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Temperate Cypraea of Southern New South Wales, Australia



 
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tempcyp




Gender: Gender:Male
Joined: 24 May 2012
Posts: 3
Location: Queensland

PostPosted: 29.08.2012, 06:34    Post subject: Temperate Cypraea of Southern New South Wales, Australia Reply with quote

Hello everyone, especially to some collectors that I knew when I dealt with specimen shells in Sydney,

Little did I realise back in September 1975 that finding a Cypraea vitellus scubadiving in 10 feet would lead to 13 years of chasing Cypraea in Southern NSW. Finding that shell (drilled with an octopus hole) started my passion for Cypraea. Since then I had dived from Jervis Bay down to Greencape near the border of Victoria finding quite a large number of cypraea before moving to Sydney in 1988 to start a new chapter in my diving.

Some very interesting areas dived were, Jervis Bay, Ulladulla, Broulee Island, Bermagui and Twofold Bay in Eden. Jervis Bay and Twofold Bay were well protected from the strong southerlies that pounded the coastline in winter. Greenpatch at Jervis Bay yielded some incredible finds. It is a very sheltered area and I had collected 13 species in that one area.Twofold Bay suprised me the most with 6 species found there in such a southerly location. For such a cold environment in winter I found quite a few vitellus, errones, flaveola, asselus and clandestina. The shell that suprised me the most was caputserpentis which I found 6 of and all were juvenile to subadult, light and fragile. I had heard from some Victorian friends that caputserpentis were found in subadult form down as far as Wilson's Promontory. The furthest southern Cypraea I had found was a vitellus at Greencape whilst I was spearfishing in that area in the mid 80's.

The most prolific cypraea was vitellus. Every area I dived I found them. Flaveola, clandestina, gracilis and xanthodon were common in good numbers. Also I found a large number of drilled cypraea at octopus dens and at times in Jervis Bay, found them being suffocated by the volute, Cymbiolena magnifica.

At Broulee Island in 1982 I found 3 strange dead cypraea on the rubble bottom that I had never seen before. I took them up to Lance Moore Marine Specimens, The Rocks in Sydney and he told me they were notocypraea hartsmithii and was very excited. I found about 3 more and in that winter a large southerly swell dumped sand on the rubble area and to this day is still all sand.

Once at Bermagui in the early 80's I was scubadiving off the main headland and came across about 30 Cypraea hesitata in 50 feet happily moving about on the rubble bottom. I thought that my christmases all came at once and I collected 7 of them from pure white to an extremely dark form. I thought I had found a population of them but was later informed by some trawler friends that they dumped a fair bit of bycatch off the headland. I also found other populations of hesitata near trawler ports up the coastline. Today I know of one reef area in 80 feet close to shore that has a good population of hesitata. Tasmania is the only other place I know of where there are diveable populations of hesitata.

Below are the species found from Jervis Bay to the Victorian border.

C. annulus to Jervis Bay
C. assellus to Eden
C. carneola to Broulee Island
C. caputserpentis to Eden
C. caurica to Broulee Island
C. clandestina to Eden
C. errones to Eden
C. erosa to Bermagui
C. felina to Jervis Bay
C. flaveola/labrolineata to Eden + Montague Island
C. gracilis to Tathra + Montague Island
C. moneta to Jervis Bay
C. vitellus to Green Cape + Montague Island
C. xanthodon to Broulee Island

Regards to all
Ernie
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Siladen




Gender: Gender:Male
Joined: 06 Dec 2011
Posts: 64
Location: France

PostPosted: 29.08.2012, 15:38    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ernie,

glad to read you! And great subject indeed: I have alsways been intrigued by cyparea found living in waters which can get much cooler than the reported standard for the species.
Back in the times when you were selling shells from Sidney I got from you a 35 mm Cypraea lynx taken in NSW - verbatim: "at least 200 kilometres further south in the colder temperate waters": may we add this one to the list of cowries living from Jervis Cape to Greencape, or you found it in NSW but farther north than Jervis Cape?

