Belongs within: Volutoidea. The lyriin volutes Published 18 June 2024 Among the various gastropods that have long caught the attention of shell collectors and malacologists, we would have to include the volutes. These carnivorous gastropods have been particularly prized for the large size, sturdiness, and striking coloration of many species. Looking among the subgroups of… Continue reading Lyriini


Belongs within: Clavatulidae. Eosurcula: a brief explosion Published 24 April 2024 The Claiborne Formation is an extensive accumulation of clays and sandstones extending across the southeastern USA, with outcrops in Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky and Texas. It formed during the middle Eocene, over a series of rapid marine transgressions followed by slower regressions (Eargle 1968). The… Continue reading Eosurcula


Belongs within: Turridae. Deep sea divergence Published 19 February 2024 I have often had cause before to remark on the taxonomic morass that is represented by the assemblage of gastropods historically referred to as the ‘Turridae’. Recent decades have seen this family undergo multiple revisions, as more modern methods have confirmed what was long suspected,… Continue reading Cryptogemma


Belongs within: Pseudomelatomidae. Pseudomelatoma‘s mysterious teeth Published 27 December 2023 In many older texts, you will find members of the gastropod superfamily Conoidea referred to as the ‘Toxoglossa’. This name, meaning ‘poison tongue’, was inspired by the modification of their radula to deliver a powerful hit of venom to knock out prey. In its most… Continue reading Pseudomelatoma


Belongs within: Marginellinae. Shining margins Published 1 November 2023 Perhaps the first thing to be noticed about the margin snails of the Marginellidae is how shiny they are. Next is likely to be how brightly they are coloured; even those species where the shell is largely white are typically strikingly patterned. Margin shells must surely… Continue reading Glabella


Belongs within: Littorinina.Contains: Cyclostoma, Littorininae, Lacuninae, Annulariinae. Hey, Abbottella! Published 16 August 2023 Among the world’s many biogeographical curiosities, particular note should be made of the island of Hispaniola. The islands of the West Indies began forming, probably during the early Cenozoic, as the Caribbean tectonic plate was squeezed between the approaching North American and… Continue reading Littorinoidea


Belongs within: Cypraeinae. Cypraea is a genus of cowries that has historically been used to encompass most if not all of the species of the family Cypraeidae, though modern authors would restrict it to species related to the type C. tigris. Characters (from Wilson 1993, as Cypraea subgenus Cypraea): Large, ovate to pyriform, with rounded… Continue reading Cypraea


Belongs within: Strombidae. Strombus, the conches, is a pantropical genus of large marine gastropods characterised by a shell with a large, flaring outer lip bearing a U-shaped notch near the anterior end. Members of the subgenus Dolomena are small to moderate-sized with an expanded, flaring lip and deep stromboid notch (Wilson 1993). Characters (from Wilson… Continue reading Strombus


Belongs within: Tonnoidea.Contains: Cassis, Phalium, Semicassis. The Cassidae, helmet shells, are medium-sized to large marine gastropods found burrowing in sand. They are predatory on echinoids which they attack by squirting a paralysing salivary juice. Females lay large egg-masses containing hundreds of gelatinous capsules; in some cases large irregular masses may be produced seemingly by several… Continue reading Cassidae

Categorised as Tonnoidea


Belongs within: Buccinoidea. Neptunea is a genus of large whelks with a high spire and short to medium-long siphonal canal found in northern temperate and Arctic regions. Shells have a prominent spiral sculpture but weak or no axial sculpture (Kantor et al. 2022). <==Neptunea Röding 1798 [incl. Chrysodomus Swainson 1840]KF22 |–+–*N. antiqua (Linnaeus 1758)BR17, KF22,… Continue reading Neptunea