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It has been estimated that worldwide there are about 260–270 Recent species of naticid snails. This group is assumed to have originated in the late Triassic or in the early Jurassic. Members of this family can be recognized by the shape of their shells, distinct appearance or by their predatory behavior.
Naticids are widely distributed and occur world-wide. The greatest diversity of both species and genera is found in tropical regions. Even so, naticid snails are also plentiful in temperate, Arctic and Antarctic waters.
Moon snails live on sandy substrates, at a great variety of depths depending on the species (from the intertidal zone to thousands of meters in depth). They are often seen ploughing along in the sand searching for prey.
Naticids are predatory, feeding mostly on bivalves. They will also attack almost any other shelled mollusk they encounter in the sand, such as scaphopods and other gastropods, including other moon snails. Additionally, Conuber sordidum was shown to prey on the soldier crab Mictyris longicarpus (Crustacea) by drilling predation. To catch soldier crabs, C. sordidum uses the same stereotyped behaviour as previously described for moon snails hunting shelled molluscan prey.
The moon snail envelops the prey and then bores a hole through the shell using its radula and an acid secretion. Once the shell is bored open, the proboscis is used to consume the flesh of the prey. The hole in the shell, which has a "countersunk" appearance with chamfered edges, and which varies in size according to the species, is a characteristic diagnostic sign of moon snail predation.
In the breeding season, the female moon snail lays a rather stiff egg mass which includes sand and mucus. These objects wash up on sandy beaches fairly often, and are known by the common name "sand collars" because of their resemblance to an old-fashioned removable shirt collar or false-collar.
Some authors have suggested a distinct separation of the Naticidae into four subfamilies: Ampullospirinae, Naticinae, Polinicinae and Sininae. This arrangement is mainly based on morphological data, such as details of the operculum including the material (calcareous in the Naticinae, corneous in the Polinicinae and Sininae) and size, and also the morphology of the shell.
- Naticinae Guilding, 1834 - synonyms: Neveritinae Gray, 1857; Choristidae Verrill, 1882; Euspiridae Cossmann, 1907; Mammillinae Iredale & McMichael, 1962; Eunaticinini Oyama, 1469
- Sininae Woodring, 1928 - synonyms: Sigaretidae Gary, 1827; Cryptostomidae Gray, 1827
- Globisininae Powell, 1933
- Polinicinae Gray, 1847
Genera in the family Naticidae include:
Unassigned to a subfamily:
- Haliotinella Souverbie, 1875
- Cryptonatica Dall, 1892
- Lunaia Berry, 1964
- Natica Scopoli, 1777
- Naticarius Duméril, 1806
- Notocochlis Powell, 1933
- Paratectonatica Azuma, 1961
- Proxiuber Powell, 1933
- Stigmaulax Mörch, 1852
- Tanea Marwick, 1931
- Tectonatica Sacco, 1890
- Tasmatica Finlay & Marwick, 1937
- Calinaticina J. Q. Burch & Campbell, 1963
- Eunaticina Fischer, 1885
- Gennaeosinum Iredale, 1929
- Payraudeautia Bucquoy, Dautzenberg & Dollfus, 1883
- Sigatica Meyer and Aldrich, 1886
- Sinum Röding, 1798
subfamily Polinicinae Gray, 1847
- Amauropsis Mörch, 1857
- Bulbus Brown, 1839
- Conuber Finlay & Marwick, 1937
- Euspira Agassiz in Sowerby, 1838
- Friginatica Hedley, 1916
- Glossaulax Pilsbry, 1929
- Hypterita Woodring, 1957
- Kerguelenatica Powell, 1951
- Laguncula Benson, 1842
- Lunatia Gray, 1847
- Mammilla Schumacher, 1817
- Neverita Risso, 1826 - its subgenus or synonym includes Glossaulax Pilsbry, 1929 
- Polinices Montfort, 1810 
- Pseudopolinices Golikov & Sirenko, 1983
- Sinuber Powell, 1951
- Uberella Finlay, 1928
- Huelsken, T.; Marek, C; Schreiber, S; Schmidt, I; Hollmann, M. (2008). "The Naticidae (Mollusca: Gastropoda) of Giglio Island (Tuscany, Italy): Shell characters, live animals, and a molecular analysis of egg masses". Zootaxa (Magnolia Press) 1770: 1–40. ISSN 1175-5334. Retrieved 7 June 2010.
- Ann M. Cameron (1966). "Some aspects of the behaviour of the soldier crab, Mictyris longicarpus". Pacific Science 20 (2): 224–234. hdl:10125/7754.
- Huelsken, T. (2011) First evidence of drilling predation by Conuber sordidus (Swainson, 1821) (Gastropoda: Naticidae) on soldier crabs (Crustacea: Mictyridae). Molluscan Research, 31(2), 125-131. 
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- Huelsken, T., Tapken, D., Dahlmann, T., Wägele, H., Riginos, C., Hollmann, M. (2012). Systematics and phylogenetic species delimitation within Polinices s.l. (Caenogastropoda: Naticidae) based on molecular data and shell morphology. Organisms Diversity & Evolution. DOI: 10.1007/s13127-012-0111-5.
- Siemers C. T. & King N. R. (1974). "Macroinvertebrate paleoecology of a transgressive marine sandstone, Cliff House Sandstone (Upper Creteceous), Chaco Canyon, northwestern New Mexico" PDF.
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- Ponder W. & Lindberg D. 1997. Towards a phylogeny of gastropod molluscs; an analysis using morphological characters. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 119: 83-265, London, ISSN 0024-4082.
- Aronowsky A. (2003). "Mystery of naticid predation history solved: Evidence from a "living fossil" species: COMMENT". pp E34. Geological Society of America- online. Retrieved 2008-06-14.
- Colgan D.J. et al. 2007. Molecular phylogenetics of Caenogastropoda (Gastropoda: Mollusca). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 42, 717-37.
- Torigoe K. & Inaba A. (2011) Revision on the classification of Recent Naticidae. Bulletin of the Nishinomiya Shell Museum 7: 133 + 15 pp., 4 pls.