Colubraria muricata, copyright G. & Ph. Poppe.

Belongs within: Buccinoidea.

The Colubrariidae, dwarf tritons, are a group of small gastropods found in warm, shallow waters. Members of the genus Colubraria lack a radula though a minute rachiglossate radula is present in the genus Metula, at least in M. africana. The radula of this species has a narrow basal plate and three long, slender cusps on each of the central and lateral teeth (Bouchet 1988). Colubraria species use their long and thin proboscis to feed on the blood of resting or slow-moving fish.

Characters (from Wilson & Gillett 1971): Shell long, narrow, fusiform, with strong varices, granulose or nodulose sculpture, and usually a calloused and reflected columella. Anterior canal short and up-turned; posterior canal represented by weak notch only at posterior end of aperture. Operculum horny, with terminal nucleus.

    |--Metula Adams & Adams 1853 ZLK11, B88 [incl. Bartschia Rehder 1943 B88]
    |    |--*M. clathrata (Adams & Reeve 1850) [=Buccinum clathratum, M. knudseni Kilburn 1975] B88
    |    |--M. africana Bouchet 1988 B88
    |    |--M. amosi Vanatta 1913 B88
    |    |--M. boswellae Kilburn 1975 ES88
    |    |--M. calvertana (Martin 1904) P12
    |    |--M. crosnieri Bouchet 1988 B88
    |    |--M. cumingi (Adams 1853) B88
    |    |--M. mitraeformis (Brocchi 1814) B88
    |    `--M. significans (Rehder 1943) [=*Bartschia significans] B88
    |--Colubraria Schumacher 1817 [Colubrariinae] BR05
    |    |--*C. granulata Schumacher 1817 BR17
    |    |--C. antiquata (Hinds 1844) [=Triton antiquata] H09
    |    |--C. castanea Kuroda & Habe 1952 MG-H11
    |    |--C. maculosa Gmelin 1791 WG71
    |    |--C. muricata (Lightfoot 1786) BW09
    |    |--C. obscura ZLK11
    |    |--C. reticulata ZLK11
    |    |--C. siphonata (Reeve 1844) PP78
    |    |--C. tessellata (Reeve 1844) [=Triton tessellata] H09
    |    `--C. tortuosa Reeve 1844 WG71
    `--Fusus Helbling 1779 (nom. rej.) [Fusidae] BR05
         |--*F. intertextus (Helbling 1779) [=Murex intertextus] BR17
         |--F. ambustus C64
         |--F. baerii [=Tritonium (Fusus) baerii] C64
         |--F. behringii [=Tritonium (Fusus) behringii] C64
         |--F. berniciensis N79
         |--F. brazieri (Angas 1869) MG-H11
         |--F. cancellatus Mighels & Adams 1842 J49
         |--F. cancellinus C64
         |--F. clavatus C64
         |--F. colosseus F66
         |--F. corrugatus Reeve 1848 F27
         |--F. despectus [incl. F. despectus var. fornicatus] N79
         |--F. exilis Menke 1843 F27
         |--F. fenestratus N79
         |--F. fragosus C64
         |--F. gracilis N79
         |--F. hexagonalis Tate 1888 F27
         |--F. ino Tenison-Woods 1879 F71
         |--F. islandicus N79
         |--F. jeffreysianus N79
         |--F. lapillus C64
         |--F. latericeus [incl. F. corneus, Tritonium incarnatum] J64
         |--F. longicauda H04
         |--F. magellanicus [incl. Murex peruvianus] C64
         |--F. marmoratus P71
         |--F. mestayerae Iredale 1915 P61
         |--F. moebii [incl. F. ebur] N79
         |--F. norvegicus N79
         |--F. ovum L64
         |--F. propinquus N79
         |--F. reticulatus P61
         |--F. sarsii N79
         |--F. spinifer Bellardi 1873 F27
         |--F. styliformis Tenison-Woods 1879 F71
         |--F. thouarsii [incl. F. novaehollandiae Rve. 1848] C64
         |--F. tortuosus N79
         |--F. turris C64
         |--F. turtoni N79
         `--F. veneratus K79

Nomen nudum: Fusus albus Jeffreys 1841 H22

*Type species of generic name indicated


[B88] Bouchet, P. 1988. Two new species of Metula (Gastropoda: Buccinidae) with a description of the radula of the genus. Nautilus 102 (4): 149–153.

[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.

[BW09] Bryce, C., & C. Whisson. 2009. The macromolluscs of Mermaid (Rowley Shoals), Scott and Seringapatam Reefs, Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 77: 177–208.

[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.

[F27] Finlay, H. J. 1927. New specific names for austral Mollusca. Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 57: 488–533.

[F71] Fletcher, H. O. 1971. Catalogue of type specimens of fossils in the Australian Museum, Sydney. Australian Museum Memoir 13: 1–167.

[F66] Fraser, L. 1866. Communication of a list of mollusks collected by R. Swinhoe, Esq., in Formosa. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1866: 146.

[H04] Haeckel, E. 1899–1904. Kunstformen der Natur. Bibliographisches Institut: Leipzig und Wien.

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

[H22] Hedley, C. 1922. A revision of the Australian Turridae. Records of the Australian Museum 13 (6): 213–359, pls 42–56.

[J64] Jeffreys, J. G. 1864. The Upper Tertiary fossils at Uddevalla, in Sweden. Report of the British Association for the Advancement of Science 33 (Notices and Abstracts): 73–79.

[J49] Johnson, R. I. 1949. Jesse Wedgwood Mighels with a bibliography and a catalogue of his species. Occasional Papers on Mollusks 1 (14): 213–231.

[K79] Kauffman, E. G. 1979. Cretaceous. In: Robison, R. A., & C. Teichert (eds) Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology pt A. Introduction. Fossilisation (Taphonomy), Biogeography and Biostratigraphy pp. A418–A487. The Geological Society of America, Inc.: Boulder (Colorado), and The University of Kansas: Lawrence (Kansas).

[L64] Leckenby, J. 1864. Abstract of the report of a three-weeks' dredging-cruise off Scarborough. Report of the British Association for the Advancement of Science 33 (Notices and Abstracts): 105.

[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.

[N79] Norman, A. M. 1879. The Mollusca of the fiords near Bergen, Norway. Journal of Conchology 2: 8–77.

[P12] Petuch, E. J. 2012. Miocene asteroid impacts: proposed effects on the biogeography and extinction patterns of eastern North American gastropods. In: Talent, J. A. (ed.) Earth and Life: Global biodiversity, extinction intervals and biogeographic perturbations through time pp. 967–981. Springer.

[PP78] Poorman, F. L., & L. H. Poorman. 1978. Additional molluscan records from Bahía de Los Angeles, Baja California Norte. Veliger 20 (4): 369–374.

[P71] Por, F. D. 1971. One hundred years of Suez Canal—a century of Lessepsian migration: retrospect and viewpoints. Systematic Zoology 20 (2): 138–159.

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

[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.

[ZLK11] Zou, S., Q. Li & L. Kong. 2011. Additional gene data and increased sampling give new insights into the phylogenetic relationships of Neogastropoda, within the caenogastropod phylogenetic framework. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 61: 425–435.

Last updated: 25 September 2021.

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