Horned helmet Cassis cornuta, copyright In-depth Images Kwajalein.

Belongs within: Tonnoidea.
Contains: Phalium.

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 females spawning together (Wilson & Gillett 1971). Within the Cassidae, the subfamily Phaliinae is distinguished by possession of an operculum with a lateral nucleus against the centre of the columellar margin, versus the more central nucleus in other subfamilies.

Characters (from Wilson & Gillett 1971): Shell usually oval or globose, aperture rather wide and long; shell may be glossy-smooth or heavily sculptured with ribs and nodules. Outer lip thickened to form a varix, with inner edge often toothed; other varices representing outer lip of earlier growth stages may be present. Left side of aperture with flat or inclined shield-like callus, either confined to columellar area (as columellar shield), or covering both columella and parietal wall and forming flange along whole left side. Spiral channel present running under columellar shield into true umbilicus; second smaller cavity (false umbilicus) often present under columellar shield at extreme anterior end. Operculum horny, semicircular, not filling aperture.

<==Cassidae [Cassidites] S11
    |  i. s.: Pseudogaleodea tricarinata Nagao 1932 TTE93
    |--Oocorythinae [Oocorythidae] BR17
    |    |--Galeocorys leucodoma HA59
    |    `--Oocorys Fischer 1884 BR05
    |         |--*O. sulcata Fischer 1884 BR17
    |         `--O. tosaensis Habe & Azuma 1959 HA59
    |--Phaliinae BR05
    |    |--Phalium BR05
    |    `--Semicassis Mörch 1852 WG71
    |         |--S. adcocki (Sowerby 1896) [=Phalium (Semicassis) adcocki] WG71
    |         |--S. bisulcata (Schubert & Wagner 1829) MG-H11 [=Phalium (Semicassis) bisulcatum WG71]
    |         |--S. bondarevi Mühlhäusser & Parth 1993 [incl. Phalium (S.) vector Abbott 1994] BC01
    |         |--S. centiquadrata (Valenciennes 1832) EO65
    |         |--S. decussata F66
    |         |--S. glabrata (Dunker 1852) [=Phalium (Semicassis) glabratum] WG71
    |         |    |--S. g. glabrata WG71
    |         |    `--S. g. angasi (Iredale 1927) [=Phalium (Semicassis) glabratum angasi] WG71
    |         |--S. semigranosa (Lamarck 1822) [=Phalium (Semicassis) semigranosum] WG71
    |         |--S. sophia (Brazier 1872) [=Phalium (Semicassis) sophia] WG71
    |         `--S. whitworthi (Abbott 1968) MG-H11
    `--Cassinae BR05
         |--Cypraecassis Stutchbury 1837 WG71
         |    |--C. (Cypraecassis) rufa (Linnaeus 1758) WG71
         |    |--C. tenuis [incl. C. marsenae] C64
         |    `--C. testiculus (Linné 1758) S11
         |--Bezoardica [incl. Echinophoria] F27a
         |    |--*B. areola F27a
         |    |--B. abbreviata C64
         |    |--B. inflata [incl. Cassis abbreviata] C64
         |    `--B. intermedia [=Cassis intermedia, *Echinophoria intermedia] F27a
         |--Euspinacassis Finlay 1926 F27a
         |    |--E. grangei (Marwick 1926) [=Phalium grangei] F27a
         |    |--E. muricata [=Cassis muricata] F27a
         |    `--E. pollens Finlay 1926 F27a
         |--Cassidea F27b
         |    |--C. areola (Linnaeus 1758) [=Buccinum areola] H09
         |    |--C. coronulata (Sowerby 1825) [=Cassis coronulata] H09
         |    |--C. multisecta Finlay 1924 [=Cassis striatus Hutton 1873 (preoc.)] F27b
         |    |--C. nodulosa [incl. C. nodulosa var. torquata] H09
         |    |--C. pila (Reeve 1848) [=Cassis pila] H09
         |    `--C. vibex (Linnaeus 1758) [=Buccinum vibex] H09
         |--Galeodea Link 1807 DK08
         |    |--*G. echinophora (Linnaeus 1758) P61, L58 [=Buccinum echinophorum P61]
         |    |--G. apodemetes M49
         |    |--G. (Taieria) klingeri Kiel & Bandel 2003 BD12
         |    |--G. leucodoma Dall 1907 MG-H11
         |    |--G. modesta K95
         |    |--G. senex A27
         |    `--G. triganceae Dell 1953 P61
         `--Cassis Scopoli 1777 BR05
              |  i. s.: C. adami Eichwald 1830 [=Cancellaria adami] PH90
              |         C. coronadoi H86
              |         C. corrugata C64
              |         C. deucalionis Eichwald 1830 [=Cancellaria deucalionis] PH90
              |         C. exigua Tenison-Woods 1879 F71
              |         C. flammea C60
              |         C. madagascariensis P65
              |           |--C. m. madagascariensis P65
              |           `--C. m. spinella P65
              |         C. saburon PP64
              |         C. testiculus G79
              |         C. tuberosa (Linné 1758) S11
              |--*C. (Cassis) cornuta (Linnaeus 1758) [=Buccinum cornutum] BR17
              |--C. (Casmaria Adams & Adams 1853) EO63, WG71
              |    |--‘Casmaria’ erinaceus (Linnaeus 1758) BW09
              |    |--‘Casmaria’ ponderosa Gmelin 1791 WG71
              |    |    |--C. p. ponderosa WG71
              |    |    `--C. p. perryi Iredale 1912 WG71
              |    |--‘Casmaria’ pyrum F27a
              |    |--C. (C.) vibex [=C. (Phalium) vibex] EO63
              |    `--C. (C.) vibexmexicana Stearns 1893 [=C. vibex mexicana (l. c.), C. (Phalium) vibexmexicana] EO63
              `--C. (Hypocassis Iredale 1927) WG71
                   |--C. (H.) fimbriata Quoy & Gaimard 1833 [incl. C. bicarinata Jonas 1839] WG71
                   `--C. (H.) nana Tenison-Woods 1879 WG71

*Type species of generic name indicated


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Last updated: 2 October 2021.

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