Non-marine conchology of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly

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(Presidential Address, delivered before the Society 19 March, 1983)

Due to its geology and topography together with disruptive activities associated with mining and deforestation, Cornwall has a paucity of non-marine Mollusca. Nevertheless the land that has been ‘pitted’ during the extraction of alluvial tin, ensures continuance of wetland, supporting such nationally local species as Lymnaea glabra. On the cliffs, the Lusitanian snail Ponentina subvirescens is locally common. Cornish stone ‘hedges’ serve as an important habitat and as refuges, whilst gardens support a wide range of synanthropic species as well as ‘woodland’ types. Dunes of blown shell sand have a rich calcicole and xerophile snail fauna, including Theba pisana and Pomatias elegans, and enshrine valuable subfossil material relating to the change from ‘woodland’ to ‘open country’ species. The fauna of the main habitats is diacussed, and an annotated check list is appended. A short summary of non-marine molluscan studies in the county reveals the strong influence of the Conchological Society.