Common egg cowrie Ovula ovum feeding on Sarcophyton, copyright In-Depth Images Kwajalein.

Belongs within: Cypraeoidea.
Contains: Primovula, Phenacovolva, Ovula.

The Ovulidae, egg and spindle cowries, are a group of marine gastropods with usually brightly coloured and patterned mantles that live and feed on the polyps of cnidarians (Wilson & Gillett 1971). Ovulids generally differ from the true cowries of the Cypraeidae in lacking regular teeth on the inner lip.

<==Ovulidae (see below for synonymy)
    |--Aclyvolva Cate 1973 [Aclyvolvinae]BR17
    |    `--*A. lanceolata (Sowerby 1849) [=Ovulum lanceolatum]BR17
    |--Sulcocypraea Conrad 1865BR05 [SulcocypraeinaeBR17, Sulcocypraeini]
    |    `--*S. lintea (Conrad 1848) [=Cypraea lintea]BR17
    |--Simnia Risso 1826BR05 [SimniinaeBR17, Simniini]
    |    |--*S. nicaeensis Risso 1826BR17
    |    |--S. acicularis Lamarck 1811O27
    |    |--S. aequalis Sowerby 1832M03
    |    |--S. deflexa [=Ovula (Simnia) deflexa]O27
    |    |--S. patulaWG71
    |    |--S. variabilis Adams 1850O27
    |    `--S. vidleri Sowerby 1881 [=Ovulum vidleri]O27
    |--Ovulinae [Ovulini]M03
    |    |--OvulaBR05
    |    `--Volva Röding 1798 non Adans. 1763 (ICBN)BR05 (see below for synonymy)
    |         |--*V. volva (Linnaeus 1758)BR17 (see below for synonymy)
    |         |--‘Ovulum’ angasi Reeve 1865 [=Radius angasi]H09
    |         |--‘Radius’ avenaC64
    |         |--V. kilburni Cate 1975BC01
    |         |--‘Birostra’ mccoyi Tennison Woods 1877P79
    |         |--V. nectarea Iredale 1930WG71
    |         |--V. philippinarum Sowerby 1848WG71
    |         |--‘Radius’ similisC64
    |         `--‘Radius’ variabilisC64
    |    |--Eocypraea Cossmann 1903BR05 (see below for synonymy)
    |    |    |--*E. inflata (Lamarck 1802) [=Cypraea inflata, *Cypraeacites inflatus]BR17
    |    |    `--E. pilulosa (Stoliczka 1867)TTE93
    |    `--Prionovolva Iredale 1930BR17, WG71 (see below for synonymy)
    |         |--*P. brevis (Sowerby 1828) [=Ovulum breve]BR17
    |         |--P. cavanaghi (Iredale 1931)W93 [=Globovula cavanaghiWBS-S15]
    |         |--P. cottesloensis (Cate 1973) [=Globovula costtesloensis]W93
    |         |--*Galerovolva’ hervieri (Hedley 1899)W93
    |         |--P. manifesta (Iredale 1936) [=Galeravolva manifesta]W93
    |         |--*Testudovolva’ orientis Cate 1973W93
    |         |--P. pudica (Adams 1854)W93
    |         |--P. spatiosa (Cate 1973) [=*Globovula spatiosa]W93
    |         `--P. wilsoniana Cate 1973WBS-S15
    `--Pediculariinae [Pediculariadae, Pediculariidae, Pediculariinae]BR17
         |--Pedicularia Swainson 1840 [Pediculariini]BR05
         |    |  i. s.: P. californica Newcomb 1864S11
         |    |         P. decussata (Gould 1855)S11
         |    |         P. pacifica Pease 1865M03
         |    |--*P. (Pedicularia) sicula Swainson 1840BR17
         |    `--P. (Pediculariona Iredale 1935)P61
         |         |--P. (*P.) stylasterisP61
         |         `--P. (P.) maoria Powell 1937P61
         `--Cypraediini [Cypraediinae, Jenneriinae]BR17
              |--Cypraedia Swainson 1840BR05
              |    `--*C. cancellata Swainson 1840BR17
              |--Cyproglobina de Gregorio 1880 [Cyproglobinini]BR05
              |    `--*C. corbuloides (Bellardi 1852) [=Cypraea corbuloides]BR17
              |--Jenneria Jousseaume 1884M03, BR05
