YOLo X NO.6 APRIL, 1962 NEW SERIES NO. 28 e ~ 0 ustulata, Reeve, 1844, and Vexillum ~ Pils., 1920; Fig. 1,.M: (juvenile specimen) 18mm; Fig. 2,~. ostergaardi Pilsbry, 1920, 32mm; Fig. 3,~ tiarellaA. Not illustrated,~ ticaonic~ Reeve, 1844, 20mm; Fig. 5;.M: olivaefQrmis Swainson, 1821, 11mm; Fig. 6, ~ ~ ~ Schubert and Wagner, 1829 Adams, 1851, 17mm; Fig. 4, .M: Dohrn, 1860, 33mm; Fig. 7, M. emersoni Pilsbry, 1920, 31mm; Fig. 8, M. waikikiensis Pilsbry, 1920, 24mm; Fig. 9, Vexillum thaanumi Pilsbry, 1920, 28mm; Fig. 10,'y' xeniumPilsbry, 1920, 19mm; Fig. 11,'y' ~manda Reeve, 1&45, 10mm, (close to) V. micra Pils., 1920; Fig. 12,'y: ~ (Reeve, 1844), Zlmm. VALID NAMESAND SYNONYMSFORSOMEHAWAIIANMITERS by JEAN M. CA TE In 1920, Dr. Henry A. Pilsbrydescribed thirte~n supposedly new species of Mitra from Hawaii in the Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. During the past year or two I have had reason to suspect that some of the 13 species were not valid, as they very strongly resembled other species of Indo-Pacific Mitra that had been described at earlier da~ various authors. After studying the Pilsbry type specimens contained in the collection of the Philadelphia Academy, I published an illustrated paper (The Veliger, Volume 4, No.3.. January 1, 1962) concerning the validity of these species. It has occurred to me that a list of the valid names and the synonyms among them might prove of value to my friends and fellow collectors in the Hawaiian Malacological Society; therefore, I am sending along the final results of this study. VALID 1 NAMES: INVALID M!!!:!!:. ustulata Reeve; 1844 ~ MItra correa- Schubert & Wagner, 1829..Mltra ..~ 2 ~ ostergaardl PIlsbry, 1920 tlareIIa A. Adams, 1851 3 Mitra 4 M!!!:!!:. tlcaonlca Reeve, 1844 5 Mitra ollvaeformis Swalnson, 1821 6 MTti=a emersoni peasel Dohrn, 1860 1920 7 mtta Piisbry, 8 Mffia waikikiensis 9 *""VeXIi1umthaanumi Piisbry, PIlsbry, 10 *Vexlllum xenlumPIlsbry, 11 *Vexlllum 12 *Vexlllum ~ ~ Plisbry, NAMES: kamehameha PIlsbry, 1920 fulva Swainson, 1832 1920 iliaa"iiumiana PIlsbry, ~ pararhodia Dail (MS) (no.mennudum) Mltr~ Iugubris honoluluensls PIlsbry, 1920 Mltra crassuia Dail (MS) (nomen nudum) M!!!:i tlcaonlca ~ PIlsbry, 1920 Mitra puplformls Dail (MS) (nomen nudum) Mrfi;"a ollveIIaeformls PIlsbry, 1920 MItralangfordi PIlsbry, 1920 - 1920 1920 1920 1920 (Reeve, 1844) *Denotes species endemic to Hawaii. ~exillum V ~ ~ Pilsbry. 1920 Page 2 HAWAIIAN April, SHELL NEWS 1962 FROM THE READERS A short letter from Walter O. Cernohorsky, Vatukoula, Fiji Islands: "I have just received the December to issue of HSN and read the article' 'YOU receive a letter from such a distant memCAN HAVE YOUR SHELL AND EAT IT ber of the H.M.S., but I felt I had to write TOO" and the Editor's footnote regarding and tell you how much pleasure the the book "HOW TO SURVIVE ON LAND Hawaiian Shell News has given me, confined AND SEA". The book states that everyas I am to a hospital bed. I have been here for nearly three weeks now, underone is warned specifically against eating going continuous traction because of a cones and Terebra. Fijian natives have told me at different spinal disc lesion. "The January number of the H.S.N. .times that they eat the flesh of the ~ reached me yesterday, and I am really leopardus. They break the 5" and 6" thrilled with all the interesting informacone shells with stones, extract the coiled tion. I do rather specialize in Cypraea, up mollusk and boil it in salt water prior Conus, and Voluta, and I have probably to consumption. They tell me that it theTargest COllection of these in this tastes like "davui", the Fijian name for country, outside a museum. What a Charonia tritonis. That they do not suffer pleasure it was to see, at last.. an illusany ill-effects might be due to the fact tration and description of Cypraea latiot, that..9..:.leopardus is not on the toxic list. good illustration of the various forms of Apparently they do not eat Terebra, ~ pennaceus and a photograph of the there just might be very little meat in an rare volutes mentioned in Cliff Weaver's auger shell. article. . All the best to your club," "Then again, the photographs of persigned; Walter O. Cernohorsky. sonalities in the Society, including your********** self, help one to form a mental picture And two letters from Florida; of people one is never likely to know Mr. John B. Proetz, P. O. Box 334, except by name. However, I have had Boynton