The fossil record indicates that the shipworm family Teredinidae has been in existence since the Eocene (56-34 million years ago).
Molecular phylogeny of Teredinidae has slightly revised Turner's classification based on morphological characters that distinguished the genera by the shape of their siphons and pallets (Santos et al 2005, Turner 1966). These changes have grouped the genera in two subfamilies (Teredinidae and Bankiinae): Teredinidae includes 14 different genera, the subfamily Teredininae has nine of these (including Teredo). Within Teredininae, the genus closest to Teredo morphologically and molecularly is Lyrodus.
Presently there are around 50 different species of Teredo worldwide, but Teredo navalis remains the most common species by far (Santos et al 2005).
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