Archerd Shell Collection > Shell Classes > Gastropoda > Coralliophilidae

Subfamily: Coralliophilinae (Coral Shells) (formerly Family: Coralliophilidae)

Gastropods of the Coralliophilinae family lie embedded in corals typical of the Western Pacific. Most have a comparatively thin shell and significant modifications of their feeding characteristics, but they are closely related to gastropods of the Murex family. Two eyestalks are found at the base of each of two tentacles, and the proboscis is rather long. Secretion of both carbohydrae and protein digesting enzymes appear to aid penetration of the coral epidermis before ingestion of the coral and zooxanthillae begins (Ward, 1965).
Customarily included with the Coralliophilinae is the Rapa genus. However, Rapa is a polyphyletic sister group based on molecular and morphological evidence. The Rapa mollusc also feeds by sucking  out the coral's soft tissues. Principal genera in the Coralliophilinae subfamily are Coralliophila, and Magilus; these and other genera are monophyletic, as confirmed by molecular markers (Oliverio & Mariottini, 2001)
"Magilidae" was a synonym for the former Coralliophilidae family.
Class: Gastropoda
Clade: Neogastropoda
Superfamily: Muricoidea
Family: Muricidae
Subfanily: Coralliophilinae
Major Genera
  • Genus: Boreotrophon
  • Genus: Coralliophila
  • Genus: Latiaxis
  • Genus: Magilus
  • Genus: Quoyula
  • Genus: Rapa
  • Genus: Trophon

Rapa incurva
(Dunker, 1852)
Recurved Rapa Snail
(Guam, 1960)


Latiaxis mawae (Griffith & Pidgeon, 1834)
Mawae's Latiaxis
(Japan 1960)



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Archerd Shell Collection > Shell Classes > Gastropods > Coralliophilidae