Common Pacific phos Phos senticosus, copyright Hectonichus.

Belongs within: Buccinoidea.
Contains: Arcularia, Nassarius, Alectrion.

The Nassariidae, dog whelks, are a group of mostly scavenging marine neogastropods, most commonly found in sandy or muddy areas in shallow waters. They are small to medium in size, with a shell bearing a high spire and oval aperture. Within the Nassariidae, members of the Nassariinae and Cyllene are generally smaller than Dorsaninae or Bullia. The shell aperture of Cyllene has a thick outer lip with a prominently lirate interior, and the columella is calloused and distinctly plicate. Phos is a genus of relatively large nassariids with multicuspidate rachidian teeth on the radula.

<==Nassariidae [Alectrionidae, Arculariidae, Nassidae, Nassina, Nassinae]
    |--Anentome Cossmann 1901 [Anentominae] BR17
    |    |--*A. helena (von dem Busch 1847) [=Melania helena] BR17
    |    `--A. cambodjensis [=Clea (Anentome) cambodjensis] G88
    |--Buccinanops d’Orbigny 1841 [Buccinanopsinae] BR17
    |    |--*B. cochlidius (Dillwyn 1817) [=Buccinum cochlidium] BR17
    |    |--B. gradatus (Deshayes 1844) S11
    |    `--B. monilifer (Velenciennes 1834) S11
    |--Bullia Gray 1834 [Bulliinae] BR05
    |    |--*B. semiplicata Gray 1833 BR17
    |    |--B. achatina [incl. B. digitalis] SML68
    |    |--B. annulata Lamarck 1816 HJ08
    |    |--B. laevissima SML68
    |    |--B. rhodostoma C60
    |    `--B. rogersi Smythe in Smythe & Chatfield 1981 BC01
    |--Dorsaninae BR05
    |    |--Duplicata Korobokov 1955 [Duplicatinae] BR05
    |    |    `--*D. duplicata (Sowerby 1832) [=Buccinum duplicatum] BR17
    |    `--Dorsanum Gray 1847 BR05
    |         |--*D. politum (Lamarck 1822) [=Buccinum politum] BR17
    |         `--D. fuscum PB27
    |--Cyllene Gray 1834 [Cylleninae] BR05
    |    |--*C. owenii Gray 1834 BR17
    |    |--C. cernohorskyi Fernandes & Rolán 1992 BC01
    |    |--C. lactea Adams & Angas 1863 H09
    |    |--C. pulchella Adams & Reeve 1850 H09
    |    `--C. rubrolineata Sowerby 1870 MG-H11
    |--Phos Montfort 1810 BR05 [Phosina, Photinae BR17]
    |    |--*P. senticosus (Linnaeus 1758) [=Murex senticosus] BR17
    |    |--P. gaudens C64
    |    |--P. ordinarius A27
    |    |--P. roseatus (Hinds 1844) MG-H11
    |    |--P. rufocinctus Adams 1850 H09
    |    |--P. scalaroides Adams 1851 H09
    |    |--P. sculptilis Watson 1886 MG-H11
    |    |--P. spinicostatus Adams 1851 H09
    |    `--P. textum (Gmelin 1791) [=Buccinum textum] H09
    `--Nassariinae BR05
         |--Arcularia BR05
         |--Nassarius BD12
         |--Alectrion BR05
         |--‘Nassa’ Lamarck 1799 non Röding 1798 BR05
         |    `--*N. mutabilis (Linnaeus 1758) [=Buccinum mutabile] BR17
         |--‘Cyclops’ Montfort 1810 non Müller 1776 [Cyclopsidae] BR05
         |    `--*C. asterizans Montfort 1810 BR17
         |--Ilyanassa Stimpson 1865 O27
         |    `--I. obsoleta (Say 1822) SS07 [=Alectrion obsoletus O27, Nassarius obsoletus SML68]
         `--Cyclonassa Swainson 1840 [Cyclonassinae] BR05
              |--*C. neritea (Linnaeus 1758) [=Buccinum neriteum] BR17
              `--C. donovani PP64

Nassariidae incertae sedis:
  Parcanassa Iredale 1936 WG71
    `--P. pauperata Lamarck 1822 WG71
  Zeuxis Adams 1852 [incl. Venassa v. Martens 1881] C75
    |--Z. dorsatus Röding 1798 WG71
    |--‘Nassa (*Venassa)’ pulvinaris v. Martens 1881 [=Nassarius (*V.) pulvinaris] C75
    |--Z. sinarus (Philippi 1851) [=Nassarius (Zeuxis) sinarus] ZC10
    `--Z. siquijorensis ZLK11
  Plicarcularia Thiele 1929 WG71
    |--P. granifera Kiener 1834 WG71
    `--P. thersites Bruguière 1789 WG71
  Niotha Adams & Adams 1853 WG71
    |--N. bicolor Hombron & Jacquinot 1853 WG71
    |--N. gemmulata Lamarck 1822 WG71
    `--N. pyrrhus Menke 1843 WG71
  Nanina Risso 1826 BR05
    |--N. (Acusta) assimilis Adams 1866 A66a
    |--N. sieboldtiana A66a
    `--N. sulfurata C84
  Hebra horrida (Dunker 1847) BW09
  Nassodonta Adams 1866 S11, A66b
    |--*N. insignis Adams 1866 A66b
    `--N. dorri (Watteblet 1886) S11
  Radulphus Iredale 1924 P61
    |--*R. royanus P61
    `--R. necopinatus Finlay 1930 P61
  Spharonassa JB12
  Sudonassarius JB12
  Psilarius Woodring 1964 [=Leptarius Woodring 1964 non Gill 1864] W64
    `--*P. leptus (Woodring 1964) [=*Leptarius leptus] W64

*Type species of generic name indicated


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[A27] Allan, R. S. 1927. The geology and palaeontology of the Lower Waihao Basin, south Canterbury, New Zealand. Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 57: 265-309.

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[G88] Gray, J. 1988. Evolution of the freshwater ecosystem: the fossil record. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 62: 1–214.

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

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[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.

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

[SML68] Schaefer, C. W., P. Milch & N. L. Levin. 1968. Death from desiccation in the mud-snail, Nassarius obsoletus: effect of temperature. Nautilus 81 (4): 109–114.

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[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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