Triton Cymatium sp., copyright Jason Marks.

Belongs within: Tonnoidea.

The Cymatiinae, tritons and trumpet shells, are a group of predatory marine snails with usually thick and strongly sculptured shells. The whorls often bear strong varices that rarely line up with those of adjacent whorls. Some members of this group are very large; the giant triton Charonia tritonis is the second-largest living gastropod. They lay egg capsules in cup-shaped clusters in crevices or on the underside of stones (Wilson & Gillett 1971). Members of the group attack a range of invertebrate prey, including ascidians, echinoderms and other molluscs.

Characters (from Wilson & Gillett 1971, as Cymatiidae): Shell usually thick, heavy, strongly sculptured with nodules and spiral ribs, strong varices, teeth on outer lip, folds or ridges on columellar side of aperture; periostracum hairy, scaly or bristly; operculum horny.

<==Cymatiinae [Aquillidae, Cymatiidae, Cymatioidea, Lampusidae, Lampusiidae, Lotoriidae, Nyctilochidae, Septidae]
    |--Austrotriton parkinsonianum (Perry 1811) F27
    |--Aquillus Montfort 1810 [=Neptunella Gray 1854; Neptunellina, Neptunellinae] BR05
    |    `--*A. cutaceus (Linnaeus 1767) [=Murex cutaceus, *Neptunella cutacea] BR17
    |--Lotorium Montfort 1810 BR05
    |    `--‘Murex’ lotorium Linnaeus 1758 BR17 [=Cymatium lotorium WG71, *Lotorium lotor Montfort 1810 BR17]
    |--Gutturnium Mörch 1852 WG71
    |    `--G. muricinum Röding 1798 WG71
    |--Turritriton Dall 1904 WG71
    |    `--T. tabulatus Menke 1843 WG71
    |--Negyrina Iredale 1929 WG71
    |    `--N. subdistorta Lamarck 1822 WG71
    |--Austrosassia Finlay 1931 WG71
    |    `--*A. parkinsonia (Perry 1811) [=Septa parkinsonia] P61
    |--Gondwanula Finlay 1927 F27
    |    `--*G. tumida [=Ranella tumida] F27
    |--Particymatium Iredale 1936 P61
    |    `--*P. strangei (Angas 1864) [incl. P. labiosa Powell 1933] P61
    |--Cabestanimorpha Iredale 1936 P61
    |    `--*C. exarata (Reeve 1844) P61
    |--Simpulum Mörch 1852 BR17, BR05 [Simpulidae]
    |    `--*S. rubecula (Linnaeus 1758) [=Murex rubecula] BR17
    |--Cymatona Iredale 1929 P61
    |    |--*C. kampyla (Watson 1885) [=Nassaria kampyla] P61
    |    `--C. tomlini Powell 1955 P61
    |--Cymatiella Iredale 1924 F27
    |    |--C. gaimardi M54
    |    |--C. octoserrata (Finlay 1924) [=Cymatium octoserratum] F27
    |    `--C. quoyi [=Cymatium quoyi] F27
    |--Septa Perry 1810 BR05
    |    |--*S. scarlatina Perry 1810 BR17
    |    |--S. aquatile (Reeve 1844) [=Triton aquatilis] H09
    |    |--S. hepatica Röding 1798 WG71
    |    |--S. krebsii (Mörch 1877) [=Triton krebsii, Cymatium (Septa) krebsii] MP65
    |    `--S. rubecula Linnaeus 1758 WG71
    |--Lampusia Schumacher 1817 BR05
    |    |--*L. pileare (Linnaeus 1758) BR17 [=Murex pileare L58, Cymatium (Septa) pileare MP65]
    |    |--L. antillarum [incl. L. tuberosum] G79
    |    |--L. martiniana G79
    |    |--L. nicobaricum Röding 1798 WG71
    |    `--L. succincta [incl. Triton americanum] G79
    |--Cabestana Röding 1798 WG71
    |    |--C. (Cabestana) labiosa (Wood 1828) MP65 [=Murex labiosus H09, Cymatium (C.) labiosum MP65]
    |    `--C. (Cymatilesta Iredale 1936) P61
    |         |--C. (*C.) spengleri (Perry 1811) P61
    |         |--C. (C.) bolteniana (Adams 1854) P61
    |         |--C. (C.) otagoensis Powell 1954 P61
    |         `--C. (C.) waterhousei Adams & Angas 1864 P61, WG71
    |              |--C. w. waterhousei P61
    |              `--C. w. segregata Powell 1933 P61
    |--Mayena Iredale 1917 WG71
    |    |--*M. australasia (Perry 1811) F27, WG71 [=Biplex australasia P61, Argobuccinum australasia F27]
    |    |    |--M. a. australasia P61
    |    |    |--M. a. blacki Powell 1954 P61
    |    |    `--M. a. vossi Powell 1952 P61
    |    |--M. intercostalis [=Triton intercostale] F27
    |    |--M. kaiparaensis [=Cymatium kaiparaense] F27
    |    |--M. sculpturata [=Cymatium sculpturatum] F27
    |    `--M. zelandica Finlay 1927 F27
    `--Cymatium Röding 1798 [incl. Nyctilochus Gistel 1848] BR05
         |  i. s.: C. acclive (Hutton 1873) [=Triton acclivis] F27
         |         C. caudatum (Gmelin 1791) MG-H11
         |         C. chlorostoma (Lamarck 1822) [=Triton chlorostoma] H09
         |         C. cingulatum ZLK11
         |         C. clandestinum (Lamarck 1816) BW09
         |         C. corrugatum O27
         |           |--C. c. corrugatum O27
         |           `--C. c. tremperi Dall 1907 O27
         |         ‘Rissoa’ cruzensis Usticke 1969 BC01
         |         C. cutaceum HJ08
         |           |--C. c. cutaceum HJ08
         |           `--C. c. africanum (Adams 1854) HJ08
         |         C. cynocephalum (Lamarck 1816) S11
         |         C. decagonium A27
         |         C. elongatum (Reeve 1844) [=Triton elongatus] H09
         |         C. encausticum (Reeve 1844) [=Triton encausticus] H09
         |         C. exaratum (Reeve 1844) F27 [=Triton exaratus H09]
         |         C. gemmatum (Reeve 1844) BW09 [=Triton gemmatus H09]
         |         C. gibbosum (Broderip 1833) [=Triton gibbosus] O27
         |         C. gracile (Reeve 1844) [=Triton gracilis] H09
         |         C. hepaticum (Röding 1798) BW09
         |         C. marwicki A27
         |         C. moritinctum (Reeve 1844) [=Triton moritinctus] H09
         |         C. mundum (Gould 1849) MG-H11
         |         C. muricinum (Röding 1798) BW09
         |         C. nicobaricum (Röding 1798) S11
         |         C. pfeifferianum (Reeve 1844) [=Triton pfeifferianus] H09
         |         C. raderi D’Attilio & Myers 1984 BC01
         |         C. ranzanii (Bianconi 1851) ES88
         |         C. rubecula (Linnaeus 1758) BW09
         |         C. sacrostoma (Reeve 1844) [=Triton sacrostoma] H09
         |         C. spengleri (Chemnitz 1795) [=Murex spengleri] H09
         |         C. strangei (Adams & Angas 1864) [=Triton strangei] H09
         |         C. trigonum PP64
         |         C. tuberosum (Lamarck 1822) [=Triton tuberosus] H09
         |         C. vespaceum (Lamarck 1822) MG-H11 [=Triton vespaceus H09]
         |         C. vestitum EO64
         |         C. waterhousei (Adams & Angas 1865) P27
         |--C. (Cymatium) BR17
         |    |--*C. (C.) femorale (Linnaeus 1758) [=Murex femorale] BR17
         |    `--C. (C.) tigrinum (Broderip 1833) O27, BR05 [=Triton tigrinum BR05, *Nyctilochus tigrinus BR05]
         |--C. (Linatella) poulsenii (Mörch 1877) [=Triton (L.) poulsenii] MP65
         |--C. (Lotoria Emerson & Old 1963) BC01
         |    `--C. (*L.) perryi Emerson & Old 1963 BC01
         |--C. (Monoplex Perry 1811) BC01
         |    |--*Monoplex’ australasiae Perry 1811 P61
         |    |--C. (M.) aquatile (Reeve 1844) [incl. C. cruzana Usticke 1959] BC01
         |    |--C. (M.) macrodon (Valenciennes 1832) [=Triton macrodon] BC01
         |    |--C. (M.) parthenopeum (von Salis 1793) [=Murex parthenopeus] MP65
         |    `--C. (M.) penniketi Beu 1998 BC01
         `--C. (Ranularia Schumacher 1817) BC01
              |--‘Tudicla’ gutturnium Roeding 1798 [incl. *Ranularia longirostra Schumacher 1817] C75
              |--C. (R.) armatum (Sowerby 1897) [=Lotorium armatum] C75
              |--C. (R.) boschi Abbott & Lewis 1970 BC01
              |--C. (R.) caribbaeum Clench & Turner 1957 MP65
              `--C. (R.) pyrum (Linnaeus 1758) H09, WG71 [=Murex pyrum H09]

