Conidae

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Not to be confused with Telescopium (gastropod).
Cone snails
Stożki2.jpg
A group of shells of various species of cone snails
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
(unranked): clade Caenogastropoda
clade Hypsogastropoda
clade Neogastropoda
Superfamily: Conoidea
Family: Conidae
Fleming, 1822[1]
Subfamilies and genera

See text

Conidae is a taxonomic family of minute to quite large sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs in the superfamily Conoidea.

The snails within this family are sophisticated predatory animals.[2] They hunt and immobilize prey using a modified radular tooth along with a venom gland containing neurotoxins; the tooth is launched out of the snail's mouth in a harpoon-like action.

Until 1993, with the taxonomic changes proposed by Taylor, et al.,[3] the family Conidae contained only Conus species, but then the family was split into several subfamilies, including many which were previously in the family Turridae. As a result of that change, the Conus species were moved to the subfamily Coninae.

Current taxonomic changes as of 2009 and 2011, based upon molecular phylogeny (see below), have elevated the subfamilies which were previously in the family Turridae to the status of families in their own right, leaving the family Conidae once again containing the species which were traditionally placed in that family.

List of Conus species[edit]

Main article: List of Conus species

The family Conidae currently still contains well over 600 recognized species, which traditionally have all been placed in the genus Conus.

Taxonomy[edit]

1993 taxonomy[edit]

According to Taylor, et al. (1993)[3] and the taxonomy of the Gastropoda by Bouchet & Rocroi, 2005,[4] this family consisted of seven subfamilies.

  • Coninae Fleming, 1822 — synonyms: Conulinae Rafinesque, 1815 (inv.); Textiliinae da Motta, 1995 (n.a.)
  • Clathurellinae H. Adams & A. Adams, 1858 — synonyms: Defranciinae Gray, 1853 (inv.); Borsoniinae A. Bellardi, 1875; Pseudotominae A. Bellardi, 1888; Diptychomitrinae L. Bellardi, 1888; Mitrolumnidae Sacco, 1904; Mitromorphinae Casey, 1904; Lorinae Thiele, 1925 sensu Opinion 666
  • Conorbiinae de Gregorio, 1880 — synonym: Cryptoconinae Cossmann, 1896
  • Mangeliinae P. Fischer, 1883 — synonym: Cytharinae Thiele, 1929
  • Oenopotinae Bogdanov, 1987 — synonym: Lorinae Thiele, 1925 sensu Thiele
  • Raphitominae A. Bellardi, 1875 — synonyms: Daphnellinae Casey, 1904; Taraninae Casey, 1904; Thatcheriidae Powell, 1942; Pleurotomellinae F. Nordsieck, 1968; Andoniinae Vera-Pelaez, 2002
  • Siphopsinae Le Renard, 1995

2009 taxonomy[edit]

In 2009 John K. Tucker and Manuel J. Tenorio proposed a classification system for the cone shells and their allies (which resorb their inner walls during growth) was based upon a cladistical analysis of anatomical characters including the radular tooth, the morphology (i.e., shell characters), as well as an analysis of prior molecular phylogeny studies, all of which were used to construct phylogenetic trees.[5] In their phylogeny, Tucker and Tenorio noted the close relationship of the cone species within the various clades, corresponding to their proposed families and genera; this also corresponded to the results of prior molecular studies by Puillandre et al. and others.[6][7][8][9][10][11][12] This 2009 proposed classification system also outlined the taxonomy for the other clades of Conoidean gastropods (that do not resorb their inner walls), also based upon morphological, anatomical, and molecular studies, and removes the turrid snails (which are a distinct large and diverse group) from the cone snails, and creates a number of new families.[5] Tucker and Tenorio’s proposed classification system for the cone shells and their allies (and the other clades of Conoidean gastropods ) is shown in Tucker & Tenorio cone snail taxonomy 2009.

