Taxon profile


Mitra Snails
Mitra Lamarck, 1798

kingdom Animalia - animals »  phylum Mollusca - mollusks »  class Gastropoda - gastropods »  order Neogastropoda »  family Mitridae - Miters »  subfamily Mitrinae


The genus Mitra consists (in 1976!) of 120 Recent and about 240 fossil species. Taxa proposed for extinct species undoubtedly contain a high percentage of synonyms in view of the numerous names proposed by Bellardi, 1887, for species forms from Mio-Pliocene deposits of Italy. Species of Mitra are characterized by small or large shells, reaching a length of 7 inches; they are fusiform, elongate-ovate or inflated and variable in sculpture. The protoconch is cylindrical and paucispiral and the labral wall is always smooth in Mitrinae. The proboscis of Mitra mitra (Linnaeus), the type species of the genus, is very long, but a shorter proboscis is frequently found in other species. Shells are covered by a thin, translucent or opaque periostracum, and an operculum is absent.
The radula ribbon is moderately small, generally 6% to 21% of shell-length, and contains from 35 to 130 rows of rachiglossate teeth; each row contains 3 teeth. The central teeth are generally rectangular, unicuspid or multicuspid and the laterals are multicuspid and two to four times the width of the centrals. Rock-dwelling Mitra deposit egg-capsules on the underside of rocks in an asymmetrical cluster of 15 to 100 capsules. Egg-capsules are generally claviform and contain from 100 to 500 cream-coloured or translucent-yellow, spherical eggs.
The genus first appeared during the Early Eocene in Europe, the Caribbean, Indonesia and New Zealand. Recent species of Mitra live in temperate and tropical waters of all major oceans. Species of Mitra are predominantly rock and coral dwellers, but some species, including the type species, inhabit muddy or coralline sand. Species live in the intertidal zone and deeper water, and have been dredged to a depth of 700 fathoms; species living at these depths will tolerate a temperature as low as 45°F.
Cernohorsky, W.O., 1976. The Mitridae of the World. Part I. Mitrinae.
Author: Jan Delsing

Included taxa

Number of records: 11

species Mitra abbatis Perry, 1811
species Mitra deprofundis H. Turner, 2001
species Mitra granata Reeve, 1845
species Mitra inca d'Orbigny, 1841
species Mitra magnifica Poppe & Tagaro, 2006
species Mitra mitra (Linnaeus, 1758)

Mitra mitra - 000000000111

species Mitra muricata W. J. Broderip, 1836

Mitra muricata - 00000000010100

species Mitra papalis (Linnaeus, 1758)

Mitra papalis - 0000000001111

species Mitra stictica Link, 1807

Mitra stictica - 00000000011110

species Mitra turgida L. A. Reeve, 1845

Mitra turgida - 0000000001 11

species Mitra vezzaronellyae Cossignani, 2016

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