*Type species of generic name indicated


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[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.

[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.

[C75] Cernohorsky, W. O. 1975. The taxonomy of some Indo-Pacific Mollusca. Part 3. With descriptions of new taxa and remarks on an Ecuadorian fossil species of Turridae. Records of the Auckland Institute and Museum 12: 213–234.

[EO64] Emerson, W. K., & W. E. Old Jr. 1964. Additional records from Cocos Island. Nautilus 77 (3): 90–92.

[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. A further commentary on New Zealand molluscan systematics. Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 57: 320–485.

[G79] Guppy, R. J. L. 1879. First sketch of a marine invertebrate fauna of the Gulf of Paria and its neighbourhood. Part I.—Mollusca. Journal of Conchology 2: 151–172.

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

[HJ08] Huisman, J. M., D. S. Jones, F. E. Wells & T. Burton. 2008. Introduced marine biota in Western Australian waters. Records of the Western Australian Museum 25 (1): 1–44.

[L58] Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema Naturae per Regna Tria Naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata. Laurentii Salvii: Holmiae.

[M54] Macpherson, J. H. 1954. Molluscs (sea shells and snails). In: Willis, J. M. (ed.) The Archipelago of the Recherche pp. 55–63. Australian Geographical Society: Melbourne.

[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.

[MP65] Merrill, A. S., & R. E. Petit. 1965. Mollusks new to South Carolina. Nautilus 79 (2): 58–66.

[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).

[PP64] Peres, J. M., & J. Picard. 1964. Nouveau manuel de bionomie benthique de la mer Mediterranee. Recueil des Travaux de la Station Marine d'Endoume, Bulletin 31 (27): 5–137.

[P27] Powell, A. W. B. 1927. On a large Tonna and two other gasteropods of Australian origin. Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 57: 559–562.

[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.

[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: 2 October 2021.

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