2011 taxonomy[edit]

In 2011 Bouchet et al. proposed a new classification in which several subfamilies have been raised to the rank of family:[13]

The classification by Bouchet et al. (2011)[13] based on mitochondrial DNA and nuclear DNA testing, and builds on the prior work by J.K. Tucker & M.J. Tenorio (2009), but does not include fossil taxa.[5][13]

Molecular phylogeny, particularly with the advent of nuclear DNA testing in addition to the mDNA testing (testing in the Conidae initially began by Christopher Meyer and Alan Kohn[14]) is continuing on the Conidae.[6][7][8][9][10][11][12][15][16][17][18][19][20][21]

Proposed living cone snail genera[edit]

Recognized extant genera within the cone snails as per J.K. Tucker & M.J. Tenorio (2009), and Bouchet et al. (2011), include:[5][13]

Note: An asterisk * indicates genera that are considered to be within the family Conilithidae by Tucker & Tenorio 2009.

Some experts are however still holding (in 2011) to the traditional classification system and place all species in a single family, Conidae, within the Linnean genus Conus, waiting for a more complete molecular phylogeny of the family to be published. The World Register of Marine Species places all species within the family Conidae in the genus Conus and the genera recognized by Tucker & Tenorio 2009 are considered to be "alternate representations." [22] Debate within the scientific community regarding this issue continues, and additional molecular phylogeny studies are being carried out in an attempt to clarify the issue.[5][13][21][23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31]

Conidae genera (before 2011)[edit]

Following Taylor et al. in 1993, and prior to 2011 a large number of diverse genera were included within the family Conidae, however as a result of molecular phylogeny studies in 2011 many of these genera which were in the family Conidae (commonly known as turrids) have been moved back to the Turridae or placed in new families within the superfamily Conoidea. The following list of genera is maintained for historical reasons:

Cone snail venom characteristics and biotech[edit]

There are around 30 records of humans killed by a cone snail. Human victims suffer little pain, because the venom contains an analgesic component. Some species can kill a human in under 5 minutes, from where the name "cigarette snail" as one only has time to smoke a cigarette before dying. The molluscs can attack if provoked and can sting through a wetsuit with their harpoon, which resembles a transparent needle.[32]

Normally cone snails (and many species in the superfamily Conoidea) use the venom to immobilize prey. It consists of a mixture of peptides, called conopeptides. Their venom is made up of 10 to 30 amino acids, but occasionally as many as 60. The venom of each cone snail species may contain as many as 200 pharmacologically active components. It is estimated that more than 50,000 conopeptides can be found because every species of cone snail is thought to produce its own specific venom.

Cone snail venom, in more recent years, has come to interest biotechnologists and pharmacists because of its potential medicinal properties. Production of synthetic conopeptides has started, using solid-phase peptide synthesis.

W-conopeptide, from the species Conus magus is the basis of the analgesic drug Prialt, an approved treatment for pain said to be 1000 times as powerful as morphine and used as a last resort in specific application. Conopeptides are also being looked at as anti-epileptic agents and to help stop nerve-cell death after a stroke or head injury. Conopeptides also have potential in helping against spasms due to spinal cord injuries, and may be helpful in diagnosing and treating small cell carcinomas in the lung.

The biotechnology surrounding cone snails and their venom has promise for medical breakthroughs; with more than 50,000 conopeptides to study, the possibilities are numerous.[33]

See also[edit]

