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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
Subclass: 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 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]

Taxonomy as provided by WoRMS in 2021 [13]

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 Clade of gastropods

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

Sorbeoconcha Clade of gastropods

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

Littorinimorpha Order of gastropods

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

Sea snail Common name for snails that normally live in saltwater

Sea snail is a common name for slow-moving marine gastropod molluscs, usually with visible external shells, such as whelk or abalone. They share the taxonomic class Gastropoda with slugs, which are distinguished from snails primarily by the absence of a visible shell.

Aciculidae Family of gastropods

The Aciculidae are a family of minute land snails which have opercula. In other words, Aciculidae are terrestrial operculate gastropods. Even though Aciculidae are land snails, they live in rather wet conditions, among mosses and dead leaves and they have sometimes been described as "winkles come ashore".

Vermetidae Family of gastropods

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".

The taxonomy of the Gastropoda as it was revised in 2005 by Philippe Bouchet and Jean-Pierre Rocroi is a system for the scientific classification of gastropod mollusks. The paper setting out this taxonomy was published in the journal Malacologia. The system encompasses both living and extinct groups, as well as some fossils whose classification as gastropods is uncertain.

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 Group 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.

Winston F. Ponder is a noted malacologist from New Zealand who has named and described many marine and freshwater animals, especially micromolluscs. He graduated with an MSc, PhD and DSc from the University of Auckland, New Zealand.

Neritimorpha Subclass of gastropods

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 gastropods

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

Architaenioglossa Order of gastropods

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 gastropods

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

Litiopidae Family of gastropods

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

This overview lists proposed changes in the taxonomy of gastropods at the family level and above since 2005, when the taxonomy of the Gastropoda by Bouchet & Rocroi (2005) was published. In other words, these are recent updates in the way various groups of snails and slugs are classified.

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 ..
  5. Caenogastropoda, Paleobiology
  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
  13. WoRMS (2021). Caenogastropoda. Accessed at: on 2021-07-26