Beach, Florida, writes: the great pleasure of meeting Alison Kay, "The article in the February issue of Ruth Turner, Alan Kohn and Don Mc HSN offering names and addresses of Michael, when they visited this country, members in other countries interests me. and I hope any other members who come I think the idea expressed in your article here will get in touch with me. to encourage "shell talk" is excellent. "When are we going to see a photo"Congratulations on your 100th Edition. graph of Mrs. King? (See Page 5 - Ed.) I look forward to each new issue, and I have not forgotten her kindness in from all the back copies which I carefully presenting me with my first specimen of preserve, I learn a lot about shells. Mr. Cypraea tessellata and Weaver's fine photographs and data on collected). She brought them to London Marine Mollusks is an outstanding conand spoke to me on the telephone, but I tribution.' , did not actually get to meet her. ********** "I am not entirely divorced from my From Mr. Maurice Holland, 157 S.E. shells, for on the locker beside my bed Small Street, Port Charlotte, Florida, I have fine specimens of Voluta bednalli, comes the following: Pleurotomaria hirasei and~s yet un"Here are a few newspaper clips and named Red Volute from Swains Reef. I other items on Naples Shell Club Fair also have a large number of color slides which I attended as our "roving reporter" of shells from my collection, and projected for H.S.H.O. them one evening for the entertainment Attendance was 1,000 per day. of the other patients. No admission.. Club dues $3.00 per "Since entering the hospital I have year. Ten percent c.ommission on combeen told that I have been elected to the mercial shell-craft sales at fair. They Council of the "Conchological Society of make money every year." Great Britain and Ireland" which I feel From tary England received "You will our Corresponding this interesting probably be f.: One of the advantages of belonging to the Hawaiian Malacological Society is that you might be appointed Editor of the Hawaiian Shell News. Then you will learn what an international organization your HMS really is. Certainly it is an advantage to all members to belong to such an international organization because wherever you go you will almost always find individuals with the same interests and with shells to exchange. Because Hawaii, more specifically Honolulu, is the birthplace of the HMS it would seem that Honolulu members would be more active and enthusiastic than those we might term corresponding members, some in far away lands. It appears that this is not necessarily true. From correspondence it would seem that many HMS members in mainland cities and across the seven seas in other countries are more active and more interested in the Society and the HSN than those "at home". An organization such as the HMS, and a publication such as our HSN, can be successful only if ALL MEMBERS take an active interest and part in their operation. is a great honor. The Secre- letter: surprised sulcidentata Society (live was in 1876, and has an international ship. founded member- "I am afraid many of my shell friends have been wondering why I do not reply to their letters, but it is such an effort to write under these conditions, and I will have to make amends once I am on my feet again, which may not be for some while yet. "In the meantime I want to thank you all for providing such a splendid magazine each month. It gives me many hours of pleasure, and the back numbers are invaluable for reference purposes. I hope you will keep up the good work for many years to come. Yours very sincerely," Mr. R. P. (Bob) SCORE, Perkins Ward, Rowley Bristow Orthopaedic Hospital, Pyrford, Nr. Woking, Surrey, England will WHY COLLECT SHELLS? by DR. VERNON E. SMITH The satisfaction that one may receive from Shell Collecting varies in degree from mild interest to fanatical gloating and the methods to accomplish this response are legion. One may assume the 'armchair executive' attitude in amassing an impressive quantitY of anything and everything that might qualify as a member of the Phylum Mollusca or one may seek the deeper soul shaking experience of meeting the elusive quarry face to face in its ecological niche. The latter requires more than 'shelling' vicariously but participation may entail nothing more complex than sloshing around over an inter-tidal zone during low tide or wading hip-deep with a "look-box" and