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1 June 2009 Dwight Blaney and William Procter on the Molluscan Faunas of Frenchman Bay and Ironbound Island, Maine
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In the early twentieth century, Dwight Blaney (1865–1944) and William Procter (1872–1951), two men of disparate genteel backgrounds, congregated in the summers with many of America's social elite in Maine's Bar Harbor region. Not prone to idleness, Blaney and Procter dredged the waters of Frenchman Bay for marine mollusks, Blaney in 1901–1909 and Procter in 1926–1932. Blaney collected 149 species: 6 chitons, 62 bivalves, 2 scaphopods, and 79 gastropods. Two of the mollusks were new species that were named after him: Tonicella blaneyi (a chiton) and Oenopota blaneyi (a gastropod). In 1904, Blaney made a survey of the land snails of Ironbound Island, his home in Frenchman Bay, finding 19 species. This survey remains the definitive study of the island. In 1916, Blaney and paleontologist Frederic Brewster Loomis extricated 23 marine mollusks from the Pleistocene clays of Mount Desert Island. Nine of these species were no longer living in Frenchman Bay, but had presumably moved to more northern climes. From 1904 to 1916, Blaney published seven scientific papers on the mollusks of Maine. His collection of Indian artifacts from coastal shell middens was among the earliest acquisitions of the Abbe Museum in Acadia National Park. Procter, working from his research laboratory at Corfield Cottage, his summer estate at Bar Harbor, collected 137 molluscan species from Frenchman Bay and environs: 5 chitons, 52 bivalves, 2 scaphopods, 77 gastropods (including O. blaneyi), and 1 cephalopod. Together, Blaney and Procter discovered 159 marine mollusk species in the vicinity of Frenchman Bay, of which 126 (79.3%) were in both collections. Their efforts still constitute the documented molluscan inventory for the region. Between 1927 and 1946, Procter published four volumes on natural history studies, especially of insects but including the marine mollusks and other fauna, under the title Biological Survey of the Mount Desert Region.

Richard I. Johnson "Dwight Blaney and William Procter on the Molluscan Faunas of Frenchman Bay and Ironbound Island, Maine," Northeastern Naturalist 16(mo4), 1-39, (1 June 2009).
Published: 1 June 2009

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