My personal regards, Fabio
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tempcyp




Gender: Gender:Male
Joined: 24 May 2012
Posts: 3
Location: Queensland

PostPosted: 30.08.2012, 00:27    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Fabio. That was a while ago when you got the lynx off me in Sydney.To answer your question, I found the lynx only as far down as Sydney. Jervis Bay is about 190 kilometres further south from Sydney. What fascinated me the most was what I found in the Sydney area of which at a later date I will post information on. As I said earlier, the shell that suprised me the most was the caputserpentis. I found it all the way down to Eden but never in the adult stage. The vitellus always amazed me as it was in all the areas I dived for shells in and I have a large collection of them from Cape York at the most northern tip of Australia to Eden NSW, about 3880 kms of coastline between the two. I still have specimens of caputserpentis if you are after some.
Regards
Ernie
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Sleepycat





Joined: 08 Feb 2007
Posts: 135
Location: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

PostPosted: 01.09.2012, 19:58    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great post Ernie and an excellent companion to the post by Cribraria Kid dealing with southern WA occurrences of warm-water species on this thread:

http://cowryforum.bboard.de/board/ftopic-41123903nx25725-580.html

One post on this forum reported a single recent sighting of a live caputserpentis on the Tasmanian east coast near St Helens. However it is still just a single specimen.

Also there are not only diveable populations of hesitata in Tasmania - there are walkable (intertidal) populations in at least one part of the state.

Thanks again for sharing, these sorts of lists are great to have on this forum.

Kevin.
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Notocypraea




Gender: Gender:Male
Joined: 17 Jul 2007
Posts: 311
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: 04.09.2012, 14:46    Post subject: Reply with quote

G'day Ernie,

Long time since we have spoken.
I did a few dives with Ashley in Sydney in 2009 when stationed there for work. To this day I have only ever self collected one live Cypraea from NSW waters (C. flaveola/labrolineata from Shellharbour).

Indeed one of the shell diving highlights of my life was self collecting Umbilia hesitata from Southern Tasmania. Seeing the occasional albino or howelli form still makes my heart skip a beat! I didn't realise you had self collected them diving in NSW... fantastic to hear!

Did you ever self collect Notocypraea comptonii, piperita or angustata from Southern NSW? My regular dive buddy collected a solitary comptonii from Merimbula in the mid 90's

Thanks for your post.


Regards,
Simon
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PVDB




Gender: Gender:Male
Joined: 21 Jul 2008
Posts: 132
Location: antwerpen Belgium

PostPosted: 04.09.2012, 17:06    Post subject: for Ernie Reply with quote

Hello Ernie, we lost complete contact some 10 years ago - or more - no respond any more on Your or Cate's (bigpond?) email address.
Regards to the family.Hope everything or at least the most important is OK.

Philippe PVDB Vandenberghe - umbilia addict - Antwerpen Belgium.

My post address changed too - after moving to a smaller place.
De Roest D'Alkemadelaan 6/48 - 2600 Berchem/Antwerpen - Belgium.
email: vedeberghe@hotmail.com.
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tempcyp




Gender: Gender:Male
Joined: 24 May 2012
Posts: 3
Location: Queensland

PostPosted: 05.09.2012, 06:24    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Simon;

Been a while mate. I eased up on the shells for quite a while concentrating more on the family.

I haven't dived with Ashley for a long while either. There were some exciting cypraea found in the Sydney area. Ashley with his urchins and me with the cowries, but that will be submitted in the future on this forum.

When I was with a mate diving at Tathra he found a worn comptonii?? under the jetty. Apart from that and the ones I found at Broulee Island, the notocyps were very scarce and I scoured a lot of areas areas south of Eden looking for them and not finding any specimens.

Yes I agree with you that finding live hesitatas, from small to large and varying in colour does make the heart skip when taken live.

Regards
Ernie
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