Spring Meeting 2003

Leicester, Friday 28 February – Sunday 2 March 2003.


Dr Ian Boomer (Newcastle), Dr Roy Clements (Leicester) and Mrs Jan Clements, James Evans (Leicester), Dr Mick Frogley (Sussex), Dr David Horne (NHM), Prof. Hou Xianguang (Yunnan University, visiting Leicester), Dr Nicky Johnson, Prof. Alan Lord (UCL), Richard Pope (Greenwich), Prof. David Siveter (Leicester) and Mrs Pauline Siveter, Dr Ian Slipper (Greenwich), Dr Robin Smith (NHM), Radka Symonova (Charles University, visiting Greenwich), Dr Mark Williams (BGS, Keyworth), Vince Williams (Leicester), Mark Woodger (Bristol), Brett Woodhouse (Leicester).

The party assembled at the Ullesthorpe Court Hotel, Ullesthorpe on Friday 28 February and, following a convivial evening, were ready for work after breakfast the next morning. However, David ‘insomniac’ Horne had scored before breakfast with specimens of living Candona candida (O.F. Mueller, 1776) from a water butt in the hotel garden! The rest of the group, somewhat more torpid, had breakfast and travelled to the Department of Geology, Leicester for a day of varied and excellent presentations, sustained by lunch in a nearby pub, coffee, and a very fine coffee and walnut cake from the hands of Pauline Siveter.

The programme on Saturday 1 March commenced with thoughts for Dr Dick Benson and his family. Dick, who died in February, had close connections with Leicester through his friendship and collaborations with the late Prof. Peter Sylvester-Bradley, founder of A Stereo-Atlas of Ostracod Shells. Since our last visit to Leicester it is sad to note also the loss of Mrs Joan Sylvester-Bradley, a good friend and kind hostess to the Ostracod Group who died on 8 February 2002.

The following talks were presented:

  • Ian Boomer – ‘Mesolithic coastal environments of Northumberland: Living in the oldest house in Britain’ – as featured in a recent ‘Meet the Ancestors’ TV programme.
  • Mick Frogley and Alex Chepstow-Lusty – ‘High resolution isotopic and faunal evidence for climatic variability in the Lucre Basin, Cuzco region, Peru, over the last 2ka’.
  • David Horne and Robin Smith – ‘A new first British record of Potamocypris humilis (Sars 1924), a freshwater ostracod with a disjunct record in Britain and South Africa’.
  • Richard Pope – ‘A Freshwater Mutual Climatic Range Method – using ostracods to establish past climates’
  • Ian Slipper – ‘The faunal response of ostracods within Cenomanian chalk/marl rhythms’
  • David Siveter, Hou Xianguang and Mark Williams – ‘China off the beaten track: huntin’ bradorids’ (yes, we know bradorids are not ostracods, but they are bivalved and we have adopted them).
  • Robin Smith, David Horne and John Whittaker – ‘A new species of Terristricythere from the UK’.
  • Radka Symonova – ‘Ostracods of the Cejc Lake, Czech Republic’.
  • Mark Williams, David Siveter and Giles Miller – ‘Scottish Carboniferous ostracods. A case study from the Ballagan Formation’.
  • Roy Clements – ‘Introduction to the Field Day, 2 March 2003’.

After this interesting and varied day, which included special displays prepared by Roy Clements and James Evans, the party retired to the Ullesthorpe Court Hotel for dinner.

Sunday 2 March turned out to be a wonderful, bright Spring day and it was a pleasure to be in the field, first to look at the Lower Jurassic at Tilton-on-the-Hill and then to sample for living material in Rutland Water, both to the east of Leicester.

Tilton Railway Cutting SSSI Nature Reserve (SK76130560):

The former railway cutting exposes the Lower Jurassic Lias Group, represented by the top of the Dyrham Formation, Marlstone Rock Formation, and basal Whitby Mudstone Formation, spanning the Upper Pliensbachian and Lower Toarcian stages. Roy Clements demonstrated the sequence, explaining that recent ammonite work (Howarth 1992) indicated that the base of the Toarcian stage falls within the Marlstone Rock Fm. and thus much lower than previously thought. A small faunal list for the Marlstone Rock section at Tilton was published by Lord (1982) and a full account of Toarcian ostracods from nearby Empingham (Rutland Water) is in Bate & Coleman (1975).

Whitby Mudstone Fm., Bed RGC12, base immediately above Ironstone Mbr., tenuicostatum zone, sample yielded:

Trachycythere verrucosa Triebel & Klingler, 1959
Kinkelinella tenuicostata Martin, 1960
?Monoceratina sp.
Paracypris sp.

Modern Locality 1: Tilton Railway Cutting, seepage-fed swampy pond with abundant macrophytes in the bottom of the cutting close to the road bridge.
Abdundant Psychrodromus olivaceus (Brady & Norman, 1889).

Modern Locality 2: Tilton Railway Cutting, seepages / ponds under wooden walkway in bottom of cutting, abundant decidous leaf litter.
Abundant Eucypris pigra (Fischer, 1851);
Also some Potamocypris fulva (Brady, 1868).

