Pele Expedition, 1967

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The National Geographic Society-Smithsonian-Bishop Museum Marquesas Expedition took place from September 5 to November 2, 1967, in the vicinity of the Polynesian Islands. The expedition took place aboard the 83-foot U. S. Coast Guard cutter, Pele, purchased by Mrs. Mariel King for the purposes of studying mollusks. The Pele, which was especially equipped for dredging, made many dredge hauls in the Marquesas Islands and off Pitcairn Island. Several other expeditions took place aboard Pele between 1964 and 1970. Members of the expedition team included Harald A. Rehder, Curator in the Division of Mollusks at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History; Barry R. Wilson from the Division of Natural Science, Western Australian Museum; Dr. Thomas H. Richert, physician and malacologist from Honolulu; Dr. Dennis Devaney of the Bernice P. Bishop Museum; and Otis Imboden of the photograph staff of the National Geographic Society. The group visited the Marquesas, Tuamofu, Society, Gambier Islands, and, in the neighborhood of the small island of Pitcairn including Bounty Bay. During their voyage, the group collected a number of marine specimens. The focus of the collecting was mollusks and other shelled and invertebrate species. The materials collected on this campaign were deposited in National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. and in the Western Australian Museum in Perth.


Rehder, Harald; Wilson, Barry R. (. New Species of Marine Mollusks from Pitcairn Island and the Marquesas. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology No. 203. Retrieved from

Date Range

1967 -


  • Animals
  • Mollusks
  • Invertebrates


  • Îles Marquises
  • Pitcairn Island
  • Polynesia
  • Îles de la Société
  • Bounty Bay
  • Îles Gambier


Expedition name