The relationship between duration in the fossil record and larval ecology, based on the protoconch morphology, has been analysed for 40 species of Nassarius Duméril, 1806. The lifespan of species with planktotrophic larval development is significantly longer than for those with nonplanktotrophic development. Many species, representing both forms of larval ecology, cluster around certain values of longevity. This macroevolutionary tendency does not correspond to a phylogenetic pattern, nor does it depend on the ecology of the adult forms. The results are explained by means of a hypothesis on dispersion capacity of the larvae, taking into account the particular geological history of the Mediterranean and eastern Atlantic regions during the Neogene. Additional hypotheses, relating to, e.g., ecological tolerance or trophism, are rejected as being unnecessary in this case. □Longevity, larval ecology, gastropods, Nassariidae, Neogene, Mediterranean, Atlantic.