Archerd Shell Collection > Shell Classes > Gastropoda > Costellariidae

Family: Costellariidae (Vexillidae) --Vexillum Miters

The Costellariidae family is closely related to the Mitridae family, and the life styles of these molluscs are similar. However, the Vexillum miters have been placed in their own family because of differences in  anatomy and feeding. For example, accessory salivary glands (paired) secrete a quick-acting poison used to kill other molluscs. Moreover, the hypobranchial gland secretes a greenish-yellow fluid, unlike the purple stain secreted by the Mitridae. As with the Mitridae, the Vexillum miters insert their proboscis deep into prey and rasp out soft tissue with a hooked radula. 
Vexillum miters are found in Indo-Pacific waters, and the highly colored striped shells are a characteristic of this family. By comparison, the Mitridae found in tropical waters of the Americas run to darkish brown or duller colors. Vexillum shells also tend to have predominantly axial sculpture, unlike the Mitridae. The family designation, "Vexillidae"  is a synonym for Costellariidae. 
Class: Gastropoda
Clade: Neogastropoda
Superfamily: Muricoidea
Family: Costellariidae
Single Genus: Vexillum

Vexillum regina
form filiareginae (J. Cate, 1961)
Colorful Queen Miter


Vexillum_taeniatum.JPG (36977 bytes)
Vexillum taeniatum (Lamarck, 1811)
Ribboned Miter
(a rare Indo-Pacific species)



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Archerd Shell Collection > Shell Classes > Gastropods > Miter Shells