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Vermetidae

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The Vermetidae, the worm snails or worm shells, are a taxonomic family of small to medium-sized sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs in the clade Littorinimorpha.[1] The shells of species in the family Vermetidae are extremely irregular, and do not resemble the average snail shell, hence the common name "worm shells" or "worm snails".

These snails usually grow cemented onto a hard surface, or cemented together in colonies.

Shell description

These snails do not have typical regularly coiled gastropod shells; instead, they have very irregular elongated tubular shells which are moulded to, and cemented to, a surface of attachment such as a rock or another shell. In the adult, the apertural part of the shell is usually free, with the opening directed upward. Some species have an operculum and some do not. Damaged sections of the shell can be sealed off by calcareous septa when necessary.

Some vermetids are solitary, whereas others live in colonies, partially cemented together. The shells of species within this family vary greatly and can sometimes be extremely challenging to identify.

Comparison with annelid worm tubes

The empty calcareous tubes of certain marine annelid tube worms, for example the Serpulidae, can sometimes be casually misidentified as empty vermetid shells, and vice versa. The difference is that vermetid shells are shiny inside and have three shell layers, whereas the annelid worm tubes are dull inside and have only two shell layers.

Taxonomy

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Fossil Vermetus sp.; Nicosia Formation; Pliocene; Cyprus

2005 taxonomy

The Vermetidae were recognized as the only family in the superfamily Vermetoidea in the taxonomy of Bouchet & Rocroi (2005) within the clade Littorinimorpha.

The following two subfamilies were recognized in the taxonomy of Bouchet & Rocroi (2005):[1]

Family Vermetidae Rafinesque, 1815

  • Subfamily Vermetinae Rafinesque, 1815
  • Subfamily Dendropomatinae Bandel & Kowalke, 1997

This classification of the Vermetoidea has been somewhat controversial. Studies, based on sperm ultrastructure,[2] and on molecular data[3] clearly place it within the clade Littorinimorpha. However, there are still a number of authors[4][5][6] that place it within the superfamily Cerithioidea. The genera Campanile and Thylacodes form a clade that is sister to the Cerithioidea, as shown in a study by Lydeard et al. (2002).[7]

2006 taxonomy

Bandel (2006)[8] established a new subfamily Laxispirinae as one of three subfamilies he recognized within the Vermetidae:

Genera

Genera within the family Vermetidae include:

Vermetinae

† Laxispirinae

  • Laxispira Gabb, 1877 - Late Cretaceous, type genus of the subfamily[8]

Dendropomatinae

Subfamily ?

Genera brought into synonymy
  • Siphonium Gray, 1850: synonym of Dendropoma Mörch, 1861
  • Thylaeodus Mörch, 1860:[19] synonym of Vermetus Daudin, 1800
  • Vermiculus Lister, 1688: synonym of Vermicularia Lamarck, 1799