  • ConoServer, a database of cone snail toxins, known as conopeptides.[34] These toxins are of importance to medical research.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fleming J. (June 1822). The philosophy of zoology, a general view of the structure, functions and classification of animals 2. Constable & Co., Edinburgh, 618 pp., Conidae is on the page 490.
  2. ^ Piper R. (2007). Extraordinary Animals: An Encyclopedia of Curious and Unusual Animals, Greenwood Press.
  3. ^ a b Taylor J. D., Kantor Y. I. & Sysoev A. V. (1993). "Foregut anatomy, feeding mechanisms, relationships and classification of Conoidea (Toxoglossa) (Gastropoda)". Bull. Nat. Hist. Mus. (Zool.) 59: 125–169.
  4. ^ Bouchet P., Rocroi J.-P., Frýda J., Hausdorf B., Ponder W., Valdés Á. & Warén A. (2005). "Classification and nomenclator of gastropod families". Malacologia: International Journal of Malacology (Hackenheim, Germany: ConchBooks) 47 (1-2): 1–397. ISBN 3925919724. ISSN 0076-2997. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Tucker J.K. & Tenorio M.J. (2009) Systematic classification of Recent and fossil conoidean gastropods. Hackenheim: Conchbooks. 296 pp., at p. 133
  6. ^ a b P.K. Bandyopadhyay, B.J. Stevenson, J.P. Ownby, M.T. Cady, M. Watkins, & B. Olivera (2008), The mitochondrial genome of Conus textile, coxI-conII intergenic sequences and conoidean evolution. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 46: 215-223.
  7. ^ a b S.T. Williams & T.F. Duda, Jr. (2008), Did tectonic activity stimulate Oligo-Miocene speciation in the Indo-West Pacific? Evolution 62:1618-1634.
  8. ^ a b R.L. Cunha, R. Castilho, L. Ruber, & R. Zardoya (2005), Patterns of cladogenesis in the venomous marine gastropod genus Conus from the Cape Verde Islands Systematic Biology 54(4):634-650.
  9. ^ a b T.F. Duda, Jr. & A.J. Kohn (2005), Species-level phylogeography and evolutionary history of the hyperdiverse marine gastropod genus Conus, Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 34:257-272.
  10. ^ a b T.F. Duda, Jr. & E. Rolan (2005), Explosive radiation of Cape Verde Conus, a marine species flock, Molecular Ecology 14:267-272.
  11. ^ a b B. Vallejo, Jr. (2005), Inferring the mode of speciation in the Indo-West Pacific Conus (Gastropoda: Conidae), Journal of Biogeography 32:1429-1439.
  12. ^ a b N. Puillandre, S. Samadi, M. Boesselier, A. Sysoev, Y. Kantor, C. Cruaud, A. Couloux, & P. Bouchett (2008), Starting to unravel the toxoglossan knot: molecular phylogeny of the "turrid" (Neogastropoda: Conoidea), Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 47:1122-1134.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i Bouchet P., Kantor Yu.I., Sysoev A. & Puillandre N. (2011). "A new operational classification of the Conoidea". Journal of Molluscan Studies 77: 273-308. doi:10.1093/mollus/eyr017.
  14. ^ Interview of Professor Alan Kohn, Professor Emeritus, Zoology http://www.seashell-collector.com/articles/interviews/2009-kohn.html
  15. ^ Tucker, J. K. & Stahlschmidt, P. (2010) A second species of Pseudoconorbis (Gastropoda: Conoidea) from India. Miscellanea Malacologica 4(3):31-34.
  16. ^ Watkins, M., Corneli, P.S., Hillyard, D., & Olivera, B.M. (2010) Molecular phylogeny of Conus chiangi (Azuma, 1972) (Gastropods:Conidae). The Nautilus 124(3):129-136.
  17. ^ Tucker, J. K., Tenorio, M. J. & Stahlschmidt, P. (2011) The genus Benthofascis (Gastropoda: Conoidea): a revision with descriptions of new species. Zootaxa 2796:1-14.
  18. ^ Tucker, J. K. & Tenorio, M. J. (2011) New species of Gradiconus and Kohniconus from the western Atlantic (Gastropoda: Conoidea: Conidae, Conilithidae). Miscellanea Malacologica 5(1):1-16.
  19. ^ Petuch, E. J. & Sargent, D. M. (2011) New species of Conidae and Conilithidae (Gastropoda) from the tropical Americas and Philippines. With notes on some poorly-known Floridian species. Visaya 3(3):116-137.
  20. ^ Petuch & Drolshage (2011) Compendium of Florida Fossil Shells, Volume 1 MDM Publications, Wellington, Florida, 432 pp.
