Miss Linter’s Legacy
Miss Linter’s collection of exotic land snail shells is of considerable significance. Yet, for a long time researchers believed it was sold after her death and lost to science. At the start of 2019 RAMM’s Natural Science Curator and colleagues at National Museum Wales and the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences published an introductory paper on the scope and importance of the collection and the fascinating lady behind it. The article is free to access.
Morgenroth H., Oliver P.G. & Breure A.S.H, 2018. The Miss J. E. Linter (1844-1909) collection of land snails in the Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Exeter, England: A provisional assessment. Colligo, 1(2). https://perma.cc/K7GA-DU9L
Miss Juliana Emma Linter, an English lady-conchologist, originally came from Devon but spent most of her life in Twickenham, London. Her collection was started following her acquisition of the Theobald and Skinner collections. It grew to some 15,000 shells. The collection is primarily of land snails from all parts of the world and contains primary and secondary type material. She went on to amass a collection rich in species that are invaluable to taxonomic research and to wider biodiversity studies especially concerning conservation.
Known type material and eponymous taxa
Miss Linter never published any scientific papers but was generous in giving access to others. They thanked her by creating a number of eponyms in her honour or citing the presence of types in her collection. These specimens have been investigated through the GB Mollusca Types project (Rowson et al, 2018). However, the full potential of possible type material has yet to be completed. This can only be done with the help of taxonomic specialists.
The eponyms were created by Sowerby, Gude, Möllendorff and Kobelt demonstrating her expansive contacts. Gerard Gude in particular used shells from the Linter collection in his studies, a holotype of one of his species is present.
- Achatina linterae Sowerby, 1890 – holotype, EXEMS: 1720/1909/XXX/167/1 Writing on shell states Cape of Good Hope, type description states Port Elizabeth. Shell matches all other elements of description and figure.
- Bulimus fulminans var. linterae Sowerby, 1890 – Lectotype and paralectotype at Natural History Museum London NHMUK: 18184.108.40.206-2. Paralectotypes EXEMS: 1720/1909/D25/32a-o. From ‘Mount Roraima, British Guiana’.
- Buliminus (Napaeus) linterae Kobelt 1899 -’nördlichen Indien?’ given by Miss Linter to Kobelt as Buliminus arcuatus var. (Gude, 1914) Lectotype in Senckenberg Museum, SMF-238412.
- Chloritis fausta Gude, 1906 – Holotype – EXEMS: 1720/1909/XXX/1 from New Mecklenberg [Papua New Guinea]
- Chloritis linterae Gude, 1905 – Holotype EXEMS: 1720/1909/D17/84b from ‘Aru Island, Indonesia’.
- Opithostoma linterae Sowerby 1896 – Syntypes EXEMS: 1720/1909/D41/242 and 243/1-6 from ‘Sarawak’.
- Plectopylis linterae Möllendorff, 1897 – from ‘Pegu’ – Lectotype in Senckenberg Museum, SMF-9280. EXEMS 1720/1909/D7/48a-e
- Papuina linterae Möllendorff, 1897 – from ‘Neuguinea’ – Lectotype (Holotype?) in Senckenberg Museum SMF-8655. EXEMS 1720/1909/D18/61a-b
A complete list of Miss Linter’s specimens is available on request.