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Theodoxus fluviatilis 3.png
An oblique left side view of a live Theodoxus fluviatilis
Theodoxus danubialis.jpg
Two shells of the freshwater nerite Theodoxus danubialis, scale bar in mm
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
(unranked): clade Neritimorpha

clade Cycloneritimorpha

Superfamily: Neritoidea
Family: Neritidae
Rafinesque, 1815
About 110 freshwater species, some brackish water species, and some fully marine species

Neritidae, common name the nerites, is a taxonomic family of small- to medium-sized saltwater and freshwater snails which have a gill and a distinctive operculum.

The family Neritidae includes marine genera such as Nerita, marine and freshwater genera such as Neritina, and freshwater and brackish water genera such as Theodoxus.

A dish of cooked nerites from the Rajang River, Sarawak, Malaysia
Meat extracted from freshwater nerites in the Punjab prior to cooking

The common name "nerite" as well as the family name Neritidae and the genus name Nerita, are derived from the name of Nerites, who was a sea god in Greek mythology.


Neritidae live primarily in the southern hemisphere, but there are some exceptions, such as a genus Theodoxus[2] or Bathynerita naticoidea.


This family consists of the five following subfamilies (according to the taxonomy of the Gastropoda by Bouchet & Rocroi, 2005):

  • Neritinae Rafinesque, 1815 - synonyms: Neritellinae Gray, 1847; Proto neritidae Kittl, 1899
  • Neritariinae Wenz, 1938
  • Neritininae Poey, 1852
    • tribe Neritinini Poey, 1852 - synonyms: Catilinae Gray, 1868; Orthopomatini Gray, 1868; Stenopomatini Gray, 1868; Septariini Jousseaume, 1894
    • tribe Theodoxini Bandel, 2001[3]
  • Smaragdiinae H. B. Baker, 1923
  • Velatinae Bandel, 2001[3]


Genera, subgenera and species within the family Neritidae include:[4]

Subfamily Neritinae

Subfamily † Neritariinae

Subfamily Neritininae
tribe Neritinini

tribe Theodoxini

Two shells of Neritodryas cornea

Subfamily Smaragdiinae

Subfamily † Velatinae


  1. ^ Strong E. E., Gargominy O., Ponder W. F. & Bouchet P. (2008). "Global Diversity of Gastropods (Gastropoda; Mollusca) in Freshwater". Hydrobiologia 595: 149-166. hdl:10088/7390 doi:10.1007/s10750-007-9012-6.
  2. ^ Bunje P. M. & Lindberg D. R. (2007). "Lineage divergence of a freshwater snail clade associated with post-Tethys marine basin development". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 42(2): 373–387. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2006.06.026.
  3. ^ a b c Bandel K. (2001). "The history of Theodoxus and Neritina connected with description and systematic evaluation of related Neritimorpha (Gastropoda)". Mittelungen aus dem Geologisch-Palaontologischen Institut Universitat Hamburg 85: 65-164. abstract.
  4. ^ Powell A. W. B., New Zealand Mollusca, William Collins Publishers Ltd, Auckland, New Zealand 1979 ISBN 0-00-216906-1
  5. ^ WoRMS (2009). Septaria. Accessed through the World Register of Marine Species at on 2010-05-03
  6. ^ WoRMS (2009). Puperita Gray, 1857. Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species at on 2010-05-03
  7. ^ WoRMS (2009). Smaragdia Issel, 1869. In: Bouchet, P.; Gofas, S.; Rosenberg, G. (2009) World Marine Mollusca database. Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species at on 2010-05-03

External links[edit]