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Temporal range: Early Paleocene to Recent, 66.0–0.0 Ma
Penion cuvieranus cuvieranus.JPG
A shell of Penion maximus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
(unranked): clade Caenogastropoda

clade Hypsogastropoda
clade Neogastropoda

Superfamily: Buccinoidea
Family: Buccinidae
Genus: Penion
Fischer, 1884[1]

See text.

  • Austrosipho Cossmann, 1906
  • Berylsma Iredale, 1924[2]
  • Largisipho Iredale, 1929
  • Verconella Iredale, 1914[3]

Penion is a genus of large sea marine snails, commonly known as siphon whelks, classified within the mollusc family Buccinidae, the true whelks.


Siphon whelks are large, benthic marine snails, or whelks.[4] Most species inhabit soft sediments on the continental shelf.[5] Small shells and fossils of Penion can sometimes be confused with those of Aeneator.[6]


Penion species are restricted to the Southern Hemisphere. Two extant species are currently classified in Australia[7][8] and six extant species are documented in New Zealand.[4]

Numerous fossil species are recorded in New Zealand,[6] Australia,[7] Argentina and Chile,[9][10] and Antarctica.[11][12]


Penion is currently classified within Buccinidae, the family of true whelks.[13] A molecular phylogeny of Buccinidae based on the mitochondrial 16S rRNA gene suggested that Penion is a sister clade to Kelletia, a genus of whelks with extant species found in the Sea of Japan and in waters off of California, United States and Mexico.[13]


Species and subspecies in the genus Penion include:


  1. ^ Fischer, P. 1884. Manuel de Conchyliologie et de Paléontologie Conchyliologique ou histoire naturelle des mollusques vivant et fossiles. Paris : F. Savy Vol. 7 pp. 609-688.
  2. ^ Iredale, T. 1924. Results from Roy Bell's molluscan collections. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 49(3): 179-279, pls 33-36.
  3. ^ Iredale, T. 1914. On some invalid molluscan generic names. Proceedings of the Malacological Society of London 11: 170-178.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Powell A. W. B., New Zealand Mollusca, William Collins Publishers Ltd, Auckland, New Zealand 1979 ISBN 0-00-216906-1
  5. ^ Dell, R.K.. 1962. New Zealand Marine Provinces - do they exist? Tuatara, 10: 43 - 52. Online Copy courtesy of New Zealand Electronic Text Collection
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y Beu, A.G. and Maxwell, P.A. 1990. Cenozoic Mollusca of New Zealand. New Zealand Geological Survey Bulletin, 58.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Ponder, W.F.. 1973. A review of the Australian species of Penion Fischer (Neogastropoda: Buccinidae). Journal of the Malacological Society of Australia 2: 401–428.
  8. ^ Wilson, B. 1994. Australian Marine Shells. Prosobranch Gastropods. Kallaroo, WA : Odyssey Publishing Vol. 2 370 pp.
  9. ^ a b c Frassinetti, D.C. 2000. Upper Pliocene marine molluscks from Guafo Island, southern Chile. Part II. Gastropoda. Boletin del Museo Nacional de Historia Natural, Chile 49: 131–161.
  10. ^ a b Reichler, V.A. 2010. Estratigrafía y paleontología del Cenozoico marino del Gran Bajo y Salinas del Gualicho, Argentina y descripción de 17 especies nuevas. Andean Geology, 37(1): 177-219
  11. ^ a b c Stilwell, J.D., Zinsmeister, W.J. 1992. Molluscan systematics and biostratigraphy, lower Tertiary La Meseta Formation, Seymour Island, Antarctic Peninsula. American Geophysical Union Antarctica Research Series 55: 126-128. DOI: 10.1029/AR055 ISBN 9781118667705
  12. ^ a b Beu, A.G. 2009. Before the ice: Biogeography of Antarctic Paleogene molluscan faunas. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 284: 191–226. doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2009.09.025
  13. ^ a b c d Hayashi, S. 2005. The molecular phylogeny of the Buccinidae (Caenogastropoda: Neogastropoda) as inferred from the complete mitochondrial 16s rRNA gene sequences of selected representatives. Molluscan Research, 25: 85–98.

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