Xenophora pallidula, copyright C. R. McClain.

Belongs within: Stromboidea.

The Xenophoridae, carrier shells, are a group of more or less conical shells that commonly cement foreign bodies such as stones or discarded shells to their own shell to provide defence and/or camouflage. They are sediment feeders, consuming forams and other detritus. The shell has a ventrally porcellanous peripheral flange in species of Onustus but a non-porcellanous flange in Xenophora.

Characters (from Wikipedia): Shells small to rather large (diameter of base without attachments 19–160 mm; height of shell 21–100 mm), depressed to conical, with narrow to wide, simple to spinose peripheral edge or flange separating spire from base. Aperture large, base broad, rather flattened, often umbilicate. Periostracum very thin or wanting. Protoconch depressed-conical, multispiral (rarely paucispiral). Teleoconch usually with foreign objects attached in spiral series to peripheral flange and, sometimes, remainder of dorsum, at least on early whorls. Operculum horny, yellowish to brown, nucleus lateral, with simple growth lamellae, sometimes with conspicuous radial striae or hollow radial ribs.

    |--Onustus Swainson 1840 [Onustidae] BR05
    |    |--*O. indicus (Gmelin 1971) [=Trochus indicus] BR17
    |    |--O. caribaeus (Petit 1856) S11
    |    `--O. prognatus Finlay 1926 F27
    `--Xenophora Fischer von Waldheim 1807 BR17 [incl. Phorus Montfort 1810 BR05]
         |--X. conchyliophora (Born 1780) S11 (see below for synonymy)
         |--‘Trochus’ agglutinans Lamarck 1804 [=*Phorus agglutinans] BR17
         |--X. cerea (Reeve 1845) MG-H11 [=Phorus cereus H09]
         |--X. corrugata (Reeve 1842) F27
         |--X. exuta (Reeve 1842) MG-H11 [=Phorus exutus H09]
         |--X. gigantea Schepman 1909 MG-H11
         |--X. grasi Roman & Mazeran 1920 TTE93
         |--X. helvacea Philippi 1851 H09
         |--X. indica (Gmelin 1791) MG-H11
         |--X. japonica (Kuroda & Habe 1971) K07
         |--X. lindae Petuch & Drolshagen 2009 P12
         |--X. mediterranea PP64
         |--X. neozelanica Suter 1908 P61 [=Onustus neozelanicus F27]
         |--X. pallidula (Reeve 1842) MG-H11 [=Phorus pallidulus H09]
         |--X. rhytida Cossmann 1899 [=Peasiella rhytida] R89
         |--X. simpsoni Stanton 1893 TTE93
         |--X. solarioides (Reeve 1845) [=Phorus solarioides] H09
         |--X. tatei Harris 1897 [=X. (Tugurium) tatei] DK08
         `--X. tulearensis Stewart & Kosuge 1993 BC01

Xenophora conchyliophora (Born 1780) S11 [=Trochus conchyliophorus BR17, *X. laevigata Fischer von Waldheim 1807 BR17]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[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.

[DK08] Darragh, T. A., & G. W. Kendrick. 2008. Silicified Eocene molluscs from the Lower Murchison district, Southern Carnarvon Basin, Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum 24 (3): 217–246.

[F27] Finlay, H. J. 1927. A further commentary on New Zealand molluscan systematics. Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 57: 320–485.

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

[K07] Kamenev, G. M. 2007. The taxonomic position of Bentharca xenophoricola (Kuroda, 1929) and Bentharca rubrotincta Kuroda & Habe in Habe, 1958 (Bivalvia: Arcidae). Malacologia 49 (2): 351–365.

[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.

[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.

[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.

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

[R89] Reid, D. G. 1989. Systematic revision of the Recent species of Peasiella Nevill, 1885 (Gastropoda: Littorinidae), with notes on the fossil species. Nautilus 103 (2): 43–69.

[S11] Simone, L. R. L. 2011. Phylogeny of the Caenogastropoda (Mollusca), based on comparative morphology. Arquivos de Zoologia 42 (4): 161–323.

[TTE93] Tracey, S., J. A. Todd & D. H. Erwin. 1993. Mollusca: Gastropoda. In: Benton, M. J. (ed.) The Fossil Record 2 pp. 131–167. Chapman & Hall: London.

Last updated: 3 October 2021.

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