, from Newton St Boswells SSSI, Roxburghshire (NT 581318). Confirmed by Barry Colville. Found on joint Conch Soc/Scottish Borders Biological Records Centre field meeting, 4th June 2006, submitted by Adrian Sumner.

East Lothian (82) Euconulus alderi, from a dried-up curling pond at Dunbar, East Lothian (NT 679781) VC82, submitted by Adrian Sumner.

Midlothian (83) Succinea putris NT 232712 Union Canal, Edinburgh 29.06.2006, submitted by Adrian Sumner.

Clare (H9) Vertigo moulinsiana One fresh juvenile shell from flood debris, Mullaghmore, Co. Clare, (R310946) 15.07.2006. Submitted by Robert Cameron.

Gittenberger, Preece & Ripken (Journal of Conchology 39 (2) 2006) have shown that Balea heydeni is a distinct species and may occur sympatrically with B. perversa. On this basis the species has been recognised from several localities in Britain and Ireland and this will result in a number of new Vice County records.

During the year, I received record cards, dating back over several years, from John Llewellyn Jones for Assiminea grayana in Essex. A number of the sites appear to be new, although within the known distributional range for the species in eastern England. However, Barry Colville has notified a site in VC69 at some considerable distance from the ‘nearest’ sites in the Humber for Assiminea grayana. The species was found by novices during a field meeting led by Barry to Roudsee Wood NNR at Haverthwaite. On saltmarsh associated with mixed woodland, Assiminea was found along a tract 1.5km in length on the southeast side of the River Leven estuary in a zone 30m wide and bounded on one margin by flotsam at EHM. Abundances of the snail varied, but in areas of optimum habitat, it was observed to be present in thousands.

As with other records submitted which demonstrate northward extensions, this would appear to be yet more evidence of the effects of global warming.