Dr. Rob Dillon, Coordinator

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

How To Study and Collect Freshwater Gastropods

Some of you may be familiar with the classic AMU publication, "How To Study and Collect Shells." That 100-page booklet, last published (in its fourth edition) in 1974, was very popular among hobbyists and collectors of all backgrounds for years. It featured a nice little chapter on freshwater snails written by F. C. Baker in 1941.

Three years ago Charlie Sturm (of the Carnegie Museum) accepted the task of editing a new, completely updated version of the old chestnut. I was honored to be asked to contribute the freshwater snail chapter, following in the footsteps of one of my heros. I put together about ten pages of general background information on the biology, ecology, and conservation of our favorite animals, with tips on collecting and keeping them in aquaria, all aimed at a very general audience.

Alas, publication of this promising resource has been delayed for several years*. In the interim I have received many requests for information on freshwater gastropods from the public at large, and have occasionally furnished manuscript versions of my chapter to the outreach offices of various natural resources agencies, public school teachers, and so forth. So I've decided (with Charlie's permission) that the time has come to make the chapter generally available.

Dillon, R. T. (in press) Freshwater Gastropods. In Sturm, C.F., T.A. Pierce & A. Valdes (eds.), The Mollusks: A Guide to Their Study, Collection and Preservation. American Malacological Society, Pittsburgh, PA. [PDF]

Feel free to copy and circulate this document wherever it can do some good. It is citable as a chapter from a forthcoming AMS publication. I'll let you all know* when the actual booklet finally hits the presses.

*PS - Ultimately published in 2006:
The Mollusks: A Guide to Their Study, Collection and Preservation