a "pry-bar". But the call of the conch may lead to some involved and individual testing adventures. There is the excitement that attends the correct guessing which crushing comber will not smash you into the face of the rocky shoreline, (habitat of Helcioniscus) or the subdued thrill of anticipating just what unfriendly visitor will pierce the circular ring of blue that establishes your limit of vision when you are diving in deeper waters. (habitat of Cassis) The experience -pm- about to relate has to do with an encounter that took place off the Halekulani on a beautiful morning in about four fathoms of limpid marine environment. Buzzy Agard was on the prowl for some of the larger octopi that visit the inshore bottom during the winter months. I was on the prowl. An octopus in its "hole" is not easy to see under the best of conditions but if you are separated by twentY-five feet of water, vertically, the animal is invisible to all but a He-e expert. The initiated hunter can tell whether the octopus is at "home" by observing the area immediately surrounding the lair. There is generally evidence of deceased victims, crab carapaces and shell debris, scattered about and also rocks and pebbles that have been removed from the hole to make more room for the occupant. (1 have actually seen an octopus toss out a beautiful, live Conus textile). Buzzy is an expert at locating the perfectly hidden octopus. He will cruise slowly over an area of submerged reef table. At intervals he will stop and study the bottom. Then, for what to me seems no apparent reason, he will swim down to some slight indentation or insignificant crevice in the bottom. He peeks into a crack, his spear does a bit of probing and suddenly he is surrounded by the wriggling tentacles and sepia discharge of a frantic Cephalopod. On this particular day I had been trying to emulate the skill and elan of the Hawaiian "He-e Hunter." But numerous trips from top to bottom and return had resulted in nothing more than a growing opinion that as a 'He-e Hunter' my goggles needed prescription lenses. Thoroughly frustrated I decided to swim back to the boat to give my blood pressure time to return to normal. On the way my eyes happened to catch the almost imperceptible scintillation of the mantle of a Pinctada galtsoffi (Pearl Oyster). The very mention of the Pearl Oyster brings to mind names like Pearl Harbor and Pearl and Hermes Reef. Visions of pearls, like "sugar plums", begin dancing in my head. But how many pearls of any value have been taken from our local waters? I, for one, have never seen any pearls, nor met anyone who has seen any pearls of Hawaiian vintage. When Dr. Edmondson refers to the Pearl Oyster in "Reef and Shore Fauna of Hawaii", he states, "The black-lipped pearl oyster, Pinctada galtsoffi Bartsch, seems to be widely distributed about the islands at depths of a few fathoms". He probably means by "widely distributed" that the distance between shells is considerable. Of course it is against the law to take oysters from Hawaiian waters but as regards Pinctada galtsoffi it is practically impossible to violate the law. The oyster beds of 'Pinctada nebulosa found in Kaneohe Bay have always re.nained quite small in size due, I think, to the limited suitable bottom. During the War in the Pacific, offduty Service Personnel and civilians seemed quite unaware of any laws relative to conservation and removed them by the sackful. The primary objective was savory shellfish "a-la Rockefeller" but the disadvantage of having to strain the "seed pearls" from between one's teeth probably saved the beds from total extinction. But these are seed pearls and not the precious product that St. Matthew has in mind when he spoke of, "A pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it." When I say that I have never seen a pearl from Hawaii's mollusca, I mean never, with one exception. And this brings me back to that day I was returning to the boat after an unsuccessful octopus hunt. The Pinctada that caught my eye was a lone oyster shell. I don't know how to make this sound credulous but the only reason I went down for that oyster was because I was hungry. (After all one shouldn't be censored too severely for attempting to ward off starvation.) The shell was fairly large, a little over five inches, but not nearly of such size as to make one anticipate any kind of a pearl. The byssus was firmly attached and I was on the