This genus is known in the fossil record from the Miocene to the Pliocene period (age range: from 15.97 to 2.588 million years ago.). Fossil shells within this genus have been found in Cyprus, Austria, Italy and Turkey.
Some species of these molluscs were known since ancient times as a source for purple dye and also as a popular food source.
The adult shells of Bolinus species can reach a size of about 60–200 millimetres (2.4–7.9 in). They are usually pale or golden brown, thick and spiny with a long and straight siphonal canal and a rounded and broad body whorl.
They are carnivorous and predatory
Snails within this genus mainly live along the Atlantic coast of Africa and in the Mediterranean Sea.
They inhabit shallow water and prefer gravelled or rocky substrate.
Species within the genus Bolinus include:
- Bolinus brandaris (Linnaeus, 1758)
- † Bolinus brandaris torularius Lamarck 1822
- Bolinus cornutus (Linnaeus, 1758)
- † Bolinus subtorularius Hörnes and Auinger 188
- ^ Pusch (1837). Polens Palaeont. (2): 134.
- ^ a b Bolinus Pusch, 1837. Retrieved through: World Register of Marine Species on 25 April 2010.
- ^ a b c Fossilworks
- ^ Bolinus brandaris (Linnaeus, 1758). Retrieved through: World Register of Marine Species on 25 April 2010.
- ^ Bolinus cornutus (Linnaeus, 1758). Retrieved through: World Register of Marine Species on 25 April 2010.