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Temporal range: Badenian[1]-Recent
Phasianellidae - Phasianella solida.jpg
A shell of Phasianella solida on display at the Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Milano
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Gastropoda
(unranked): clade Vetigastropoda
Superfamily: Phasianelloidea
Family: Phasianellidae
Subfamily: Phasianellinae
Genus: Phasianella
Lamarck, 1804[2]
Type species
Phasianella australis Gmelin, J.F., 1791
  • Mimelenchus Iredale, 1924
  • Orthomesus Pilsbry, 1888

Phasianella, common name the pheasant shells, is a genus of small sea snails with a calcareous operculum and a colorfully patterned shell, a marine gastropod mollusc in the family Phasianellidae.


The white shell has a bulimiform or subglobose shape. It is polished, without epidermis or nacre, variegated with bright colors. The heavy operculum is calcareous, internally paucispiral, with a nucleus near the basal margin. It is externally convex. The columella is smooth, arcuate and not dentate.

The animal has long tentacles, and has usually pectinated head lobes. These frontal lobes distinguish this genus from Tricolia, which lacks frontal lobes. The epipodial line contains generally cirrhi.The branchial plume is long. The narrow foot is long, pointed posteriorly, rounded before. Below it is divided longitudinally by a median groove. The rhomboidal jaws are covered with imbricating scales. The radula is rather short. The formula of teeth is typically ∞ 5.1.5 ∞, but sometimes lacks the median and outer lateral teeth.[3] Contrary to most spiral species, the two gills in Phasiannela are close together, so as to appear almost as one.[4]


The species in this genus occur in the tropical Indo-West Pacific and off Australia.


Species within the genus Phasianella include:[5]

Species brought into synonymy


  1. ^ a b Robertson R. (2010). "A true Phasianella from the Middle Miocene (Badenian) Central Paratethys of Romania (Gastropoda: Vetigastropoda: Phasianellidae)". Archiv für Molluskenkunde 139(2): 247-253. doi:10.1127/arch.moll/1869-0963/139/247-253.
  2. ^ Lamarck (1804). Ann. Mus. H.N., Paris, 4(22): 295.
  3. ^ G.W. Tryon (1888), Manual of Conchology X; Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia
  4. ^ G.W. Tryon (1180) Manual of Conchology II, Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia
  5. ^ WoRMS (2009). Phasianella Lamarck, 1804. In: Bouchet, P.; Gofas, S.; Rosenberg, G. World Marine Mollusca database. Accessed through the World Register of Marine Species at on 28 February 2013
  6. ^ OBIS: Phasianella australis
  7. ^ a b c d Henry A. Pilsbry (1917), Marine Mollusks of Hawaii, I-III; Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, Vol. 69, No. 2 (Apr. -Sep., 1917), pp. 207-230
  8. ^ OBIS: Phasianella caloundra
  9. ^ OBIS: Phansianella ventricosa
  10. ^ OBIS: Phasianella wisemanni
  • Vaught, K.C. (1989). A classification of the living Mollusca. American Malacologists: Melbourne, FL (USA). ISBN 0-915826-22-4. XII, 195 pp.

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