verge of letting go when it broke free. That first breath of air as I surfaced came about a minute overdue. After I had climbed into the boat I sat there for awhile appreciating our atmosphere and then took out my knife to cut the adductor muscles of my lunch. I removed the entire oyster and was about to put it in my mouth when I felt a hard lump between the mantle and the visceral mass. I still did not suspect a pearl. With my knife I cautiously cut into the lump and there, behold--was a pearl. Anything that I might add is postclimactic but shell hunting includes a certain amount of 'show and tell'. The first to doubt my word was the other individual in the boat. He was Buzzy's brother and had come along for the ride. In a trance I held out the pearl to him and said, "Look at what I found." These famous words might be considered as 'pearls of great wisdom'. His reply is what shook me out of my state of shock. With a knowing smile he said, "Yeh, Kress' kind". "Why the lug thinks that I've been harboring a joker for the psychological moment" I thought. "He doubts my integrity!" But when Buzzy swam up alongside and I produced my surprise he wasted no breath on questions except to ask, "Where did you find the oyster?" And to this day Buzzy is still searching the area for my oyster's brother. That afternoon I presented the dear wife with my fabulous find and the valves of the Pinctada for proof. "How wonderful" was her only comment at the time but the real payoff came several days later when she added, "Darling, that pearl is really genuine. I had it appraised at Wichman's and they said it was worth a hundred dollars without the setting. How do you like my new ring?" April, 1962 HAWAllAN SHELL NEWS Page 6 IT PAYSTO ADVERTISE MORE FLASHES!! NEWS FLASH!! A LIVING CYPRAEA ROSSEL~ COTTON FOUND Word living was has just specimen collected been of Cypraea for the first received rosselli time that a Cotton on March 18, 1962. The shell was collected by Max Shaw who lives near Perth, Western Australia. The newspaper account, printed in the Perth "Daily News", on March 26th follows: "A rare cowrie shell will pay most of bends victim Max Shaw's hospital expenses. "By fantastic coincidence the shell which Shaw plucked from the ocean bed on his 216 foot dive off Rottnest Island last week is one which marine scientists have been seeking for 15 years - a living specimen that is. - "Shaw (26) a member of the 'underwater Explorers Club' - had no idea of the value of the shell when he saw it on a piece of fan coral 36 fathoms (216 feet) down on March 18th. He picked it up because he thought it was pretty and might make a nice pendant for his wife Laurel. "But within 24 hours diver Shaw was the center of a tense hospital drama. He was stricken by the 'bends', a diver's pressure injury, which paralyzed his right leg. "On Tuesday morning while Shaw began a 38-1/2 hour spell in a recompression chamber, rushed from Augusta, the cowrie shell lay in a bag by the side of his house with nobody aware of its rarity. "Shaw had mentioned it to UEC secretary Harold Roberts, and, intrigued by its unusual markings, Roberts passed it on to another underwater explorer UniversitY Zoology demonstrator, Barry Wilson. "Wilson cowrie as was doing It was a previously at once recognized Shaw's the missing link to a paper he on Western Australian cowries. live taken...Q.. rosselli known only from dead specimens. "Museum authorities made Shaw an offer 'I can't tell exactly what it was,' said Shaw, 'but it will take care of most of my hospital bills,' - and the shell will now repose in a glass case at the Western Australian Museum at Perth." - EDITORS NOTE: See HSN, p. 7, Vol. X, No.2, Dec. 1961 for photo. However, the dorsum of this living Q. rosselli is a spotted chestnut brown with chocolate overtones. The intervals between the labial and columellar teeth are white. In the remote Western Caroline Islands a native diver has collected a live Cypraea ~ Gmelin, one of the world's rarest shells. A letter from Dick Willis (an old HMS member) was recently received jointly by Karl Greene and Cliff Weaver. Portions of this interesting letter are quoted for your information: "Yesterday I had the thrill that comes once in a lifetime. I had the privilege of holding in my hand a perfect live caught Cypraea guttata! When it was brought out for me to try and identify I almost dropped 'to the floor, It is perfect, not a flaw or