Vermetidae

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Vermetidae
Serpulorbis squamigerus.jpg
A live individual of Thylacodes squamigerus in situ
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
Subclass: Caenogastropoda
Order: Littorinimorpha
Superfamily: Vermetoidea
Family: Vermetidae
Rafinesque
Genera

See text

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. [1] 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".

Contents

These snails usually grow cemented onto a hard surface, or cemented together in colonies.

Shell description

These snails do not have typical regularly coiled gastropod shells; instead, they have very irregular elongated tubular shells which are moulded to, and cemented to, a surface of attachment such as a rock or another shell. In the adult, the apertural part of the shell is usually free, with the opening directed upward. Some species have an operculum and some do not. Damaged sections of the shell can be sealed off by calcareous septa when necessary.

Some vermetids are solitary, whereas others live in colonies, partially cemented together. The shells of species within this family vary greatly and can sometimes be extremely challenging to identify.

Comparison with annelid worm tubes

The empty calcareous tubes of certain marine annelid tube worms, for example the Serpulidae, can sometimes be casually misidentified as empty vermetid shells, and vice versa. The difference is that vermetid shells are shiny inside and have three shell layers, whereas the annelid worm tubes are dull inside and have only two shell layers.

Taxonomy

Fossil Vermetus sp.; Nicosia Formation; Pliocene; Cyprus Vermetus Pliocene Cyprus aperture view.jpg
Fossil Vermetus sp.; Nicosia Formation; Pliocene; Cyprus

2005 taxonomy

The Vermetidae were recognized as the only family in the superfamily Vermetoidea in the taxonomy of Bouchet & Rocroi (2005) within the clade Littorinimorpha.

The following two subfamilies were recognized in the taxonomy of Bouchet & Rocroi (2005): [1]

Family Vermetidae Rafinesque, 1815

This classification of the Vermetoidea has been somewhat controversial. Studies, based on sperm ultrastructure, [2] and on molecular data [3] clearly place it within the clade Littorinimorpha. However, there are still a number of authors [4] [5] [6] that place it within the superfamily Cerithioidea. The genera Campanile and Thylacodes form a clade that is sister to the Cerithioidea, as shown in a study by Lydeard et al. (2002). [7]

2006 taxonomy

Bandel (2006) [8] established a new subfamily Laxispirinae as one of three subfamilies he recognized within the Vermetidae:

Genera

Genera within the family Vermetidae include:

Vermetinae

† Laxispirinae

Dendropomatinae

Subfamily ?

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Caenogastropoda</span> Clade of sea snails

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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Littorinimorpha</span> 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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Turbonillinae</span> Subfamily of gastropods

Turbonillinae is a subfamily of mostly minute parasitic sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs in the family Pyramidellidae, the pyrams and their allies.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Neritidae</span> Family of gastropods

Neritidae, common name the nerites, is a taxonomic family of small to medium-sized saltwater and freshwater snails which have a gill and a distinctive operculum.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Thiaridae</span> Family of gastropods


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

Thylacodes aotearoicus is a species of sea snail, a worm snail or worm shell, a marine gastropod mollusc in the family Vermetidae, the worm snails. This species was previously known as Serpulorbis aotearoicus.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Vermetoidea</span> Superfamily of gastropods

The Vermetoidea, the worm snails or worm shells, are a taxonomic superfamily of small to medium-sized sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs in the order Littorinimorpha.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Procerithiidae</span> Family of gastropods

Procerithiidae is a taxonomic family of sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs in the clade Sorbeoconcha.

Dendropoma anguliferum is a species of sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Vermetidae, the worm snails or worm shells.

Dendropoma maximum is a species of sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Vermetidae, the worm snails or worm shells.

Dendropoma mejillonensis is a species of sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusc in the family Vermetidae, the worm snails or worm shells.

Dendropoma nebulosum is a species of sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Vermetidae, the worm snails or worm shells.

<i>Dendropoma petraeum</i> Species of gastropod

Dendropoma petraeum is a species of sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Vermetidae, the worm snails or worm shells.

Dendropoma tholia is a species of sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Vermetidae, the worm snails or worm shells.

Thylacodes riisei is a species of sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Vermetidae, the worm snails or worm shells. This species was previously known as Serpulorbis riisei.

Siphonium gaederopi is a species of sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Vermetidae, the worm snails or worm shells.

<i>Petaloconchus</i> Genus of gastropods

Petaloconchus is a genus of sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the family Vermetidae, the worm snails or worm shells.

<i>Vermetus</i> Genus of gastropods

Vermetus is a genus of sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the family Vermetidae, the worm snails or worm shells.

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

<i>Thylacodes</i> Genus of gastropods

Thylacodes is a genus of sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the family Vermetidae, the worm snails or worm shells. The species in this genus were previously placed in the genus Serpulorbis.

References

  1. 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.
  2. J.M. Healy (1988). "Sperm morphology in Serpulorbis and Dendropoma and its relevance to the systematic position of the Vermetidae (Gastropoda)". Journal of Molluscan Studies. 54: 295–308. doi:10.1093/mollus/54.3.295.
  3. D. Colgan, W.F. Ponder & P.E. Eggler (2000). "Gastropod evolutionary rates and phylogenetic relationships assessed using partial 28s rDNA and histone H3 sequences". Zoologica Scripta. 29: 29–63. doi:10.1046/j.1463-6409.2000.00021.x.
  4. K. Bandel & T. Kowalke (1997). "Cretaceous Laxispira and a discussion on the monophyly of vermetids and turritellids (Caenogastropoda, Mollusca)". Geologica et Palaeontologica. 31: 257–274.
  5. "Earliest known (Campanian- members of the Vermetidae, Provannidae and Litiopidae (Cerithioidea, Gastropoda) and a discussion on their possible relationships". Mitteilungen aus dem geologisch-Paläontologischen Institut, Universität Hamburg. 84: 209–218. 2000.
  6. T. Kowalke (1998). "Bewertung protoconchmorphologischer Daten basaler Caenogastropoda (Cerithiimorpha und Littorinimorpha) hinsichtlich ihrer Systematik und Evolution von der Kreide bis rezent". Berliner Geowissenschaftliche Abhandlungen, ser; E (Palaeobiologie). 27: 1–121.
  7. C. Lydeard, W.E. Holznagel, M. Glaubrecht & W.F. Ponder (2002). "Molecular phylogeny of a circumglobal, diverse gastropod superfamily (Cerithioidea, Mollusca, Caenogastropoda): pushing the deepest phylogenetic limits of mitochondrial LSU r DNA sequences". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 22 (3): 399–406. doi:10.1006/mpev.2001.1072. PMID   11884164.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  8. 1 2 3 Bandel K. (2006). "Families of the Cerithioidea and related superfamilies (Palaeo-Caenogastropoda; Mollusca) from the Triassic to the Recent characterized by protoconch morphology - including the description of new taxa". Freiberger Forschungshefte C 511: 59-138. PDF [ permanent dead link ].
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