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Volume 49, 1916
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Art. XXXVIII.—Additional Fossils from Target Gully, near Oamaru.

[Read before the Otago Institute, 5th December, 1916; received by Editors, 30th December, 1916; issued separately 7th December, 1917.]

In a paper written in 1914 a list was given of all the species of Mollusca that had been found at Target Gully. The total number of species then obtained was 155. A number of additional species has been obtained since then, of which the following is a list:—

  • Subemarginula intermedia Reeve.

  • Trochus chathamensis Hutton.

  • Heliacus variegatus Gmelin.

  • Circulus helicoides Hutton.

  • Triphora lutea Suter.

  • Seila bulbosa Suter.

  • Anachis pisaniopsis Hutton.

  • Ampullina carinata Hutton.

  • Natica australis Hutton.

  • Epitonium zelebori Dunker.

  • Turbonilla prisca Suter.

  • Eulima obliqua Hutton.

  • Rissoina emarginula Hutton.

  • Fusinus climacotus Suter.

  • Megalatractus maximus Tryon.

  • Vexillum fenestratum Suter.

  • Vexillum marginatum Hutton.

  • Siphonalia caudata Q. & G.

  • Euthria callimorpha Suter.

  • Cominella ordinatis Hutton.

  • Ancilla papillata Tate.

  • Marginella fraudulenta Suter.

  • Erato neozelanica Suter.

  • Drillia costifer Suter.

  • Surcula pareoraensis Suter.

  • Bathytoma albula Hutton.

  • Turris regius Suter?

  • Mangilia pukeurensis Suter.

  • Mangilia praecophinodes Suter.

  • Mangilia dictyota Hutton.

  • Mangilia gracilicostata Suter.

  • Hemiconus ornatus Hutton.

The Trivia n. sp. mentioned in previous lists is T. avellanoides Tate. Mitra n. sp. is M. armorica Suter. There is also a new variety of Venericardia intermedia.

There are also new species of the following genera:—

Vermicularia. Eulima (two n. sp.). Streptochetus.
Marginella. Rissoina. Phos.
Besanconia. Merica. Odostomia (two n. sp.).
Tornatina. Drillia. Cuna.
Sveltia. Fusinus. Barnea.
Basilissa. Latirus. Loripes.
Eglisia. Surcula. Calyptraea maculata (Q. & G.) n. var.
Cyclostrema. Chione.

These make an additional 57 species, which added to my previous list of 155 species makes a grand total of 212. In addition Professor Park has found several species, which raises the total to 220, of which 72 species are Recent—that is, 30.3 per cent.

This collection is of special interest, for it is the first time that the small species have been collected in beds of such a low Tertiary horizon in New Zealand. Hutton has stated that the Pliocene is distinguished from the Miocene in New Zealand by the presence of the following genera: Trophon, Columbella (Anachis), Turricula (Vexillum), and Mytillicardia (Cardita).*

[Footnote] * Macleay Mem. Vol. Linn. Soc. N.S.W., 1893, p. 35.

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All of these genera, however, have now been found in rocks admitted to be of Miocene age.

In general it appears that, apart from purely littoral forms, of which we have comparatively few fossils, there have been no important generic additions to our molluscan fauna since early Tertiary times. The collection of over two hundred species from the small bed at Target Gully suggests that mollusca were more abundant in New Zealand waters in this Miocene period than at the present time, and that generically the fauna was much richer.

Specimens of some seventy-five of the Target Gully species were sent to M. Maurice Cossmann, the distinguished palaeoconchologist, of Paris. He has been good enough to examine the shells, and has forwarded the following notes:—

“Limopsis aurita (non Brocchi), elle est plus trigone, plus gouflée, la charnièe est plus épaisse avec les dents plus grosses. Il faut reprendre le nom zealandica Hutton.

“Cytherea meridionalis aucun rapport avec. Chione meridionalis du Pliocène, il faut reprendre le nom vellicata Hutton.

“Chione oblonga de Target Gully est également differente de C. oblonga Hanley, du Pliocène; je propose C. suboblonga Cossm.

“Chione mesodesma de Target Gully n'a de même aucune analogie de forme, d'ornamentation ni de charnière avec celle du Pliocène, je propose donc C. marshalli Cossm.

“Ces trois espéces sont du reste des Ventricoloidea Sacco (v. le vol. i de ma Conchol. néog. de l'Aquitaine).

“Turbonilla oamarutica probablement Acissella

“Latirus acuticingulatus et L. compactus sont des Tritonidea

“Latirus brevirostris probablement Leucozonia ou un nouveau genre.

“Mangilia canaliculata est un Ptychatractus

“Mangilia nodosolirata est une Bela (Buchozia)

“Les deux Cylichnella sont des Bullinella

“Leptothyra fluctuata est un Tiburnus

“Admete praecursoria est un Actaeon”

A copy of these notes was sent to Mr. Suter, who in reply wrote to me as follows. “With regard to Cytherea oblonga and Chione meridionalis and C. mesodesma I do not agree with Cossmann.” It is thus evident that a good deal of latitude must be allowed for personal opinion, and a corresponding difference in the percentage of Recent species in a collection classified by two different authorities.

The following general remark is made by M. Cossmann about the Target Gully bed: “Le gisement de Target Gully, près Oamaru, me semble bien se rapporter a l'époque miocènique, et je crois que les espéces de le niveau sont bien distinctes de celles des mers actuelles aussi bien que de Phocène. Aucune ne m'a semble pareille a celles du Miocène d'Australie que je possède.”

M. Cossmann makes frequent reference to the replacing of Lamarck's names by those of Bolten, and maintains that this is unnecessary and inadvisable. While fully sympathizing with him in this view, it is advisable in this country to use Bolten's names so far as Recent genera are concerned as they have been adopted, in Suter's Manual of the New Zealand Mollusca.