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Temporal range: Carboniferous – Recent [1] :355
Caenogastropoda various examples 2.jpg
Various examples of Caenogastropoda
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
Clade: Caenogastropoda
Cox, 1960 [2]

Caenogastropoda is a taxonomic clade, a large diverse group which are mostly sea snails and other marine gastropod mollusks, but also includes some freshwater snails and some land snails. The clade is the most diverse and ecologically successful of the gastropods. [3]


Caenogastropoda contains many families of shelled marine molluscs – including the periwinkles, cowries, wentletraps, moon snails, murexes, cone snails and turrids – and constitutes about 60% of all living gastropods. [4]


The Caenogastropoda exhibit torsion, and thus are included in what was previously called the Streptoneura (meaning twisted nerves), also known as Prosobranchia (meaning gills forward). Specifically, they are characterized by having only a single auricle in the heart and a single pair of gill leaflets, and are equivalent to the Monotocardia or Pectinobranchia of older authors.


A siphon whelk Penion cuvierianus jeakingsi. Penion jeakingsi.png
A siphon whelk Penion cuvierianus jeakingsi .

The taxon Caenogastropoda was first established by Leslie Reginald Cox in 1960 as a superorder [5] but now sometimes it is retained as a clade. Based on optimal phylogenetic analysis, it is deemed monophyletic. [6] This Caenogastropoda combines the older taxa Mesogastropoda and Stenoglossa from the classification by Johannes Thiele [7] and is equivalent to the revised Monotocardia as defined by Mörch in 1865.

Caenogastropoda can be divided into two major groups, based on the anatomy of the radula:

1997 taxonomy

Ponder & Lindberg, 1997 and others since (e.g. Vega et al., 2006; [8] Harzhauser, 2004; [9] and Pina, 2002. [10] ) show Caenogastropoda as a superorder, following the sense of Cox, 1960. More recently Bouchet & Rocroi, 2005 revised Caenogastropoda as a clade.

2005 taxonomy

The following classification was laid out in the taxonomy of Bouchet & Rocroi (2005): [7]

2006 taxonomy

Colgan et al. (2006) [11] provided further insight into the phylogeny of Caenogastropoda. [2]

Latest views by the World Register of Marine Species

Sorbeoconcha should be considered an alternate representation of Caenogastropoda.

Sorbeoconcha should include [Cerithioidea + Campaniloidea + all Hypsogastropoda (i.e. the remaining Caenogastropoda)], see definition in Ponder & Lindberg, 1997: 225, not only [Cerithioidea + Campaniloidea] as suggested by the indent pattern in Bouchet & Rocroi. Neotaenioglossa Haller, 1892 suggested in Ruud Bank’s draft for Fauna Europaea is not retained because it would need severe emendation to remove Pyramidellids, Cerithioids, etc. included in its original definition, and therefore would be too far from Haller's concept if it were to fit the concept of Sorbeoconcha. Although cladistically sound, the taxon Sorbeoconcha is skipped in the classification scheme because (1) ten years after its publication, the name still sounds unfamiliar to most and (2) it is not very helpful in the classification because it includes the bulk of Caenogastropoda (only keeping out small stem groups Abyssochrysidae, Provannidae, and the architaenioglossate taxa). This is not final, opinions are welcome. [12]

Related Research Articles

Neogastropoda Clade of sea snails

Neogastropoda is a clade of sea snails, both freshwater and marine gastropod molluscs.

Orthogastropoda was a major taxonomic grouping of snails and slugs, an extremely large subclass within the huge class Gastropoda according to the older taxonomy of the Gastropoda.

Heterobranchia superorder of molluscs

Heterobranchia, the heterobranchs, is a taxonomic clade of snails and slugs, which includes marine, aquatic and terrestrial gastropod mollusks.

Sorbeoconcha order of molluscs

Sorbeoconcha is a taxonomic clade of snails, i.e. gastropods, mainly marine species with gills and opercula, within the clade Caenogastropoda.

Littorinimorpha clade of gastropods

Littorinimorpha is a large order of snails, gastropods, consisting primarily of sea snails, but also including some freshwater snails and land snails.

Melanopsidae family of molluscs

Melanopsidae, common name melanopsids, is a family of freshwater gastropods in the clade Sorbeoconcha. Species in this family are native to southern and eastern Europe, northern Africa, parts of the Middle East, New Zealand, and freshwater streams of some large South Pacific islands.

Vermetidae family of molluscs

The Vermetidae, the worm snails or worm shells, are a taxonomic family of small to medium-sized sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs in the clade Littorinimorpha. The shells of species in the family Vermetidae are extremely irregular, and do not resemble the average snail shell, hence the common name "worm shells" or "worm snails".

Thiaridae family of molluscs

Thiaridae, common name thiarids or trumpet snails, is a family of tropical freshwater snails with an operculum, aquatic gastropod mollusks in the superfamily Cerithioidea.

The taxonomy of the Gastropoda, as revised by Winston Ponder and David R. Lindberg in 1997, is an older taxonomy of the class Gastropoda, the class of molluscs consisting of all snails and slugs. The full name of the work in which this taxonomy was published is Towards a phylogeny of gastropod molluscs: an analysis using morphological characters.

