Archerd Shell Collection > Shell Classes > Gastropoda > Turbinellidae

Family: Turbinellidae (Xancidae) --Chank & Vase Shells


Shells in the Turbinellidae family are generally large, thick and overall spindle-shaped. The columella bears three to five, strong spiral teeth. They have a chitinous. claw-like operculum, and a quite large foot, which is characteristic of the Turbinellidae molluscs.  The foot is used for smothering and feeding on worms and clams. They live in sand among rocks, at considerable depths as well as in shallow water. Most commonly, they are found in tidal muds, mainly of the Indian ocean and the Caribbean. The Tudicula armigera shell shown here is somewhat unique among chank shells owing to its long spines. Without its exageratedly long spines, its shape would be nearly identical to shells in the Vasum genus.

The genus, Vasum, is a wide-spread tropical group. The shell is heavy, with four or five folds on the inner lip revealing its relationship to the Volutes and Miters. Most are fairly common and found near shore in sand under rocks. There are about two dozen species. They feed on clams and the sexes are separate. Species range from two to three inches high. Twelve species are found in the Indo-Pacific; five from the western Atlantic; one from the Panamic province, Vasum caestus (Broderip, 1833); and one from South Africa, Vasum truncatum (Sowerby III, 1892) --(Glady Archerd's journal).

Xancidae is a synonymous name sometimes given to the Turbinellidae family.

Class: Gastropoda
Subclass: Prosobranchia
Clade: Neogastropoda
Superfamily: Muricoidea
Family: Turbinellidae (Xancidae)

Major Genera
  • Genus: Afer
  • Genus: Tudicla
  • Genus: Tudicula
  • Genus: Turbinella
  • Genus: Vasum
  • Genus: Xancus

Tudicula armigera (Adams, 1855)
Armored Tudicula

Archerd Shell Collection > Shell Classes > Gastropods > Chank & Vase Shells