Molecular systematics of Vetigastropoda: Trochidae, Turbinidae and Trochoidea redefined


  • Suzanne T. Williams,

  • Satoshi Karube,

  • Tomowo Ozawa

Corresponding author: Suzanne T. Williams, Department of Zoology, The Natural History Museum, Zoology Department, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, UK. E-mail:
Satoshi Karube, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Nagoya University, Nagoya 464-8602, Japan. Present address: School of Law, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-0809, Japan. E-mail:
Tomowo Ozawa, Department of World Heritage, Cyber University, Nagoya Office, Ikegamicho-2-7-1-203, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya 464–0029, Japan. E-mail:


Trochoidea are a large superfamily of morphologically and ecologically diverse marine gastropods. We present here an appraisal of the composition and relationships among trochoidean families based on molecular data, with an especial focus on the family Trochidae. Bayesian analyses of sequences from three genes (18S rRNA, 28S rRNA and COI) including data from 162 vetigastropod species show that the gastropod family Trochidae (sensu Hickman & McLean (1990), Natural History Museum Los Angeles County Science Series, 35, 1–169) is not monophyletic. Recognition of Chilodontidae, Solariellidae and Calliostomatidae at the family level is supported. Our new, more limited, definition of Trochidae includes the subfamilies Stomatellinae, Lirulariinae and Umboniinae and redefined Trochinae, Cantharidinae and Monodontinae. Halistylinae are provisionally retained in the Trochidae based on previous morphological studies. As redefined, Trochidae are a predominantly shallow-water radiation in the tropics and subtropics. Some subfamilies and genera previously included in Trochidae have been moved to an enlarged family Turbinidae. The family Turbinidae has been redefined to include Turbininae, Skeneinae, Margaritinae, Tegulinae, Prisogasterinae and most surprisingly the commercially important genus Tectus Montfort, 1810. The new definition of Turbinidae means that the family includes both predominantly shallow and deep-water clades as well as genera that are distributed across the globe from the poles to the tropics. A greater range of habitat is now seen in Turbinidae than in Trochidae. The redefined Trochidae and Turbinidae, together with Solariellidae, Calliostomatidae and Liotiidae, make up the superfamily Trochoidea. Phasianellidae and Colloniidae are recognized as belonging in a new superfamily, Phasianelloidea, and Angaria Röding, 1798 is recognized as belonging in a new superfamily, Angarioidea. Placement of Areneidae into a superfamily awaits further work.