Archerd Shell Collection > Shell Classes > Gastropoda > Olividae

Family: Olividae (Olive Shells)

 Shells of the family Olividae tend to be cylindrical, smooth and shiny, and variously patterned with numerous fine wrinkles. The spire is fairly low; the aperture is long, smooth, and without teeth; and, the columella shows folds. Like many gastropods, these molluscs maintain a highly polished shell, by pulling their mantle flaps over the exposed surface.
All members of the Olividae family are carnivorous sand-burrowers. Although in a different superfamily than the Muricidae, the Olividae secrete a similar mucus from which a purple dye can be made (Monfils, 2001) They are distributed in warm and tropical seas.

Class: Gastropoda
Clade: Neogastropoda
Superfamily: Olivoidea
Family: Olividae
Major Genera
  • Genus: Agaronia
  • Genus: Amalda
  • Genus: Ancilla
  • Genus: Ancillista
  • Genus: Baryspira
  • Genus: Oliva
  • Genus: Olivancillaria
  • Genus: Olivella
Oliva miniacea
Oliva miniacea
(Röding, 1798)
Red-mouth Olive


Ancillista cingulata (Sowerby, 1830)
Cingulate Ancilla
with its mantle almost completely
engulfing the shell (in, Wilson, 1994)




Doug Segar & Elaine Stamman Seeger,

Oliva annulata
Ringed Olive

Sunset Beatch, NC Shells,
Jo O'Keefe 2010

Oliva sayana (Ravenel, 1834)
Lettered Olive



Olive Shell 
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Archerd Shell Collection > Shell Classes > Gastropods > Olive Shells