Apogastropoda infraclass of molluscs

Apogastropoda was previously used as a major taxonomic grouping of sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs. This infraclass mostly consisted of marine limpets and operculate snails. At least 20,000 species were considered to exist within the two clades that were included, Heterobranchia and Caenogastropoda.

Vetigastropoda Clade of sea snails

Vetigastropoda is a major taxonomic group of sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks that form a very ancient lineage. Taxonomically the Vetigastropoda are sometimes treated as an order, although they are treated as an unranked clade in Bouchet and Rocroi, 2005.

Neritimorpha subclass of molluscs

Neritimorpha is a taxonomic grouping, an unranked clade of snails, gastropod mollusks. This grouping includes land snails, sea snails, some deepwater limpets, and also freshwater snails. This clade used to be known as the superorder Neritopsina.

Cerithioidea superfamily of molluscs

The Cerithioidea is a superfamily of marine, brackish water and freshwater gastropod containing more than 200 genera. The Cerithoidea are included in the clade Sorbeoconcha. The original name of this superfamily was Cerithiacea, in keeping with common superfamily endings at the time.

Architaenioglossa order of molluscs

Architaenioglossa is a taxonomic group of snails which have gills and often an operculum. They are primarily land and freshwater gastropod mollusks within the clade Caenogastropoda.

Pachychilidae family of molluscs

Pachychilidae, common name pachychilids, is a taxonomic family of freshwater snails, gastropod molluscs in the clade Sorbeoconcha.

Batillariidae family of molluscs

Batillariidae, common name batillariids or mudcreepers, are a family of marine, cerithioidean gastropod molluscs in the clade Sorbeoconcha. They consist of 14 living species, classified in six to eight genera.

Litiopidae, common name litiopids, is a family of small sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs in the clade Sorbeoconcha.

Modulidae family of molluscs

Modulidae, common name modulids, is a family of small sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs in the superfamily Cerithioidea.

Plesiotrochidae family of Gastropoda

Plesiotrochidae is a family of sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs in the clade Sorbeoconcha. According to the taxonomy of the Gastropoda by Bouchet & Rocroi (2005) the family Plesiotrochidae has no subfamilies.

Obtortionidae is a family of sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs in the superfamily Cerithioidea, that is within the clade Cerithimorpha or in clade Sorbeoconcha.


  1. Ponder, W. F.; Colgan, D. J.; Healy, J.; Nützel, A.; Simone, L. R. L.; Strong, E. E. (2008). "Caenogastropoda". In Ponder, W. F.; Lindberg, D. L. (eds.). Phylogeny and Evolution of the Mollusca. Berkeley: U. California Press. pp. 331–383. hdl:10088/7547.
  2. 1 2 Cox L. R. (1960). In: Moore R. C. (ed.) Treatise on invertebrate paleontology. Part I., Mollusca 1, Gastropoda. The Geological Society of America, University of Kansas Press, Lawrence. xxiii + 351 pp., page 311.
  3. "Digital Atlas of Ancient Life".
  4. Hayes, Kenneth A.; Cowie, Robert H.; Thiengo, Silvana C. (2009). "A global phylogeny of apple snails: Gondwanan origin, generic relationships, and the influence of outgroup choice (Caenogastropoda: Ampullariidae)". Biological Journal of the Linnean Society . 98: 61–76. doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8312.2009.01246.x ..
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  6. Aktipis, Stephanie W.; Giribet, Gonzalo (2010). "A phylogeny of Vetigastropoda and other "archaeogastropods": Re-organizing old gastropod clades". Invertebrate Biology. 129 (3): 220–240. doi:10.1111/j.1744-7410.2010.00198.x.
  7. 1 2 Bouchet, Philippe; Rocroi, Jean-Pierre; Frýda, Jiri; Hausdorf, Bernard; Ponder, Winston; Valdés, Ángel & Warén, Anders (2005). "Classification and nomenclator of gastropod families". Malacologia . Hackenheim, Germany: ConchBooks. 47 (1–2): 1–397. ISBN   3-925919-72-4. ISSN   0076-2997.
  8. F. J. Vega et al. 2006. El Espinal, a new plattenkalk facies locality from the Lower Cretaceous Sierra Madre Formation, Chiapas, southeastern Mexico. Revista Mexicana de Ciencias Geológicas 23(3):323-333
  9. Harzhauser M. (2004). "Oligocene gastropod faunas for the Eastern Mediterranean (Mesohellenic Trough/Greece and Esfahan-Sirjan Basin/Central Iran)". Courier Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg 248: 93-181.
  10. A.Pina -Caenogastropoda
  11. Colgan, D.J.; Ponder, W.F.; Beacham, E.; MacAranas, J. (2007). "Molecular phylogenetics of Caenogastropoda (Gastropoda: Mollusca)" (PDF). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 42 (3): 717–737. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2006.10.009. PMID   17127080.
  12. Gofas, S. (2013). Sorbeoconcha. Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species on 2013-06-28