Mattheus Marinus Schepman

Mattheus Marinus Schepman

black and white portrait of a man with beard

Mattheus Marinus Schepman
Born (1847-08-17)August 17, 1847
Rhoon, Netherlands
Died November 19, 1919(1919-11-19) (aged 72)[1]
Bosch en Duin, Netherlands
Nationality Dutch
Fields Malacology
Known for collecting and taxonomy

Mattheus Marinus Schepman (17 August 1847 – 19 November 1919)[1][2] was a Dutch malacologist.[3][4] He was one of the foremost collectors of mollusc shells in the Netherlands, and was also high on the overall list of European collectors.[5]

Dutch collectors developed an interest in natural history specimens that were collected on worldwide expeditions since the 16th century. An interest in conchology led to numerous shell publications. In 1934 the Nederlandse Malacologische Vereniging (Netherlands Malacological Society) was founded. In commemoration of its 75th anniversary, a book honoring in detail the work of Mattheus Schepman was published.[5]

His research

Schepman was both a collector and a methodical scientist, which combination "made his collection of great value to the entire malacological community." He was given the opportunity to study a collection by Max Carl Wilhelm Weber, Director of the Zoölogisch Museum Amsterdam (ZMA). Many of the specimens he studied and collected were gathered by the Siboga Expedition. The expedition went to the Indo-Malaysian Archipelago and investigated 322 sites.[5]

Schepman's most significant work is reported in "The Prosobranchia of the Siboga expedition". HM Siboga was the transport ship for the eponymous "Siboga Expedition". Published over five years and consisting of 494 pages, it covers 212 genera and 1,467 species.[6] Eduard von Martens was involved in mollusk identification from the first expedition, and he "probably recommended Schepman for the work on the second." In any event, Schepman published seven volumes which described 2,500 specimens, and 1,235 shelled mollusc species, "many new to science."[5]

An important aspect of his work was his scientific collection of shells, a collection which was almost unprecedented in scope and breadth. Eventually sold in 1920 to the Zoological Museum Amsterdam for ƒ7,205, the collection consisted of 9,000 species and 1,250 genera of shelled freshwater, marine, and land molluscs.[5]

Published works

Schepman wrote over 62 malacological works.[5] They include: (incomplete)

The Prosobranchia of the Siboga Expedition


Schepman described and named a large number of taxa of molluscs, mostly species, especially species of marine gastropods.[5][6] For example, in November 2012, the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) listed 182 valid marine taxa (181 marine gastropods, 1 marine bivalve) that were described by Schepman.[7]

Schepman originally described about 450 taxa, including many turrids.[5] Examples of the numerous taxa he named and described are in the following list (synonyms are not included):


Freshwater and marine cave snails:


Sea snails (sorted chronologically):


Land snails:

Land slugs:

Freshwater snails:

Freshwater bivalves:

Sea snails (sorted chronologically):

A shell of the deepwater slit snail Entemnotrochus rumphii, described and named by Schepman in 1879

1870s and 1890s






In the center of this image is a well-camouflaged live individual of Primovula roseomaculata, described and named by Schepman in 1909. Head end towards the top of the image; the red mantle is covering the shell entirely.





In honor

Taxa named in his honor include (sorted chronologically):

Marine snails:


See also


  1. 1 2 death certificate
  2. (French) Dautzenberg P. (1920). "Nécrologie. M. M. Schepman". Journal de Conchyliologie 64(4): 345.
  3. Coan, Eugene V.; Kabat, Alan R.; Petit, Richard E. (8 March 2012). "2,400 years of malacology" (9th ed.): 1024 pp. + 76 pp. (Annex of Collations). American Malacological Society. Retrieved October 31, 2012.
  4. Van Der Bijl, A.N.; Moolenbeek, R.G.; Gould, J. (2010). Mattheus Marinus Schepman (1847–1919) and His Contributions to Malacology. Leiden: Netherlands Malacological Society/Nederlandse Malacologische Vereniging. p. 200. ISBN 978-90-815230-11.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Eichhorst, Tom (June 2011). "Book Review: "Mattheus Marinus Schepman (1847–1919) and His Contributions to Malacology"" (PDF). American Conchologist. Conchologists of America, Inc./Cardinal Printing. 39 (2): 37. Retrieved October 31, 2012.
  6. 1 2 "Mattheus Marinus Schepman". Official website of the Schepman family. Retrieved October 31, 2012.
  7. WoRMS Taxon search Scientific name contains Schepman, Limit to accepted taxa, accessed 1 November 2012.
  8. 1 2 3 Schepman M. M. (1886). "Mollusca". In: Veth P. (ed.) Midden-Sumatra. Reizen en onderzoekingen der Sumatra-expeditie, 4: 1-18, plates 1-3.
  9. 1 2 3 4 5 Schepman M. M. (1896). "Zoological results of the Dutch Scientific Expedition to Central Borneo. The Mollusca of the Dutch Scientific Borneo-Expedition, with description of the new species". Notes from the Leyden Museum 17: 145-162, plate 2-4.
  10. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Schepman M. M. (1918). "On a collection of Land-, Freshwater- and Marine Mollusca from Northern New Guinea". Zoologische Mededelingen 4: 1–21. PDF.
  11. 1 2 3 Schepman M. M. (1888). "Zoological researches in Liberia. List of Mollusca, with descriptions of new species". Notes from the Leyden Museum 10: 245-252, plate 10.
  12. 1 2 3 4 5 Schepman M. M. (1896). "Descriptions of new Melanidae". Notes from the Leyden Museum 18: 135-139, plate 2.
  13. Köhler F. & Glaubrecht M. (2006). "A systematic revision of the Southeast Asian freshwater gastropod Brotia (Cerithioidea: Pachychilidae)". Malacologia 48: 159-251, page 230
  14. Schepman M. M. (1884). "Neritina (Clithon) subocellata v. Martens, MS.". Notes from the Leyden Museum, VII: 49-50, plate 4, fig. 3.
  15. Schepman M. M. (1897). "Descriptions of a new species of Unio". Notes from the Leyden Museum 18: 259-260.
  16. 1 2 Schepman M. M. (1904). "Descriptions of three new species of Oliva from the Siboga-expedition". Tijdschr. Ned. Dierk. Ver. 8: 67–69.

Further reading

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