Sunday, November 17, 2013

Updated Checklist of the Bivalves of BC Now Available

Thanks to the efforts of Robert Forsyth and Rick Harbo, we have recently posted an updated (2013) checklist of the bivalve molluscs of Britsh Columbia. View the checklist here.

This checklist now includes 237 bivalve species from both marine and freshwater habitats in the province.  Both English common names and scientific names are updated, and marine, freshwater and marine intertidal species are indicated in the checklist.

The authors provide interesting insight into the documentation of bivalves in BC:  "Scientific collections began with Captain Cook and his crew, who anchored in Nootka Sound in 1778. The earliest description and name of a mollusc from the northeast Pacific was the Pacific Razor, Siliqua patula (Dixon, 1789). Dixon wrote a natural history appendix to the account of his voyage to the northwest coast of North America. He described the Pacific razor clam, and mentioned other species from Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands). ... The earliest checklist of marine mollusks of the Pacific coast of Canada was by Newcombe (1893), who listed 107 bivalves. Coan and Scott (1997) prepared a checklist of marine bivalves from the Arctic coast of Alaska to central Baja California, including all habitats from the intertidal to the deep sea."

Recent additions to the checklist for BC include Waldo arthuri.  Waldo arthuri is a new species of commensal clam (a galeommatid bivalve mollusk) that has been discovered off the coast of California and Vancouver Island by Paul Valentich-Scott, Diarmaid Ó Foighil, and Jingchun Li (2013). It has been found in the oral spines of the heart urchin from 80 to 444 meters depth, in muddy sediments.  In BC, Waldo arthuri is reported from Barkley Sound. 

Other new additions to the bivalve list include newly reported species of water fleas, documented by Ian Gardiner.  

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