References

  1. ^ a b Bouchet, Philippe; Rocroi, Jean-Pierre; Frýda, Jiri; Hausdorf, Bernard; Ponder, Winston; Valdés, Ángel & Warén, Anders (2005). "Classification and nomenclator of gastropod families". Malacologia. Hackenheim, Germany: ConchBooks. 47 (1–2): 1–397. ISBN 3-925919-72-4. ISSN 0076-2997.
  2. ^ J.M. Healy (1988). "Sperm morphology in Serpulorbis and Dendropoma and its relevance to the systematic position of the Vermetidae (Gastropoda)". Journal of Molluscan Studies. 54: 295–308. doi:10.1093/mollus/54.3.295.
  3. ^ D. Colgan, W.F. Ponder & P.E. Eggler (2000). "Gastropod evolutionary rates and phylogenetic relationships assessed using partial 28s rDNA and histone H3 sequences". Zoologica Scripta. 29: 29–63. doi:10.1046/j.1463-6409.2000.00021.x.
  4. ^ K. Bandel & T. Kowalke (1997). "Cretaceous Laxispira and a discussion on the monophyly of vermetids and turritellids (Caenogastropoda, Mollusca)". Geologica et Palaeontologica. 31: 257–274.
  5. ^ "Earliest known (Campanian- members of the Vermetidae, Provannidae and Litiopidae (Cerithioidea, Gastropoda) and a discussion on their possible relationships". Mitteilungen aus dem geologisch-Paläontologischen Institut, Universität Hamburg. 84: 209–218. 2000.
  6. ^ T. Kowalke (1998). "Bewertung protoconchmorphologischer Daten basaler Caenogastropoda (Cerithiimorpha und Littorinimorpha) hinsichtlich ihrer Systematik und Evolution von der Kreide bis rezent". Berliner Geowissenschaftliche Abhandlungen, ser; E (Palaeobiologie). 27: 1–121.
  7. ^ C. Lydeard, W.E. Holznagel, M. Glaubrecht & W.F. Ponder (2002). "Molecular phylogeny of a circumglobal, diverse gastropod superfamily (Cerithioidea, Mollusca, Caenogastropoda): pushing the deepest phylogenetic limits of mitochondrial LSU r DNA sequences". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 22 (3): 399–406. doi:10.1006/mpev.2001.1072. PMID 11884164.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  8. ^ a b c Bandel K. (2006). "Families of the Cerithioidea and related superfamilies (Palaeo-Caenogastropoda; Mollusca) from the Triassic to the Recent characterized by protoconch morphology - including the description of new taxa". Freiberger Forschungshefte C 511: 59-138. PDF.
  9. ^ Gofas, S. (2009). Vermetus Daudin, 1800. Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species at http://www.marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=taxdetails&id=138652 on 2010-08-05
  10. ^ WoRMS (2009). Cerithiovermetus. Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species at http://www.marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=taxdetails&id=394145 on 2010-08-05
  11. ^ WoRMS (2009). Dendropoma Mörch, 1861. In: Bouchet, P.; Gofas, S.; Rosenberg, G. (2009) World Marine Mollusca database. Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species at http://www.marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=taxdetails&id=138649 on 2010-08-05
  12. ^ WoRMS (2010). Bivonia Gray, 1842. Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species at http://www.marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=taxdetails&id=225183 on 2010-08-05
  13. ^ WoRMS (2009). Eualetes. Accessed through the World Register of Marine Species at http://www.marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=taxdetails&id=397074 on 2010-08-05
  14. ^ WoRMS (2009). Novastoa Finlay, 1926. Accessed through the World Register of Marine Species at http://www.marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=taxdetails&id=205769 on 2010-08-05
  15. ^ WoRMS (2009). Petaloconchus Lea, 1843. In: Bouchet, P.; Gofas, S.; Rosenberg, G. (2009) World Marine Mollusca database. Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species at http://www.marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=taxdetails&id=138650 on 2010-08-05
  16. ^ "Spiroglyptus Daudin, 1800". ITIS, accessed 6 August 2010.
  17. ^ WoRMS (2009). Stephopoma Mörch, 1860. Accessed through the World Register of Marine Species at http://marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=taxdetails&id=224610 on 2010-08-05
  18. ^ Bieler, R.; Rosenberg, G. (2015). Thylacodes aotearoicus (J. E. Morton, 1951). In: MolluscaBase (2015). Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species at http://www.marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=taxdetails&id=598652 on 2015-07-17
  19. ^ WoRMS (2009). Thylaeodus. Accessed through the World Register of Marine Species at http://www.marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=taxdetails&id=146458 on 2010-08-05

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Vermetidae: Brief Summary

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The Vermetidae, the worm snails or worm shells, are a taxonomic family of small to medium-sized sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs in the clade Littorinimorpha. The shells of species in the family Vermetidae are extremely irregular, and do not resemble the average snail shell, hence the common name "worm shells" or "worm snails".

These snails usually grow cemented onto a hard surface, or cemented together in colonies.

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Classification

provided by World Register of Marine Species
The position of the Vermetidae has been controversial. However, sperm ultrastructure (Healy, 1988) and molecular data (e.g., Colgan et al. 2000) clearly show that it belongs in the Littorinimorpha although placement in the Cerithioidea still persist (e.g. Bandel & Kowalke, 1997; Kowalke, 1998; Bandel & Kiel, 2000). Lydeard et al. (2002) found Campanile and Serpulorbis [= Thylacodes] formed a clade that was sister to the Cerithioidea but outgroup sampling in this analysis was limited.
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bibliographic citation
Bouchet, P., Rocroi, J.-P. (2005). Classification and nomenclator of gastropod families. <em>Malacologia.</em> 47(1-2): 1-397 ISBN 3-925919-72-4.
Contributor
Gofas, Serge [email]