Annual Report of the “Neptunea” Group 2022

After two years of interruptions to our meetings due to the COVID pandemic, we were once again able to meet on a regular basis to discuss the fruits of our study work in this 45th year of club life (!).

Members come from different cities all over Flanders (Deerlijk, Izegem) and even East Flanders (Ghent, Nazareth) or even Flemish Brabant (Londerzeel), which we really appreciate. That is why we feel obliged to make the meetings as interesting and varied as possible. Meetings are only successful if members go home with the feeling that they have really learned something. That’s why this year we’ve covered some topics that are necessary for novice collectors, but were also interesting enough for older members. Attention was paid to the storage of shells (types of cupboards, boxes, felt pads, …) and especially to the cleaning of shells and the preparation of chitons. The explanation was always supported by PowerPoints (F. Nolf & Steve Hubrecht) and useful demonstrations.

Important this year was the study of the genus Acesta (Limidae) in the Indo-Pacific. This was based on the material of the MNHN, provided on loan by Philippe Bouchet. Intensive work has led to a review of all knowledge on this subject and, in particular, the description of three new species. Also noteworthy was the introduction of the new species Cymbium ferranti (Cameroon), named after the late Alain Ferrant, ex-member of our association. The descriptions of the new species were published in three new issues of the journal ‘Neptunea‘.

We also remember Steve Hubrecht’s two lectures on South American and Sub-Saharan African land snails.

A total of eight new PowerPoints have been placed on the <> website, where they can be consulted free of charge.

Also noteworthy was Jan Libbrecht’s initiative to repeat Ulrich Wieneke’s (KonBVC) presentation on hybridization in the genus Lambisvia a PowerPoint with Dutch commentary. Jan was also helpful as a corrector of our English texts, published in ‘Neptunea‘, after Johan Verstraeten had ensured the peer review of the content.

Finally, a word of thanks to all those who are not members but selflessly dedicate themselves to our small association: Dirk Nolf (photography and software), Delphine Clement (website) and Christiane Vander Gucht (catering).

Due to the cancellation of the membership fee in 2020, we have ended up in a situation where there is barely a positive balance. The costs for the website and the domain name can no longer be covered by the membership fee of the twelve members, so that there is no longer any reserve for minor expenses or the organization of a reception.

At the meeting of 16 October, the members decided to increase the membership fee to € 20 for working members and € 15 for the three supporting members (dealers) who do not attend the meetings. Large investments are made at the expense of sponsor F. Nolf (beamer, cables, laptops, microscopes, cameras, lenses and software).

Overview of activities in 2022

– 20 February:

* statutory section: reading of the annual report + financial situation + planning of meetings in the first semester;

* presentation of the new species Barnea pseudotruncata Nolf & Verstraeten (PowerPoint by F. Nolf);

* geographical distribution of Pholas dactylus and Pholas campechiensis in West and South Africa (PowerPoint by F. Nolf);

* a first tentative introduction to a second new Acesta species from Papua New Guinea and other specimens from the collections of the MNHN;

* the ‘starters’ section (also interesting for the ‘oldies’): the creation of a database essential for any collection, different possibilities, personal experiences, pros and cons;

* to conclude: reception with sparkling wine and extensive dishes with tasty snacks;

– 20 March:

* a PowerPoint presentation on the introduction of the new species Acesta arnaudi (Limidae) from Sub-Antarctic waters (F. Nolf);

* presentation of a second new species from Papua New Guinea: Acesta gabrieli (F. Nolf);

* comments on all the problems raised in the study of some Western and Southern Pacific Acesta species as an introduction to a later paper (Steve Hubrecht and Frank Nolf);

* macro photography: demonstration and results;

– 10 April + extra meeting on April 24th:

* discussion of the new species Acesta gabrieli Nolf, 2022 and Acesta lemuriensis Nolf & Hubrecht, 2022;

* a revision of the genus Acesta in the Indian and Pacific Ocean: experiences after six months of intensive study on the material of the MNHN;

* results of the excursion to the Bay of Heist;

* valuation and pricing of shells based on a few examples: why discuss this subject that everyone prefers to avoid? What are the standards? Is exchanging an alternative instead of buying/selling (debate elaborated with examples);

* which books do we prefer to identify shells? Books for beginners and advanced users, the use of WoRMS, internet and articles in magazines, …

– 15 May:

* the revision of the genus Acesta in the Indian Ocean and the Western Pacific (slideshow talk by F. Nolf and Steve Hubrecht): final completion of seven months of study and introduction of three new species;

* working with a stereomicroscope: demonstration;

* a first step towards a comparison between Bayerotrochus westralis Whitehead, 1987 and Bayerotrochus indicus Anseeuw, 1999 via digital images of the microsculpture;

– 19 June:

* some impressions and comments after the Shell Show in Edegem;

* three new issues of “Neptunea” magazine;

* a comparison between Acesta angolensis, Acesta excavata and Acesta cryptadelphe (Steve Hubrecht) using specimens;

– 20 August:

* introduction to South American land snails: an overview via a PowerPoint presentation by Steve Hubrecht;

* the distribution area of Schilderina achatidea (Gray, 1837): PPT by F. Nolf;

* the presence of Mulinia lateralis (Mactridae) on the Belgian coast: PPT by F. Nolf;

* Haminoea solitaria Say, 1822: call to search for this new non-native species in Belgium and the Netherlands;

– 18 September:

* interview (DVD) with Roland Duyck, author of the two-part book ‘Pioniers to tropical waters’: an introduction to the Belgian fishery in Congo/Angola (PEMARCO) in the 1960s and 1970s;

* a PowerPoint presentation about the introduction of a new species from Cameroon: Cymbium ferranti, in honour of our deceased member, Alain Ferrant (F. Nolf);

* the hatch of the starter:

   – all kinds of tips on the classification of shells in a scientific collection:

   – demonstration of making cardboard boxes for storing shells (F. Nolf);

* from the ‘old box’: digitized images of slides on shells applied as by-catch by Ostend fishermen in the 1970s (F. Nolf);

– 16 October:

* new appointments are being made due to the organization of the meetings;

* second-hand books were offered at greatly reduced prices;

* digital images of a shell quest in Jersey (Arne Ghys);

* a first part about cleaning shells via PowerPoint and demonstrations by Steve Hubrecht and Frank Nolf;

– 20 November:

* simulation of the causerie by Ulrich Wieneke (KonBVC) about hybridization in the genus Lambis by Jan Libbrecht;

* photos of a surprising specimen of Cymbium fragile Fittkau & Stürmer, 1985 from Ivory Coast offered by Rafal Piatek (F. Nolf);

* a first step in the disillusionment of specimens of the so-called ‘Calliostoma lithocolletum Dautzenberg, 1925′ from the Canary Islands (F. Nolf);

* a new series of books at second-hand prices;

* second part of the PPT about cleaning shells + demos (F. Nolf);

– 18 December:

– drawing up the calendar and agenda items for the meetings in the first semester of 2023;

– an overview of land snails from Sub-Saharan Africa (PowerPoint by Steve Hubrecht);

– miscellaneous:

  * acquaintance with the freak specimen of Cymbium fragile, sent by Rafal Piatek;

  * forwarding images of the shells during a study meeting, via smartphone or iPhone, to TV (F. Nolf).

Reporter: Frank Nolf