This book catalogues more than 900 mollusc species, including more than 100 never before reported and 66 found only in Bermuda. The book is compiled from more than 750 literature sources and previously unpublished museum records.
Shell collectors, researchers, and other naturalists interested in western Atlantic molluscs will find a complete list of modern species names that shows their taxonomic placement and points out synonyms, misidentifications, and literature references to the species and illustrations. The book includes modern and fossil species, a history of mollusc collecting in Bermuda, and all the Bermuda literature references to each species.
Although the island is situated directly east of the United States, Bermuda has a completely different fauna with origins related to the Caribbean and the Antilles through movement of the Gulf Stream. Yet despite Bermuda's association with the West Indian fauna, many species are endemic to the island due to its isolation. Peculiar distributions of species in Bermuda might reflect introductions by humans or the natural dispersal of mollusc species with long-lived larvae.
Marine Molluscs of Bermuda: Checklist and Bibliography is founded on the work of Russell Jensen, who began studying marine molluscs in Bermuda during the mid-1940s and gathered information for nearly 40 years. Later Jensen's colleagues, J.R.H. "Jack" Lightbourn and the late Arthur Guest, collected many of the new records mentioned in this publication. Besides collecting in the inland waters and bays, the Lightbourn-Guest team dredged and trapped around the island at depths as deep as 700 meters. Pearce joined the effort in 1997, adding thousands of additional literature records and completing the book after Jensen's death.
This book is the first comprehensive list of Bermuda marine molluscs since Marine Flora and Fauna of Bermuda edited by Wolfgang Sterrer in 1986.
The list of molluscs, comprising the bulk of the book, is arranged systematically in six classes: Solenogastres (Aplacophora, or worm mollusks), Polyplacophora (chitons), Gastropoda (snails and sea slugs), Cephalopoda (octopods and squids), Scaphopoda (tusk shells), and Bivalvia (clams and scallops). Photographs include a number of endemic species in Bermuda that have never before been illustrated in colour, and the list of endemic species will be of use to conservation workers.
Russell H. Jensen (1918-2001) began collecting marine molluscs of Bermuda in 1941 while in the U.S. Army and continued visiting Bermuda and studying molluscs for six decades. After operating a greenhouse for 20 years, he became collection manager at the Delaware Museum of Natural History in 1970 with mollusc curator R. Tucker Abbott, Ph.D. Jensen served at head of the mollusc department from 1977 to 1988 and acting museum director in 1984.
Timothy A. Pearce, Ph.D., has studied molluscs since 1975, focusing on paleontology and ecology as a student at the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Michigan. He was curator of molluscs at the Delaware Museum of Natural History for five years, and is currently curator of molluscs at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh.