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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
(unranked): clade Caenogastropoda

clade Hypsogastropoda
clade Littorinimorpha

Superfamily: Cypraeoidea
Family: Pediculariidae
Gray, 1853

See text

Diversity[citation needed]
20 species

Pediculariidae is a family of small to large predatory or parasitic sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs in the superfamily Cypraeoidea, the cowries and the cowry allies. As of 2009, it comprises 48 described species of which 20 are regarded as valid by most scientists.[citation needed]


Simone (2004)[1] placed some genera in the family Pediculariidae which were previously in the family Ovulidae. Comparison of the shell, radula and morphology suggested a closer phylogenetic relationship to the Pediculariidae than to the Lamellariidae, the Eratoidae/Triviidae, or the Ovulidae.[1] However, both the validity of the family Pediculariidae, and its proper position within the superfamily Cypraeoidea, remain controversial.[1]

2005 taxonomy[edit]

According to the taxonomy of Bouchet & Rocroi (2005) the subfamily Pediculariinae was included within the family Ovulidae.

2007 taxonomy[edit]

Fehse (2007)[2] raised the subfamily Pediculariinae to the level of family as Pediculariidae, based on morphological research on the radulae, the shell, the soft part morphology and molecular phylogeny research on the 16S ribosomal RNA gene.[2]



The species in this family differ in a radical way from the species in the Ovulidae by the morphology of the first and second marginal teeth in their radula. While these are symmetrical (and even palmaceous) in the Ovulidae, they are asymmetrical, as can be seen in Pseudocypraea adamsonii Sowerby, 1832 (formed like a swatter) or in Jenneria pustulata and Pedicularia sicula (formed like a whip).[3]

Feeding habits[edit]

These sea snails feed on stony corals (Scleractinia) and hydrozoans.[4]


  1. ^ a b c Simone L. R. L. (2004). "Morphology and Phylogeny of the Cypraeoidea (Mollusca, Caenogastropoda)". Papel Virtual Editoria (Rio de Janeiro): 185 pp.
  2. ^ a b Fehse D. (2007). "Contributions to the knowledge of the Ovulidae. XVI. The higher systematics". Spixiana 30(1): 121-125. PDF.
  3. ^ (French) Dolin L. & Ledon D. (2002). "Nouveaux taxons et discussion de la systématique des genres correspondents d’Ovulidae (Mollusca, Caenogastropoda) de l’Éocène inférieur de Gan, (France)". Geodiversitas 24(2): 329-347.
  4. ^ Dolin L. (1997) "Jenneria (Projenneria) eniwetokensis subgen. nov., sp. nov.: a western Pacific new occurrence for the genus". Cossmanniana 4(1-2): 20-24.

Further reading[edit]

  • Lorenz, F.; Fehse D. (2009). The living Ovulidae - A manual of the families of allied cowries Ovulidae, Pediculariidae and Eocypraeidae. Hackenheim: ConchBooks. pp. 650 pp.