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live Haminoea sp.
Haminoea zelandiae (white bubble shell).JPG
A shell of Haminoea zelandiae
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
(unranked): clade Heterobranchia
clade Euthyneura
clade Euopisthobranchia
clade Cephalaspidea
Superfamily: Haminoeoidea
Family: Haminoeidae
  • Bullactidae Thiele, 1926
  • Hamineidae (Spelling variation)
  • Smaragdinellidae Thiele, 1925

Haminoeidae, commonly known as the haminoeid bubble snail family, is a taxonomic family of sea snails, marine opisthobranch gastropod mollusks in the superfamily Haminoeoidea.

The name of this family has long been controversial, and used to be Atyidae or Atydidae. Another, but incorrect, spelling was Haminaeidae (See (ICZN) 2000. Opinion 1942).

A number of genera have been proposed for this family, but the species are hard to identify (or sometimes impossible to identify) by looking only at the external characteristics. Until the internal anatomy of 'wet' specimens has been fully described, the status of many of the genera listed here is uncertain.


These bubble snails occur in all warm or temperate seas.


These are sand dwellers or they live on muddy bottoms, in bays, estuaries, and close to the shore in tidepools.

Description of the live animal[edit]

These are colorful snails, that can partially take the color of the sea floor.

Their large cephalic shield is rounded at the front, but deeply lobed behind. The mantle protrudes behind the shell. The shell is partially or completely enfolded by lateral parapodial (= fleshy winglike outgrowths) lobes.

Shell description[edit]

Their shell varies in size according to the species, from 3 mm to 30 mm.

The shell is ovoid, thin and translucent. It may be smooth or have spiral grooves (striae). The umbilical apex is sunken or enclosed and no longer visible. Large body whorl with fine spiral striations. Smooth columella. The thin outer lip of the aperture extends beyond the apex of the shell and is thus longer than the body whorl. The aperture narrows posteriorly and is wider anteriorly.


These snails are herbivorous. Their diet consists of various kinds of green algae. They can survive in brackish water.

They are hermophroditic. Their eggs are deposited in round or oval jellylike strings, attached to eelgrass or sand.

Atys naucum and Atys cylindricum are known to show biological fluorescence.

Genera and species[edit]

Genera within the family Haminoeidae include:

Genera brought into synonymy
  • Atyscaphander Annandale, 1924: synonym of Bullacta Bergh, 1901
  • Dinia H. Adams & A. Adams, 1854: synonym of Diniatys Iredale, 1936
  • Haminea Gray, 1847: synonym of Haminoea Turton & Kingston in Carrington, 1830
  • Sinohaminea Tchang, 1933: synonym of Bullacta Bergh, 1901
  • Genus Diniatys
    • Diniatys dentifer A. Adams, 1850 - Distribution: Indo-Pacific, Length : 10 mm, Description : this herbivore is found on the bluegreen algae Lyngbya majuscula, Schizothrix and Hormothamnion. There is a pointed projection on the columella. The color varies between green and various shades of brown. The two black eyes are on the back of the cephalic shield.
    • Diniatys monodonta A. Adams, 1850
      • Distribution: Japan
  • Genus Haloa
    • Haloa binotata (H. A. Pilsbry, 1895)
      • Distribution : Indo Pacific
    • Haloa constricta A. Adams, 1850
      • Distribution : Japan
    • Haloa crocata W. H. Pease, 1860
      • Distribution : Hawaii
    • Haloa flavescens (A. Adams, 1850)
      • Distribution : Indo Pacific
    • Haloa fusca W. H. Pease, 1863
      • Distribution : Indo Pacific
    • Haloa japonica H. A. Pilsbry, 1895 Japanese Paper-bubble
      • Distribution : Indo Pacific, Japan
      • Length : 10 mm
      • Description : species with beautiful colors : glassy white background with tiny white spots and dark patches with orange dots.
    • Haloa kawamurai T. Habe, 1950
      • Distribution : Indo Pacific
    • Haloa margaritoides T. Kuroda & T. Habe, 1971
      • Distribution : Japan
      • Length : 7 mm
      • Description : intertidal among seaweeds
    • Haloa nigripunctata W. H. Pease, 1868
      • Distribution : Japan
    • Haloa rotundata A. Adams, 1850
      • Distribution : Japan
    • Haloa vitrea (A. Adams, 1850)
      • Distribution : Japan
    • Haloa yamaguchii T. Habe, 1952
      • Distribution : Indo Pacific
  • Genus Hamineobulla Habe, 1950 (incertae sedis; may be belong to the family Bullidae)
    • Hamineobulla kawamurai Habe, 1950
      • Distribution : Okinawa
      • Length : 6 mm
      • Description : brown animal with short cephalic shield; on the shell there are a few transverse rows with brighter dots
  • Genus Liloa Pilsbry, 1921

Since most of these bubble snails were named on the basis of the shell alone, the occurrence of synonyms among the following species is quite possible.


  1. ^ Pilsbry H. A. (1895). Manual of Conchology, structural and systematic, with illustrations of the species. Polyplacophora, (Chitons.) Acanthochitidae, Cryptoplacidae and appendix. Tectibranchiata. 15: page 351.
  2. ^ a b Malaquias M. A. E. (2010). "Systematics, phylogeny, and natural history of Bullacta exarata (Philippi, 1849): an endemic cephalaspidean gastropod from the China Sea". Journal of Natural History 44(33 & 34): 2015-2029. doi:10.1080/00222933.2010.487574.
  3. ^ Malaquias M. A. E., Dodds J. M., Bouchet P. & Reid D. G. (2009). "A molecular phylogeny of the Cephalaspidea sensu lato (Gastropoda: Euthyneura): Architectibranchia redefined and Runcinacea reinstated". Zoologica Scripta 38(1): 23-41. doi:10.1111/j.1463-6409.2008.00354.x.
  4. ^ [Rosenberg, G. (2014). Hamineobulla Habe, 1950. Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species at http://www.marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=taxdetails&id=599468 on 2015-02-11]
  • Vaught, K.C. (1989). A classification of the living Mollusca. American Malacologists: Melbourne, FL (USA). ISBN 0-915826-22-4. XII, 195 pp

External links[edit]