scar on it. "The people who own the shell want to start a scholarship for one of the native boys or girls from the proceeds of the sale of the ~ and send them to Suva to the medical school there. "The shell was found at Ifalik Atoll and the animal was still in it when it was obtained, or at least parts of it were. It was still a little smelly when I saw it. The strange and weird part of it is that the shell was obtained in a bag of shells that one of the natives brought up and traded for cigarettes. There is no precise locality except that it comes from Ifalik Atoll in the Western Caroline group of ;g]"nng "I have been positive that this one could be found in this area and now I will not be a bit surprised to find that the next rarest one on the list, Cypraea valentia, will also show up some bright day in a box or palm basket of shells brought up for trade by some curly headed little native kid". Editor's Note: This shell has been purchased by Cliff Weaver for an undisclosed amount wHich Cliff thinks should put the whole Atoll through medical school. When the shell arrives photographs of it will be published in HSN. In the mean time Cliff says he can be found in a tent on the beach at Lanikai. Guess he had to rent his home to payoff the guttata. WANTED!! INFORMATION!! Several years ago a Mr. P. S. Galtsoff and others transplanted pearl shell from the Pearl and Hermes Reef to Hawaiian waters. Does anyone have any information on this transplant? The results obtained? Etc.? TWO RARE BOOKS FOR SALE Wm. A. Bryan's "Natural History of Hawaii" (1915), $50.00. Isabella L. Bird's "Six Months in the Sandwich Islands", (London, 1876), $75.00. Write or phone KARL W. GREENE, P. O. Box 3751, Honolulu, Hawaii. (Telephone 748-472). Ed. Note: These books have been out of print for years and should be in the hands of some collector of Hawaiiana. BLACK CORAL "Gem of the Hawaiian Islands" Raw Jewelry Sizes $15.00 per Pound Display Branches $5.00 a foot up to 3 feet Bases, Trees and Carvings also available If Interested, Write to RICK GRIGG, 2723 Oahu Ave., Honolulu 14, Hawaii - FOR DIVING COLLECTORS Are you collecting in the shallows? Or after the rare ones in deep water with scuba? Be safe! I Two new books by Master Diver E. R. Cross will help. Book One; INTRODUCTION TO SKIN DIVING, a manual of safe diving for the skin diver. 60 pages, illustrated, $1.50. Book Two; ADVANCED SKIN AND SCUBA DIVING, safety for the scuba diver. 90 pages, illustrated, $2.00. Order direct or send for free brochure. MARINE RESEARCH PUBLISHING CO., Dept. N-1, 2773 E. Manoa Road, Suite 201, Honolulu 14, Hawaii. ~ THE BOOKSTORE c/o The Bishop Museum, Honolulu, Hawaii Books on Hawaii and the Pacific Ocean Area All Current Shell Books at Publishers Prices. Children's Books a Specialty SKIN DIVER MAGAZINE Devoted to the underwater world and to underwater enthusiasts allover the world. SDM features complete coverage of clubs, associations, latest diving equipment, marine specimen collection, spearfishing and depth records; oceanography and undersea archeology reports, plus several outstanding underwater adventures each month. Twelve issues, $4.00 in USA and Canada. All other countries, $5.00. Single copy 50~. Write to SKIN DIVER MAGAZINE, P. O. Box 111, Lynwood, California. Helpful Hints For Shell Hunters The most helpful manual ever written for shell collectors - from beach combing to scuba diving to deep sea dredging. Eleven chapters, 80 pages of accurate collecting information. Data on collecting, cleaning, identifying, cataloguing and storing. An informative monograph by experienced collecting members of the Hawaiian Malacological Society. Priced at just $2.00 - prepaid. Order today from TREASURER, HAWAIIAN MALACOLOGICAL SOCIETY, 2777 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu 15, Hawaii. April, Page 7 HAWAIIAN SHELL NEWS 1962 GOLDEN COWRY CORNER WELCOME NEW MEMBERS The Editors of your HSN and officers of the Hawaiian Malacological Society welcome the following new members to the Society. We would like to hear from new and old - members of the Society regarding their likes and dislikes of material in THEm HSN. -WDR Norman P. Currin U. S. Navy VP-31 NAS North Island, San Diego, California Miss Jeanie DuFord P. O. Box 602, Koloa, Kauai Mr. Vincent R. Foster 1260 "Rockwood House" Lonsdale Ave. Parkhurst, Newport, Isle of Wight, England Mrs. Frank Gallagher 6500 Mt. Hawley Road, Peoria, nl. Mrs. M. R. Hammond 