Taxon profile


Turridae Swainson, 1840

kingdom Animalia - animals »  phylum Mollusca - mollusks »  class Gastropoda - gastropods »  order Neogastropoda »  superfamily Conoidea

Scientific synonyms

Turrinae Swainson, 1840

Other names

= Tower Shells


Bouchet et all, 2011:
Shell of medium to large size (usually 20-30 mm, up to 110 mm high), short- to high-fusiform, usually with a high spire and a long (rarely short and truncated) siphonal canal. Axial sculpture weak or absent. Anal sinus on whorl periphery. Protoconch typically multispiral, up to six whorls, protoconch I smooth, protoconch II with arcuate axial riblets; reduced paucispiral protoconch usually smooth, may have arcuate axial riblets. Operculum fully developed, with terminal nucleus. Radular formula typically 1-(1:R:1)-1. Small and narrow rachidian and plate-like laterals are fused together, together constituting a central formation of different development (Kantor, 2006), varying from a well-defined broad central tooth to a tooth clearly formed of three elements through a gradual reduction of rachidian and/or laterals to complete absence. Marginals duplex, of variable morphology, from broadly oval and flattened with nearly equally developed limbs to awl-shaped and divided only in basal part. In most cases, the major limb is large and knife-shaped, while the accessory limb is dorsal and more weakly developed. In Iotyrris, marginal teeth have equally developed limbs that form a shallow broad trough.

Members of this subfamily are mostly of moderate to large size, and of narrowly fusiform shape, with a tall spire and a long straight anterior canal, but in some genera the anterior end is truncated. They are distinguished from the Turriculinae by their sinus, which is either on the peripheral carina or on a minor spiral immediately above the periphery. The sinus varies between a broadly open V, and a deep narrow slit.
The operculum is leaf-shaped with a terminal nucleus, and the radula consists of a pair of wishbone-type marginals, with or without a vestigial to well developed, unicuspid, broad- based, central tooth. Often the basal limbs of the marginal are bridged by a thin plate; in others the distal basal limb is severed.
The peripheral sinus is not always indicative of the Turrinae, however, for that type of sinus is found also in some borsonids. These differ from the turrinids in having well developed pillar plications, and a radula of long slender curved marginals, often barbed at the tip.
Source: Bouchet et all, 2011. A new operational classification of the Conoidea (Gastropoda).


This group is well defined by its usually narrowly fusiform shell with obsolete axial sculpture and peripheral anal sinus. However, the genus Lucerapex, although fully conforming conchologically, occupies a position as sister group to Turridae + Terebridae that excludes it from the Turridae. It is nevertheless tentatively included here in Turridae.


Powell, A.W.B. : The Molluscan Families Speightiidae and Turridae. 1966.
Author: Jan Delsing

Included taxa

Number of records: 34

genus Cryptogemma Dall, 1918
genus Decollidrillia Habe & Ito, 1965
genus Epidirella Iredale, 1931
genus Gemmula Weinkauff, 1875
genus Gemmuloborsonia Shuto, 1989
genus Iotyrris Sysoev, 2002
genus Kuroshioturris Shuto, 1961
genus Lophiotoma Casey, 1904
genus Lora J. von Gistel, 1848
genus Lucerapex Wenz, 1943
genus Pinguigemmula Mac Neil, 1960
genus Polystira Woodring, 1928
genus Ptychosyrinx Thiele, 1925
genus Turridrupa Hedley, 1922
genus Turris Müller, 1766
genus Unedogemmula F.S. MacNeil, 1960
genus Xenuroturris Iredale, 1929

Fossil taxa

genus Acamptogenotia Rovereto, 1899
genus Amuletum Stephenson, 1941
genus Belophos Cossmann, 1901
genus Beretra Stephenson, 1941
genus Campylacrum Finlay & Marwick, 1937
genus Eopleurotoma Cossmann, 1889
genus Eoturris Finlay & Marwick, 1937
genus Epalxis Cossmann, 1889
genus Fusimilis Stephenson, 1941
genus Hesperiturris Gardner, 1945
genus Liratomina Powell, 1942
genus Maoridaphne Powell, 1942
genus Optoturris Powell, 1944
genus Remnita Stephenson, 1941
genus Tholitoma Finlay & Marwick, 1937
genus Trypanotoma Cossmann, 1893
genus Trypanotopsis Gardner, 1945

Links and literature

EN The Interim Register of Marine and Nonmarine Genera [113068]

Rees, T. (compiler): The Interim Register of Marine and Nonmarine Genera [] [as Turridae Swainson, 1840]
Data retrieved on: 30 November 2019
CZ Pfleger V. (1999): České názvy živočichů III. Měkkýši (Mollusca), Národní muzeum, (zoologické odd.), Praha, 108 pp. [as Turridae]
Data retrieved on: 11 November 2013

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extinct taxon