Following lunch in the Noel Arms, Whitwell, the party sampled Rutland Water for living ostracods.

Whitwell Water Sports Centre (SK926082)
Ian Boomer demonstrated the workings of a Renberg corer and a dredge.

Modern Locality 3: margin of Rutland Water, sandy/muddy bottom 1-2m deep, adjacent to the jetty from which an intrepid boat team set sail to sample deeper waters.

Candona cf. candida (O. F. Mueller, 1776)
Cypria ophthalmica (Jurine, 1820) (abundant)
Cypridopsis vidua (O. F. Mueller, 1776)
Ilyocypris sp.
Limnocytherina sanctipatricii (Brady & Robertson, 1869) (one living adult female; several empty male and female carapaces also obtained)

Deep water sample, north arm of Rutland Water, near Limnological Tower (circa SK931073):
Material dredged by the boat crew yielded live
Candona cf. candida (O. F. Mueller, 1776)
Cypria ophthalmica (Jurine, 1820) (abundant)
Cypridopsis vidua (O. F. Mueller, 1776)
Cytherissa lacustris (Sars, 1863)
Ilyocypris sp.
Limnocytherina sanctipatricii (Brady & Robertson, 1869)

This is essentially the same fauna that was found on the margin at the jetty, with the addition of C. lacustris; this is only the third locality in Britain where you can find living Cytherissa lacustris, the other two being Semerwater in Yorkshire and Loch Assynt in Scotland (pers. comm. DJH, and IDB for the latter record).

Previous collecting on 28 September 1975 (Siveter 1975) yielded live:
Ilyocypris gibba (Ramdohr) – females only, very common, smooth and noded
Cypria opthalmica (Jurine) – adults and instars, common
Potamocypris villosa (Jurine) – common
Eucypris virens (Jurine) – rare
Erpetocypris reptans (Baird) – rare

Anglian Water Birdwatching Centre lagoons (lagoon no. 3, at circa SK893078):

Modern Locality 4 – small creek on lake margin, surface covered with duckweed (Lemna sp.). organic rich mud on bottom.
Cypria ophthalmica (Jurine, 1820)
Juvenile Candona sp

Modern Locality 5 – Phragmites reed bed on lake margin – organic-rich mud and reed debris.
Candona sp.
Cypria ophthalmica (Jurine, 1820)
Cypridopsis vidua (O. F. Mueller, 1776)
Ilyocypris sp.
Isocypris beauchampi (Paris, 1920)
Potamocypris cf. villosa (Jurine, 1820)
Additionally some large empty valves of Cypris pubera O. F. Mueller, 1776 were found among the reeds at Loc. 5.

Burley Fish Ponds area, north arm of Rutland Water (circa SK886086)

The Burley Fish Ponds are now beneath the north arm of Rutland Water, but in 1975 yielded (Siveter 1975):
Mud from Phragmites reed bed:
Cypridopsis vidua (Müller) – adults, very common
Candona neglecta Sars – valves only, rare, dead
Erpetocypris reptans (Baird) – adult valve fragments, rare
Ilyocypris gibba (Ramdohr) – rare

Open water pond:
Cypria opthalmica (Jurine) – adults and instars, common

Strand line sediment sample (SK889086):
A dry strand-line deposit of plant debris left by a former high lake level yielded empty valves of Herpetocypris sp., Candona sp. and juveniles of a large cypridid, possibly Cypris pubera.

Vince Williams will be conducting his undergraduate long project on Rutland Water ostracods, and we look forward to his results in due course.

Following a full day of collecting the party dispersed. We are very grateful to David Siveter and Roy Clements for organising such a successful weekend, and to the University of Leicester for lecture facilities. We are especially grateful to Mr Tim Appleton (Manager, Rutland Water Nature Reserve) and to Anglian Water for permission to collect and for use of a boat for deep water sampling. The Rutland Water sampling attempted to replicate the 1975 sampling, and by happy chance Tim Appleton was our host on that occasion.


  • Bate, R.H. and Coleman, B. 1975. Upper Lias Ostracoda from Rutland and Huntingdonshire. Bulletin of the Geological Survey of Great Britain, 55: 1-42.
  • Howarth, M.K. 1992. The ammonite Family Hildoceratacea in the Lower Jurassic of Britain. Monograph of the Palaeontographical Society: 1-200 (Part 1: 586, 145, 1991; Part 2: 590, 146, 1992).
  • Lord, A.R. 1982. Metacopine ostracods in the Lower Jurassic. In Banner, F.T. and Lord, A.R. (Eds) Aspects of Micropalaeontology, George Allen and Unwin (pp.262?277).
  • Siveter, D.J. 1975 Report of Ostracod Group meeting in Leicester, 27-28 September 1975, British Micropalaeontological Society Newsletter. (Faunal identifications by John Athersuch, Eric Robinson and Peter Sylvester-Bradley.

Identifications: thanks to Ian Boomer, David Horne, Robin Smith and Radka Symonov

Alan Lord
Secretary, Ostracod Group