2605 Fairway Drive, Baton Rouge, La. Captain Dewey Huffer Truk - Eastern Caroline Islands Trust Territory of Pacific Anne W. Jones 712 N. Colorado Ave., Claremont, Calif. Mrs. B. S. Mauney 2373 Lynhurst Ave. Winston-Salem, N. C. Mr. Y. B. Robbins 44 Vancouver Street, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada Sr. Don Mariano Lopez Socas "Museum Maris" Avda. Dr. Rafael Gonzales, 12 Arreclfe Lanzarote Islas Canarias, Spana In the October, 1961 issue of the Hawaiian Shell News this column was headlined "Can Luster Be Restored To A Golden Cowry?" Mrs. R. T. (Virginia) Gallemore asked that question. You will recall that Mrs. Gallemore is the wife of an administrative official in the mandated islands of the Pacific. The family is currently stationed at Yap in the Western Caroline Islands. A recent letter from Mrs. Gallemore provided the answer to the question. A portion of Mrs. Gallemore's letter is quoted as follows: "Color, But Not Luster, Returns to Golden Cowries in Tests" Vaseline outside and moisture within have returned three faded golden cowries to a brilliant orange color, evenly throughout. Where luster was lacking, it is still lacking. The cowries were of three grades. The best was perfect, but gold in color, rather than the blood-orange of the best specimens. The second was lustrous and beautiful on the base; but scabby in polish, and spotted in coloring on the top. The third, definitely a beach-worn specimen, has little of either luster or color. The best now is thought to be equal to the best anywhere. The second and third have the same orange coloring, and with a luster provided by any of the artificial means (oil, wax, silicates) and very desirable, from the standpoint of beauty. Color started returning in spots near the small end. These grew larger. and crept above and outward until the entire shell was covered with the far deeper shade. No spotting of the paler shade remains on any of the three." Many thanks to Mrs. Gallemore. And. as this issue of the HSN goes to press another good letter has arrived from Mrs. Gallemore; it contains items which will be of interest to our readers for a future issue. GOLDEN COWRY REGISTER - Mrs. Mildred Tate 211 Huisache, Lake Jackson, -Texas Mrs. J. F. Unerfusser P. O. Box 703, Lake Jackson, Texas WHAT PRICESHELLS??? Several price lists have been received this past month. Space - free space that is - is limited and we can barely mention the more interesting lists. For more complete information write to the address given. (1) MARINE SHELLS OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST Thomas C. Rice, Route 2, Box 483, Poulsbo, Washington. (2) DREDGED SHELLS FROM THE GULF OF MEXICO IN DEPTHS OF 100 TO 800 FEET: Jim Moore, P. O. Box 65, Palmetto, Florida. (Based on prices there must be so m e rare goodies in those dredgings.) (3) CYPRAEAS AND CASSIS (World Wide) V. F. Saxton, 2716 Fruitville Road, Sarasota, Florida. (4) SPECIMEN SHELLS Mrs. A. Gordon Melvin, 863 Watertown St., West Newton, Mass. For is the collector of fossils the following Steve Harman forwarded the measurements of his cowry in inches. The conversion to millimeters is ours. Information on Captain Huffer's cowry has been forwarded to us by R. (Dick) C. Willis, along with the Captain's request for membership in the Society. For readers that may be curious on the location of Nomwin Atoll, the atlas indicates 8 degrees 25 minutes north latitude, and 151 degrees 25 minutes east longitude. It is estimated that the atoll is about 12 x 16 miles in size. With the registration of Captain Hoffer's cowry, total registration now numbers 206. RECORD SIZE SHELLS The December, 1961 issue of the Hawaiian Shell News contains sizes of eight different shells and asks "Can You Top These?" Readers responded particularly well on sizes of their Mitra mitra and Terebra maculata. Brief comment has been made in the last several issues of the HSN on these two type shells. A resume showing' 'top" shell for each species is, as follows: offered; (5) FOSSILSFOR EVERYBODYMalicks , 5514 Plymouth Road,Baltimore 14, Maryland. It is interesting to note that the above price lists do not "list" a single Hawaiian shell. Length(mm) ~mJ1rJ!. Terebra maculata The proud 155 255 owner for Width (mm) 41.5 61 both shells is Walter N. Carpenter, 7115 Healy Drive, Springfield, Virginia. Mr. Carpenter has written that both of the shells are from Cebu in the Philippines and were obtained