              |    `--*J. pustulata (Lightfoot 1786) [=Cypraea pustulata]BR17
              `--Pseudocypraea Schilder 1927BR17, BR05 [Pseudocypraeinae, Pseudocypraeini]
                   `--*P. adamsonii (Gray in Sowerby 1832) [=Cypraea adamsonii]BR17
Ovulidae incertae sedis:
  Neosimnia Fischer 1884WG71
    |--N. barbarensis (Dall 1892) [=Ovula (Simnia) deflexa barbarense, Simnia (Neosimnia) barbarensis]O27
    |--N. catalinensis (Berry 1816) [=Simnia (Neosimnia) catalinensis]O27
    |--N. depressa Sowerby 1875WG71
    |--N. quayleiS59
    `--N. uniplicata (Sowerby 1848) [=Simnia (Neosimnia) uniplicata]O27
  Diminovula Iredale 1930BC01
    |--D. alabaster (Reeve 1865) [incl. *D. verepunctata]W93
    |--D. aurantiomacula Cate & Azuma 1973W93
    |--D. concinna (Sowerby in Adams & Reeve 1848)WBS-S15
    |--D. nielseni (Cate 1976) [=Pseudosimnia (Diminovula) nielseni]BC01
    |--D. punctata (Duclos 1831) [=Primovula (Diminovula) punctata]WG71
    `--D. whitworthi Cate 1973W93
  Calpurnus Montfort 1810WG71
    `--*C. verrucosus (Linnaeus 1758) [=Bulla verrucosa]W93
  Prosimnia Schilder 1927W93
    `--*P. semperi (Weinkauff 1881) [=Ovula semperi]W93
         |--P. s. semperiW93
         |--P. s. boshuensis Cate 1973W93
         `--P. s. draconis Cate 1973W93
  Xandraovula pagoda Cate 1973MG-H11
  Adamantia Cate 1973W93
    |--*A. concinna (Adams & Reeve 1848) [=Ovulum concinnum, Primovula (*Adamantia) concinna]W93
    |--A. florida Kuroda 1958M03
    `--A. horai (Cardin 1994) [=Primovula (Adamantia) horai]BC01
  Crenavolva Cate 1973W93
    |--*C. striatula (Sowerby 1828) [=Ovulum striatulum, Primovula striatula]W93
    |--C. (Cuspivolva) baltea Cate 1973BC01
    |--C. rosewateri Cate 1973M03
    `--C. tokuoi Azuma 1989M03
  Cymbovula Cate 1973 [=Cymbula Cate 1973 non Adams & Adams 1854]W93
    |--*C. acicularis (Lamarck 1810)W93, S11 [=Ovula acicularisW93, *Cymbula acicularisW93]
    |--C. deflexa (Sowerby 1848) [=Cymbula deflexa]W93
    `--C. queenslandica Cate 1974BC01
    |--C. gibbosum (Linné 1758)S11
    |--C. lindae Petuch 1987PMB15
    |--C. rhomba Cate 1978BC01
    `--C. signatum Pilsbry & McGinty 1939S11
    |--D. rutherfordiana (Cate 1973)WBS-S15
    `--D. spectabilis Cate 1975BC01
  Kuroshiovolva Azuma & Cate 1971BC01
    `--*K. shingoi Azuma & Cate 1971BC01
  Pseudosimnia Schilder 1927W93
    |--*P. carneaW93
    `--P. wieseorum Lorenz 1987ES88
  Pseudocyphoma intermedium (Sowerby 1828)S11
  Simnialena uniplicata (Sowerby 1848)S11
  Hiatavolva Cate 1973 [=Hiata Cate 1973 non Zetek & McLean 1936]W93
    |--*H. depressa (Sowerby 1875) [=Ovulum depressum, *Hiata depressa]W93
    `--H. brunneiterma (Cate 1969)W93
  Margovula Iredale 1935 [incl. Inflatovula Cate 1973]W93
    |--*M. pyriformis (Sowerby 1828) [=Ovulum pyriform]W93
    |--M. aboriginea Cate 1973W93
    |--M. bimaculata (Adams 1854)W93
    `--M. marginata (Sowerby 1828) [=Pseudosimnia (*Inflatovula) marginata]W93
  Procalpurnus Thiele 1939W93
    `--*P. lacteus (Lamarck 1810) [=Ovula lactea, Calpurnus (*Procalpurnus) lacteus]W93

Eocypraea Cossmann 1903BR05 [incl. Cypraeacites Schlotheim 1820 (nom. inv.)BR17; Cypraeacitinae, Cypraeacitini, Eocypraeini]

Ovulidae [Amphiperasidae, Amphiperatidae, Amphiperatinae, Amphiperatini, Dactyloglossa, Digitiglossa, Eocypraeidae, Eocypraeinae, Ovuladae, Ovuloidea, Ovuloidei]

