Collection Sources of Paul Pallery from the Mollusca Collections at the National Museum Wales

The following is extracted from a manuscript report by Mary Seddon (1994) who was formerly working on a compilation of Pallary’s new names. A bibliography of Pallary was recently published (Bank, R. A., and Menkhorst, P. M. G. 2009. A revised bibliography of the malacological papers of Paul Pallary. Zoologische Mededelingen Leiden 83 (5): 537-546).

Pallary was prolific writer on the land-snails of NW. Africa and contributed many papers on the faunas of NW. Africa, especially those of Morocco, Eygpt and Syria. He was a schoolteacher at Oran, who periodically made collecting excursions. He was also a shell dealer, and issued regular lists of marine and land-shells available for purchase. The majority of the material sold came from Morocco, NW. Algeria, Tunisia, Eygpt and Syria. Tomlin purchased direct from Pallary on several occasions between 1915 and 1925, and as such we hold many "syntypes" and "author's topotypes" from these regions. In terms of his taxonomic papers, Pallary followed the example of Bourguignat and tended to be a "splitter"., consequently he added many new species, subspecies and varietal names into the literature, and here in Cardiff we hold a database listing all of these names. His interests extended to Marine and Freshwater Molluscs as his many publications testify.

Some of his early contributions were made at the Conferences of the French Association for the Advancement of Science, but major publications were in "Journal de Conchyologie" and the "Bulletin de Science, Nord Afrique", and some of the larger papers were also published as separate offprints.

During his career, he spent some time cultivating contacts with French Army officers and many of the new species resulted from this association. The early papers dealt with the more accessible coastal regions of Morocco and Algeria, starting with the environs of Oran where he lived (1891, 1896). In this early period he began describing and figuring new taxa, especially helicids such as Helix mortilleti, Helix doumerguei and Helix mesquiniana. Some of the material described came from other collectors. In August 1897 Pallary collected in the region of Tanger, and passed briefly through Melilla collecting also in NE. Morocco and NW. Algeria. These collections were used in his first substantial publication on NW Africa (1898) which described 22 new species. In this paper he also used the collections of other naturalists including Gaston BUCHET (1897), Henry VAUCHER (who was based in Tanger for several years, and during this time collected in the local region, providing material for naturalists such as Coquand, Grasset, Tarnier, Kobelt Favier, Pechaud and Pallary), Geronimo OLCESE (also collected widely in Morocco, and was aided on his travels by the local hunting guides), FAVIER and John PONSONBY (who collected from Tanger, Casablanca and Mogador, 1880- 89). Pallary (1898) comments that by the time he was hiring a local hunting guide, they were already experienced mollusc collectors. Gaston Buchet and Henry Vaucher made further collections between 1900 and 1901 and provided material for Pallary, which together with his own excursions in the Rif mountains, formed the basis for his second major contribution on Morocco (1904). This described 6 new species and 17 varieties, with several species named in honour of Vaucher and his companion Davidson (Vaucheri tingitana, Helix vaucheri, Helix sublallemanti var. davidsoni).

Pallary's later papers dealt with the faunas of the remote mountain strongholds such as the Haut Atlas and Moyen Atlas, the last regions to be colonised by the French. In 1912 to 1913 Pallary was one of a team of Zoologists attached to the Mission of Scientific exploration organised by the Geographical Society. He started collecting in the Haut Atlas region, but on the further outbreaks of war in 1914 the expeditions were suspended until RICARD restarted them in 1921. At this time his contacts with military personel provided him with further material. Pallary (1917-19) described 21 species and 26 new varieties, some in honour of his collectors - Capitaine Minette de SAINT MARTIN (collecting in 1916 in Moyen Atlas around Sefrou and Haute Mouloya region); GIACOMOI (gendarme at Debdou); CHAMAY (instituter at Berkane); PRIVAT (soldier at Taourirt), Capitaine Paul MARTEL (Skoura, Tarzout; Moyen Atlas; see separate entry below: Xerophila marteli), VERIGNONI (NE. Morocco; Xerophila verignoni), Lt. SABY (Guettera-Mahidja; NE. Morocco), CLAVEL (Safsafsat, NE. Morocco) Sergent BERGERON (Guercif; NE. Morocco), Lt. BRUNOT(Kalâa Sless).

His son Maurice PALLARY also collected shells and was the source of some of the species described in this paper and later papers.

In 1921-22 Pallary reviewed the malacofauna of the Haut Atlas drawing on his earlier work (1898,1904), and expedition material and in addition to the faunal lists, he started to describe the ecological and geographical patterns emerging. The paper, which described four new species and many varieties, covered much of the northern Haut Atlas, especially the mountain regions surrounding Marrakech, the coastal area and the Sous valley. Some of the material figured in this paper is in the collections of MNHN-Paris.

In 1927 Pallary gave additional notes on the malacofauna of the Berber region (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia). This covered new species descriptions as well as illustrating poorly described species. The majority of the new species descriptions resulted from material supplied by other collectors such as Ricard (mainly Melanopsis), Martel (Moyen Atlas), Dr NAIN (Anti Atlas, Sous, HautAtlas; Xerophila naini, Melanopsis naini) Dr. BONJEAN (Timhadit), Dr. FREYDIER (Outat-el-Hadj; Archelix freydieri), Capitaine SCHMITT, Capitaine BOITEL (Midelt, Hte. Atlas: Leonia jolyi var. boiteli), Lt. de L'EPREVIER (Foreign Legion; Morocco, S. Algeria - Pupilla leprevieri, Lechatelerieria leprevieri) and Professor L. SEURAT (Algeria; Xerophila seurati, Melanopsis seurati). Other collectors who supplied material at times include BARBIN (Archelix barbini), BLANC (Tabarka, Tunisia), BERRY (Ait Lias, Moyen Atlas), Dr. CEARD, CHOTTIN (El Aioun), Lte. DURIEZ (Kiffans, Morocco), Dr FOLEY, GOUVION (in colln. L'Hotellerie, Beni bou Mileuk, Tunisia, Ena gouvioni), M. GUYON (Debdou), MOCQUERYS (Gabes; Xerophila mocquerysi), Dr. RUSSO (Taza - Figuig, Morocco; Fruticola russoi), M. SOLIGNAC (Medjel, Mettlaoui, Zaghouan, Tunisia: Archelix Solignaci) Philippe THOMAS (Constantine).

In 1928 Pallary published a paper on 7 new species from the Moyen Atlas, but several of these names probably only merit varietal status. Pallary (1929) again made comments on geographical affinities of groups of species covering a few specific areas in Morocco. Further papers continued to produce new species descriptions, some from the lesser known regions south of the Oued Sous and the Ahaggar mountains in southern Algeria, as well as checklists of species (Pallary, 1936).

His interests also included marine molluscs of the Magreb region, Molluscs of Egypt, Syria and other parts of the Near East, and publications on these regions continued from the period 1908 onwards (see manuscript in preparation). Germain revised most of Pallary's material from the region of Syria, but little work has been done on the NW. African fauna.