in August 1955. Mitra incompta has been topped in size too. In this instance by Jean M. Cate, 12719 San Vicente Blvd., Los Angeles 49, California. Her shell measures 102.8 mm in length and 27.9 mm in width. The shell is from Zanzibar. Ronald E. Pabl, Fulton College, Tailevu, Fiji reports that he possesses a Conus aulicus which is 144 mm in length and 57 mm in width. That size exceeds our record here at the Children's Museum. Do you have a larger one? CIfBMA I!!!R!.SSCHILDERIANANOT FOUND IN MORE BURSA DATA FLORIDA by CRAWFORD N. CATE It was with considerable dismay that I read the letter from "Barnacle Bill" Hosmer in the March issue of HSN, in which he tells of going through quantities of Cypraea tigris in Florida shell shops and selecting schilderiana from among them, basing his conclusion that the selected specimens are .Q. .h schilderiana solely on the incorrect assumption that this subspecies is merely a lighter-colored version of the typical C. ~ tigris. I hate to be the bearer Of sad new~t this situation simply isn't possible. In the interest of correcting a misconception before it goes much farther, I'd like to discuss this a little more. ~ Let's start out by being a bit technical; we'll finish up in simpler terms. After all, a good many technicalities are involved in naming and describing a new subspecies; we don't just say "Look here, this shell is a different color, let's give it a new name." Think what chaos would result if this were true! Many mollusk species are so variable, even in shape, that there would be a far worse muddle in conchology than there is at present if this were the way a new subspecies (or species, or genus, etc.) is born. As with everything else, there are rules to follow in describing a new form, or taxon. These rules or principles are what we refer to as taxonomy. The textbook definition of a subspecies is: "A geographically defined aggregate of local populations which differs taxonomically from other such subdivisions of the species." A careful re-reading of my paper in which I described Cypraea ~ schilderiana (The Veliger 3 (4):107109) and the subsequent one by Dr. Alison Kay (The Veliger 4 (1):36-40) will bring out the differences which set this purely Hawaiian subspecies apart from the typical ~. .!!g!:!! ~ and its other subspecies collected more commonly in other parts of the Pacific. Color alone is by far the least important consideration in such a variable species; furthermore, the color and pattern vary about as much within the subspecies schilderiana as they do in the other more common forms. I have some specimens from Hawaii that appear almost totally black, and others in many degrees of color variability. It should be emphasized that, according to presently accepted biological concepts, any number of mollusks of the same species, collected in any single locality, must all belong to the same subspecies. It is a biological impossibility for more than one subspecies to exist side by side in the same locality. Therefore, no one could sort through any assortment of shells from the same locality and find anything but varying color phases and assorted sizes of the same subspecies. As mentioned before, variations could be found even within a hypothetical bin full of Cypraea tigris schilderiana; there could be several va:rIii1ions, but all specimens in that bin would be schilderiana Hawaii. if they all came from Cypraea ~ ~ ~innaeus, 1758 (the typical species) and ..Q.,.~ pardalis Shaw, 1795 are common, to very common mollusks, found in great numbers in shallow water and on the reefs in many areas, notably such places as East Africa and the Philippines. It is these large quantities from such abundantly endowed localities that are shipped in bulk, literally by the ton, allover the world to shell stores and noveltY dealers. Cypraea ~ schilderiana Cate, 1961 is found only in Hawaii (' 'a geographically defined aggregate"). It is uncommon to rare even there, coming from fairly deep water. One of the reasons it is rare in Hawaii is that this is the end of the line for CyPraea ~, so to speak; the species is found no further east than Hawaii and as is sometimes the case, at the end of its range it unaccountably undergoes certain changes in form as well as becoming scarcer, just before disappearing from the scene entirely. Evidently this species cannot endure whatever changes in ecology take place east of Hawaii, and therefore it moves no