Archerd Shell Collection > Shell Classes > Gastropoda Family Index > Personidae

Family: Personidae (Distorsios)



Distorsio shells, shown here, were formerly classified with members of the present Ranellidae (Cymatiidae) family. Alan J. Beu, 1988, states that they belong to a distinctly separate family, the Personidae, for the following reasons:  1) Paleontologically, the shells have evolved along a parallel lineage distinct from most Ranellidae, at least 15-30 million years earlier, and with no discernable common ancestor in the fossil record. 2) The mollusc shows anatomic details of the upper pharyngeal and gastric tract that are similar to those of  the Ficidae. 3) The radula has teeth like spiny crescents rather than the ribboned teeth of most Ranellidae. 4) The small black operculum is similar to that of certain Ficidae, despite the strikingly different appearance of the overall shell. 

Distorsio shells are distinctive in a showing a rather distorted coiling of the knobbed whorls, which are found even around the aperture. Soft tissue features are common to all three genera of the Personidae family. The Indo-Pacific species are found at moderate depths in warm waters. Distorsio anus is usually found under or among corals.


Class: Gastropoda
Superfamily: Tonnoidea
Family: Personidae 
Major Genera
  • Genus: Distorsio
  • Genus: Distorsionella
  • Genus: Personopsis

Distorsio anus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common Distorsio
(currently listed as an uncommon species)



Distorsio anus
Common Distorsio



Archerd Shell Collection > Shell Classes > Gastropod Family Index >Distorsio Shells