  21. ^ a b C.M.L. Afonso & M.J. Tenorio (August 2011), A new, distinct endemic Africonus species (Gastropoda, Conidae) from Sao Vicente Island, Cape Verde Archipelago, West Africa, Gloria Maris 50(5): 124-135
  22. ^ http://www.marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=taxdetails&id=14107 Classification: Traditionally, all cone shells have been included in the Linnean genus Conus. Tucker & Tenorio (2009) have recently proposed an alternative shell- and radula-based classification that recognizes 4 families and 80 genera of cones. In WoRMS, we currently still recognize a single family Conidae (following Puillandre et al. 2011), but Tucker & Tenorio's 80 genera classification is presented as "alternative representation". [P. Bouchet, 14 Aug. 2011]
  23. ^ N. Puillandre, E. Strong, P. Bouchet, M. Boisselier, V. Couloux, & S. Samadi (2009), Identifying gastropod spawn from DNA barcodes: possible but not yet practicable, Molecular Ecology Resources 9:1311-1321.
  24. ^ Tucker J.K. & Tenorio M.J. (2009), Systematic Classification of Recent and Fossil Conoidean Gastropods, ConchBooks, Hankenheim, Germany, 295 pp.
  25. ^ P.K. Bandyopadhyay, B.J. Stevenson, J.P. Ownby, M.T. Cady, M. Watkins, & B. Olivera (2008), The mitochondrial genome of Conus textile, coxI-conII intergenic sequences and conoidean evolution. Mollecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 46: 215-223.
  26. ^ S.T. Williams & T.F. Duda, Jr. (2008), Did tectonic activity stimulate Oligo-Miocene speciation in the Indo-West Pacific? Evolution 62:1618-1634.
  27. ^ R.L. Cunha, R. Castilho, L. Ruber, & R. Zardoya (2005), Patterns of cladogenesis in the venomous marine gastropod genus Conus from the Cape Verde Islands Systematic Biology 54(4):634-650.
  28. ^ T.F. Duda, Jr. & A.J. Kohn (2005), Species-level phylogeography and evolutionary history of the hyperdiverse marine gastropod genus Conus, Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 34:257-272.
  29. ^ T.F. Duda, Jr. & E. Rolan (2005), Explosive radiation of Cape Verde Conus, a marine species flock, Molecular Ecology 14:267-272.
  30. ^ B. Vallejo, Jr. (2005), Inferring the mode of speciation in the Indo-West Pacific Conus (Gastropoda: Conidae), Journal of Biogeography 32:1429-1439.
  31. ^ Biggs, J. S., Watkins, M. Showers Corneli, P. and Olivera, B. M. (2010). Defining a clade by morphological, molecular, and toxinological criteria: distinctive forms related to Conus praecellens A. Adams, 1854 (Gastropoda: Conidae). Nautilus 124:1-19 (naming new species and moving species from Kurodaconus to Turriconus).
  32. ^ Nature 429, 798-799 (24 June 2004) doi:10.1038/429798a
  33. ^ Becker S. & Terlau H. (2008). "Toxins from Cone Snails: Properties, Applications and Biotechnological Production." Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 79(1): 1-9. doi:10.1007/s00253-008-1385-6.
  34. ^ Kaas, Quentin; Yu Rilei; Jin Ai-Hua; Dutertre Sébastien; Craik David J (Jan 2012). "ConoServer: updated content, knowledge, and discovery tools in the conopeptide database". Nucleic Acids Res. (England) 40 (Database issue): D325–30. doi:10.1093/nar/gkr886. PMC 3245185. PMID 22058133. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Kohn A. A. (1992). Chronological Taxonomy of Conus, 1758-1840". Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington and London.
  • Monteiro A. (ed.) (2007). The Cone Collector 1: 1-28.
  • Taylor, J. D., Kantor Yu. I. & Sysoev A. V. (1993). "Foregut anatomy, feeding mechanisms, relationships and classification of Conoidea (Toxoglossa) (Gastropoda)". Bull. Nat. Hist. Mus. (Zool.) 59: 125-169.
  • Tucker J.K. & Tenorio M.J. (2009), Systematic Classification of Recent and Fossil Conoidean Gastropods, ConchBooks, Hankenheim, Germany, 295 pp.
  • Berschauer D. (2010). Technology and the Fall of the Mono-Generic Family The Cone Collector 15: pp. 51–54
  • Puillandre N., Meyer C.P., Bouchet P., and Olivera B.M. (2011), Genetic divergence and geographical variation in the deep-water Conus orbignyi complex (Mollusca: Conoidea), Zoologica Scripta 40(4) 350-363.

External links[edit]