- Shells are variable in size and solidly constructed. They are often fancifully
ornamented. The name, triton refers to the widely flared lip and columellar fold,
giving the shell a prominent flared opening. In fact, triton shells are sometimes
still used as musical trumpets. Many have blunt teeth or convex folds on the inside
lip that extends to the wavy stout edge. Some tritons are closely similar to Murex Shells, but a distinctive difference is that no
more than two varices are found on a whorl and those on adjacent whorls rarely connect.
- The Ranellidae feed on other mollusks and sea urchins, and like many other carnivorous
molluscs, they either spray or inject an cholinergic secretion in their saliva that paralyzes
their prey (West et al., 1998). Cymatium genera then tear off bits of flesh with their radula. A few others, Argobuccinum for example, can liquefy the prey's flesh and suck
it up with their proboscis (Beu, 1988).
- Because the free-swimming larval period is long in certain species, they are widely
distributed in warm seas and the tropics.
- The former family, Cymatiidae, has been split into two families: Ranellidae
(tritons) and Personidae ("Distorsios").
- Class: Gastropoda
- Clade: Littorinimorpha
- Superfamily: Tonoidea
- Family: Ranellidae
- Major Genera
- Genus: Argobuccinum
- Genus: Charonia
- Genus: Cymatium
- Genus: Fusitriton
- Genus: Gyrineum
Charonia rubicunda (Perry, 1811)
Fusitriton oregonense (Redfield, 1848)
LINK --SEE LIVE TRITON
Doug Segar and Elaine Stamman