Archerd Shell Collection > Shell Classes > Gastropoda > Columbellidae

Family: Columbellidae (Dove Shells)


Large family of numerous genera and many species living in warm and tropical waters. Most dove shells are tiny; few exceed an inch. The shell is strong and can resist crushing by crabs, their predator. Although the shells bear the markings of carnivorous snails, some seem to have reverted to an herbivorous life style. (Abbot & Dance, p.159) describe these mollusc species principally as scavenging carnivores. Especially active at night, they may be seen in sandy and muddy places at low tide, where they feed on sea anemones. Molluscs in this family have eyes at the base of the tentacles. The family (which was formerly named Pyrenidae) is well represented in tropical waters.

Class: Gastropoda
Clade: Neogastropoda
Superfamily: Buccinoidea
Family: Columbellidae
Major Genera
  • Genus: Columbella
  • Genus: Pyrene
  • Genus: Strombina

Pyrene ocellata (Link, 1807)
Lightning Dove Shell


(scroll down to Columbellidae, 4th image)

The Spineless Column



Archerd Shell Collection > Shell Classes > Gastropoda > Dove Shells