Prionovolva Iredale 1930BR17, WG71 [incl. Galerovolva Cate 1973W93, Globovula Cate 1973W93, Testudovolva Cate 1973W93; Prionovolvinae]

Volva Röding 1798 non Adans. 1763 (ICBN)BR05 [=Birostra Swainson 1840W93, Radius Montfort 1810W93, Volvula Pilsbry 1895 nec Gistl 1848 nec Adams 1850W93; Volvinae, Volvini]

*Volva volva (Linnaeus 1758)BR17 [=Bulla volvaBR17, *Birostra volvaW93, Ovula volvaH09, *Radius volvaW93, *Volvula volvaW93; incl. Volva textoria Röding 1798BR17]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[BR05] Bouchet, P., & J.-P. Rocroi. 2005. Classification and nomenclator of gastropod families. Malacologia 47 (1–2): 1–397.

[BR17] Bouchet, P., J.-P. Rocroi, B. Hausdorf, A. Kaim, Y. Kano, A. Nützel, P. Parkhaev, M. Schrödl & E. E. Strong. 2017. Revised classification, nomenclator and typification of gastropod and monoplacophoran families. Malacologia 61 (1–2): 1–526.

[BC01] Boyko, C. B., & J. R. Cordeiro. 2001. Catalog of Recent type specimens in the Division of Invertebrate Zoology, American Museum of Natural History. V. Mollusca, part 2 (class Gastropoda [exclusive of Opisthobranchia and Pulmonata], with supplements to Gastropoda [Opisthobranchia], and Bivalvia). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 262: 1–170.

[C64] Carpenter, P. P. 1864. Supplementary report on the present state of our knowledge with regard to the Mollusca of the west coast of North America. Report of the British Association for the Advancement of Science 33: 517–686.

[ES88] Emerson, W. K., & W. E. Sage III. 1988. A new species of Vasum (Gastropoda: Turbinellidae) from off Somalia. Nautilus 102 (1): 36–39.

[H09] Hedley, C. 1909. The Marine Fauna of Queensland: Address by the President of Section D. Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science: Brisbane.

[MG-H11] McEnnulty, F. R., K. L. Gowlett-Holmes, A. Williams, F. Althaus, J. Fromont, G. C. B. Poore, T. D. O’Hara, L. Marsh, P. Kott, S. Slack-Smith, P. Alderslade & M. V. Kitahara. 2011. The deepwater megabenthic invertebrates on the western continental margin of Australia (100–1100 m depths): composition, distribution and novelty. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 80: 1–191.

[M03] Meyer, C. P. 2003. Molecular systematics of cowries (Gastropoda: Cypraeidae) and diversification patterns in the tropics. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 79: 401–459.

[O27] Oldroyd, I. S. 1927. The Marine Shells of the West Coast of North America vol. 2 pt 2. Stanford University Press: Stanford University (California).

[P79] Petterd, W. F. 1879. List of the freshwater shells of Tasmania. Journal of Conchology 2: 80–88.

[PMB15] Petuch, E. J., R. F. Myers & D. P. Berschauer. 2015. The Living and Fossil Busycon Whelks: Iconic Mollusks of Eastern North America. San Diego Shell Club, Inc.

[P61] Powell, A. W. B. 1961. Shells of New Zealand: An illustrated handbook 4th ed. Whitcombe and Tombs Limited: Christchurch.

[S11] Simone, L. R. L. 2011. Phylogeny of the Caenogastropoda (Mollusca), based on comparative morphology. Arquivos de Zoologia 42 (4): 161–323.

[S59] Stohler, R. 1959. Range extensions of some west N. A. marines. Nautilus 72 (4): 127–130.

[TTE93] Tracey, S., J. A. Todd & D. H. Erwin. 1993. Mollusca: Gastropoda. In: Benton, M. J. (ed.) The Fossil Record 2 pp. 131–167. Chapman & Hall: London.

[WBS-S15] Willan, R. C., C. Bryce & S. M. Slack-Smith. 2015. Kimberley marine biota. Historical data: molluscs. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 84: 287–343.

[W93] Wilson, B. 1993. Australian Marine Shells vol. 1. Prosobranch Gastropods. Part One. Odyssey Publishing: Kallaroo (Western Australia).

[WG71] Wilson, B. R., & K. Gillett. 1971. Australian Shells: illustrating and describing 600 species of marine gastropods found in Australian waters. A. H. & A. W. Reed: Sydney.

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