Cymatium (gastropod)

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Temporal range: Eocene - Recent
Cymatium (Triton sea snail).jpg
A live individual of a Cymatium species near Alor Island, Indonesia
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
(unranked): clade Caenogastropoda
clade Hypsogastropoda
clade Littorinimorpha
Superfamily: Tonnoidea
Family: Ranellidae
Subfamily: Cymatiinae
Genus: Cymatium
Röding, 1798
Type species
Murex femorale
Linnaeus, 1758
  • Cymatium (Linatella) Gray, 1857
  • Linatella Gray, 1857
  • Lotorium Montfort, 1810
  • Luterium Herrmannsen, 1846 (emendation of Lotorium Montfort, 1810)
  • Nyctilochus Gistel, 1848
  • Tritocurrus Lesson, 1842

Cymatium is a genus of small to large predatory sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the family Ranellidae, the tritons. [1]

This genus has numerous species, perhaps as many as 100, some of which have a worldwide distribution. The genus has been divided into at least 10 subgenera. Some authors have elevated those subgenera, giving them the full status of genera, but this is by no means universally accepted.

Fossil records[edit]

This genus is known in the fossil records from the Eocene to the Quaternary (age range: from 55.8 to 0.012 million years ago).[2]


These sea snails have separate sexes. They lay egg capsules. After hatching, the larvae have a planktonic stage that can (in some species) last several months; this is what enables the very widespread distribution seen in certain species, as the planktonic larvae can be carried great distances before settling to the sea floor.


There are at least 10 subgenera within the genus Cymatium [1]. These are elevated by some authors to the level of genera.


According to the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) the following species with accepted names are included within the genus Cymatium [3]


Species brought into synonymy[edit]

Cymatium species found in the Western Atlantic include:[2]

  • Cymatium rehderi A. H. Verrill, 1950  : synonym of Ranularia rehderi (A.H. Verrill, 1950)

Other species include:


  1. ^ a b WoRMS (2010). Cymatium Röding, 1798. In: Bouchet, P.; Gofas, S.; Rosenberg, G. (2010) World Marine Mollusca database. Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species at on 2010-11-07
  2. ^ Fossilworks
  3. ^ WoRMS : Cymatium; accessed: 10 November 2010
  • Info about subgenera and illustrations of type species for the subgenera and other species in the subgenera at [3]
  • Malacolog info at: [4]