Marine Recorder’s Report 2011

Bas Payne

Jan Light, Marine Recorder for the past twenty years, has had to resign as Marine Recorder, on medical advice, and is not able to write this year’s report. The Society owes Jan a very large debt for all the energy, enthusiasm and knowledge that she has contributed in her inimitable way to the Society’s activities over the past 20 years, and to wish her a quick and full recovery.

Many thanks to everyone who has submitted records during 2011. Many thanks also to William Penrice, who is working on making it possible to submit records on-line. We will continue to accept records on cards as before; but for those who are comfortable working on-line, this will speed verification of records and their rapid transfer to NBN.

The main marine field meeting this year took place in Connemara in September 2011, to coincide with the extreme spring tides, and was led by Julia Nunn, to whom many thanks. One noteworthy record was Leptochiton scabridus, found at Lettermore. This is the first Irish record of this species since October 1986, when it was found at the same site by Julia Nunn (at the time it was identified as L. cancellatus, but it was subsequently re-identified: see Strack, H.L. 1991 A second record of Leptochiton scabridus (Jeffreys, 1880) from Ireland Conchologists' Newsletter 118: 394-395), and only the second locality for this species in Ireland. It is planned that a more detailed account of this meeting will appear in the July issue of Mollusc World. Highlights of the meeting also included a shellfood cornucopia including scallops, oysters, mussels and venerids, harvested in a brief half hour of low water off Knocknahaw Point.

Julia has also been working through a backlog of sea area records for Ireland, which include a number of new sea area records:

Lutraria angustior SA28: Bernard Picton, Strangford Lough 2007;

Philine pruinosa SA 28: Julia Nunn, Strangford Lough 2004;

Crepidula fornicata SA 28: Gavin McNeill, Belfast Lough 2009;

Palliolum striatum SA 29A: Bernard Picton, Rathlin Island 2005;

Coryphella gracilis SA 29A: Bernard Picton, 2009;

Scaphander lignarius SA 29A: Bernard Picton, Rathlin Island 2009;

Melanella alba SA 37: Aquafact International, Kenmare 2002;

Calyptraea chinensis SA 38: Dan Minchin, Cork Harbour 2000.

Notable recent finds in Ireland are:

Aeolidiella sanguinea from Doonloughan, Connemara Sep 2011 Julia Nunn – the first record from Connemara since the early 20thcentury, and only 20miles or so from the type locality at Inishlacken.

Pholadidea loscombiana from Strangford Lough Aug 2011 Julia Nunn – only second Irish record since early 20th century; the other was previously reported from Straidkilly in 2008 (Julia Nunn).

Martin Willing reports new finds of Truncatella subcylindrica on the east and west sides of Thorney Island (Chichester Harbour, Sussex). This species is probably often overlooked – it is small, and lives high up the shore, usually under stones; at Thorney Island it was living under concrete and chalk blocks at high water mark, set amongst sea purslane Atriplex portulacoides (on the east side) and in association with Leucophytia bidentata (on the west side).

We have already started to look for a new Marine Recorder – Jan will be a hard act to follow.

Sebastian Payne

March 2011

(with many thanks to Julia and Martin)

Lettermore tidal rapids, Connemara: Sept 2011

On the beach: Gorteen Bay, Connemara: Sept 2011

Aeolidiella sanguinea, Doonloughan: Sept 2011