farther. If any single morphological character could be said to separate Cypraea ~ schilderiana from the typical species and other subspecies, it would not be the color, but rather the astonishingly large size it attains at maturity---5 or 6 inches long, 3-1/2 or 3-3/4 inches wide, and 3 or 3-1/4 inches high---nearly twice as large in all dimensions as the typical species. My closing arguments may seem unscientific, and possibly will sound all the more convincing for that reason: it is unlikely that any Hawaiian collector lucky enough to find such a prize on a deep dive would let it go to a bulk-shell dealer for the pittance he would receive for it. Its relative rarity precludes its being exported in large quantities, and if dealers can sell Cypraea tigris at the height of the tourist season for tWenty-five cents apiece and make a profit, what could the original collector, with his costly SCUBA equipment, gain by sending a single specimen to a dealer for resale? The postage alone would cost more than twenty-five cents to mail a parcel containing the equivalent weight of a single typical adult specimen of Cypraea tigris schilderiana. It is my understandin-g--fiiat a fine, large specimen of the Hawaiian subspecies could be expected to bring a figure closer to $20-$25 through a dealer in specimen shells, and its rarity makes this a not unfair price, all things considered. I further would allow to remain in even if he shells, if it long! doubt that any shell dealer a specimen of Cypraea ~ the twenty-five cent grab-bag, didn't know anything about measured five or six inches TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN Regarding Feb. 1962 issue of HSN: "On p. 7; having no book reference on ~ mammata, Roding, 1798, but knowing I have a similar shell I checked. It seems I have 2 similar (if not th~ same) shells to the one you picture, both found in 1956. The one from Guam and one from Kii, Japan. Both came as "rhodostoma"Beck.. 1841 "type of Lampadopsis genus". Maxwell Smith World Wide #666 and M. Smith "Triton Helmet and Harpa" #27 - plate 9, fig. 2 show "rhodostoma". Also in "Triton Helmet and Harpa", P. 26-9 list "siphonata" Reeve, 1844 as synonym of Bursa bufonia venustula Reeve, 1844. Do we-have same or different shells? On p. 2; the shell I have from Japan and the pictures in the 2 Japanese books I have (not the newer Habe) do not look like figure 3 and 4 of Cymatium _echo. "Would you know if vespaceum Lam and sinense Reeve 1844 are similar shells because figures 5 and 6 fit M. Smith "Triton Helmet and Harp" Cvmatium sinense more than.9.., vespaceum? signed, Mrs. W. Barker. ANSWFH We consider the most up to date taxonomic reference for Pacific Marine Mollusks to be Kuroda and Habe's "Check List and Bibliography of the Recent Marine Mollusca of Japan". SuchfamousAmerican malacologists and zoologists as Dr. Myra Keen and Dr. Alvin Cahn helped compile this outstanding "Check List". Although Maxwell Smith's books' 'Triton Helmet and Harp Shells" and "WorldWide Sea Shells and Rock Shell Catalog" are helpful they contain many errors in nomenclature, particularly the earlier book. For example, in "Triton Helmet and Harp Shells", on p. 27 he lists B. cruentata as a synonym of~ rhodostOma-:--l1ihis latter book he lists them correctly as two distinct species as have Kuroda and Habe. Unfortunately only a handful of Bursa are listed in Smith's "World Wide Sea Shell, etc.", and therefore few corrections could be made of his earlier work which covered many Bursa species. In Kuroda and Habe's "Japanese Check List" on p. 82 under Ranella we see that ~ ~fini~ Broderip, 1832, is a synonym of ~ corrugata Perry, 1811, and that ~ vunustula Reeve, 1844, is a synonym of B. mammata R<>ding,1798, both of which correct Smith's synonymy in his "Triton Helmet and Harp Shells." The earlier authors of course have priority in these two cases. On p. 26 Smith also incorrectly lists ~ tuberossima as a synonym of ~ bufonia, Kuroda and Habe show on p. 42 of their "Check List" B. bufonia and B. tuberossima to be two di"Stin~ separate species. Cymatium vespaceum Lamarck and C. sinense Reeve are broadly similar bUt different species; see Kuroda and Habe "Japanese Check List", p. 51. We believe the Hawaiian Cymatium ~ to be a narrower ecological form of the typi1::alJapanese5;..,. ~cho. We find the taxonomy in Kuroda and Habe to be the most reliable andup-to-date for the area covered by this volume.