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Temporal range: Cretaceous(?)[1] - Recent
Planaxis lineatus DaCosta, 1778 (4311229091).jpg
An apertural view of a shell of Angiola fasciata.
Scientific classification

Gray, 1850
About 30–40 extant species

Planaxidae, common name planaxids or clusterwinks, are a taxonomic family of small and minute sea snails, pantropical marine gastropod molluscs in the superfamily Cerithoidea. They are found on rocky shores in the littoral zone of the tropics and subtropics.[3]


Members of the family Planaxidae are known as clusterwinks because of their habit of clustering together in concealed, moist locations when the tide is out. They have conical shells resembling periwinkles, except for the fact that the clusterwinks have wide, shallow anterior canals. Another characteristic is the fact that they brood their embryos in a brood chamber situated behind the head, and release them into the sea as veliger larvae to form part of the plankton.[3]


The following two subfamilies are recognized in the taxonomy of Bouchet & Rocroi (2005):

  • Planaxinae Gray, 1850
  • Fossarinae A. Adams, 1860 - previously in a family of its own, named Fossaridae


The family Planaxidae comprises the following recent (as opposed to fossil) genera:[4] The following genera are recognised: Planaxinae


Genera brought into synonymy
  • Maravignia Aradas & Maggiore, 1844 accepted as Fossarus Philippi, 1841


  1. ^ Mahmoud, L.G. Etudes paleontologiques sur la fauna Cretacique du Massif du Moghara (Sinai-Egypte). Publications de I'Institut du Desert d'Egypte 8, 1956
  2. ^ Strong E. E., Colgan D. J., Healy J. M., Lydeard C., Ponder W. F. & Glaubrecht M. (2011). "Phylogeny of the gastropod superfamily Cerithioidea using morphology and molecules". Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 162(1): 43-89. doi:10.1111/j.1096-3642.2010.00670.x.
  3. ^ a b Beechey, Des (2008). "Family Planaxidae". The Seashells of New South Wales. Retrieved 2014-12-21.
  4. ^ Houbrick R. S. (1987). "Anatomy, Reproductive Biology, and Phylogeny of the Planaxidae (Cerithiacea: Prosobranchia)". Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 445.

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