Turbo (gastropod)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Turbo petholatus
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
Subclass: Vetigastropoda
Order: Trochida
Superfamily: Trochoidea
Family: Turbinidae
Genus: Turbo
Linnaeus, 1758[1]
Type species
Turbo petholatus
Linnaeus, 1758
  • Batillus Schumacher, 1817
  • Dinassovica Iredale, 1937
  • Fornax Jousseaume, 1888 (invalid: junior homonym of Fornax Laporte, 1835 [Coleoptera])
  • Halopsephus Rehder, 1943
  • Laeviturbo Cossmann, 1918
  • Lunatica Röding, 1798
  • Turbo (Aspilaturbo) S.T. Williams, 2008
  • Turbo (Batillus) Schumacher, 1817
  • Turbo (Callopoma) Gray, 1850
  • Turbo (Carswellena) Iredale, 1931
  • Turbo (Chaenoturbo) McLean, 1970
  • Turbo (Dinassovica) Iredale, 1937
  • Turbo (Emilioturbo) Ortea & Espinosa, 1996
  • Turbo (Euninella) Cotton, 1939
  • Turbo (Halopsephus) Rehder, 1943
  • Turbo (Lunatica) Röding, 1798
  • Turbo (Marmarostoma) Swainson, 1829
  • Turbo (Modelia) Gray, 1850
  • Turbo (Ocana) H. Adams, 1861
  • Turbo (Sarmaticus) Gray, 1847
  • Turbo (Senectus) Swainson, 1840
  • Turbo (Turbo) Linnaeus, 1758
  • Varostium Iredale, 1938

Turbo is a genus of large sea snails with gills and an operculum, marine gastropod molluscs in the family Turbinidae, the turban snails.[2]

Turbo is the type genus of the family.


The shells of species in this genus are more or less highly conspiral, thick, about 20–200 mm, first whorls bicarinate, last whorl large often with strong spiral sculpture, knobs or spines, base convex, with or without umbilicus. Species in this genus have a round aperture and a solid, dome-shaped calcareous operculum. This circular operculum commences as a multispiral disc, like that of a Trochus, upon the outer side of which is deposited a thin calcareous layer by a lobe of the foot which projects partly over it. This arrangement produces an operculum which exhibits all the whorls beneath, but which is only feebly, or not obviously spiral above, from the more or less general distribution of the calcareous matter.

The radula is broad and generally rather short. The median, lateral and marginal teeth are always present, and the formula is invariably ∞.5.1.5.∞. The central teeth contain no cusps. The median tooth consists of a narrow oblong quadrate basal plate, frequently with accessory plates of various forms, to the lower end of which is attached the oval body of the tooth,—a simple plate without cusp, bearing supporting wings at the sides. Frequently the central teeth are asymmetrical in this group. The laterals bear supporting wings at their outer angles, and are various in form, with or without cusps. The inner marginals are very large, with large cusps.[3]

The first Turbo species were found in the Upper Cretaceous, approximately 100 million years ago.


According to Alf et al.[4] the genus Turbo is divided in 16 Recent subgenera. The number of presently known living species in Turbo is 66, plus five subspecies.


Species in the genus Turbo include:[5][4][6]


The following species were brought into synonymy:[2]

Synonyms of Turbo
Shell and operculum of Turbo tuberculosus

The following species are nomina nuda (names not published with an adequate description):[2]

  • Turbo curvatus Chiereghini MS, Brusina, 1870 (nomen nudum): accepted as Eulima philippii Weinkauff, 1868

The following species are alternate representation:[2]

  • Turbo setosus Gmelin, 1843 represented as Turbo setosus Gmelin, 1791 (alternate representation)

The following species are nomina dubia (names of unknown or doubtful application):[2]

  • Turbo articulatus Reeve, 1848 (nomen dubium)
  • Turbo concinnus Philippi, 1846 (nomen dubium)
  • Turbo crellenus Linnaeus, 1758 (nomen dubium)
  • Turbo disjunctus Anton, 1838 (nomen dubium)
  • Turbo elegans Philippi, 1846 (nomen dubium)
  • Turbo margaritaceus Linnaeus, 1758 (nomen dubium)
  • Turbo pustulatus Brocchi, 1821 (nomen dubium)
  • Turbo variabilis Reeve, 1842 (nomen dubium)

Temporary names:

  • Turbo geniculatus Brocchi, 1814

The following species are species inquirenda (names with uncertain or disputed validity):[2]

Human uses[edit]

When the Caribbean hermit crab, Coenobita clypeatus, or "purple pincher" as it is known in the pet trade is kept as a house pet, Turbo shells are a favorite choice of shells for the crab.

Turbo cornutus, common name the "horned turban", is an expensive food item in Korea, and Japan, where they are known as sazae.[citation needed]

The attractively colored operculum of at least two different Turbo species has been used for various decorative purposes, including in jewelry and buttons. These opercula are sometimes known as "cat's eyes".



  1. ^ Linnaeus C. (1758). Systema Naturae, ed. 10, 761; 1767, ed. 12, 1232.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Bouchet, P.; Rosenberg, G. (2012). Turbo Linnaeus, 1758. Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species at http://www.marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=taxdetails&id=151576 on 2012-09-27
  3. ^ G.W. Tryon (1888), Manual of Conchology X; Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia
  4. ^ a b Alf A., Kreipl K. & Poppe G. T. (2003) The Family Turbinidae, Subfamily Turbininae, Genus Turbo. In: Poppe G. T. & Groh K. (eds.): A Conchological Iconography: 68 pp., 95 colour plates, ConchBooks, Hackenheim, ISBN 3-925919-27-9.
  5. ^ WoRMS : Turbo accessed : 18 October 2010]
  6. ^ Turbo. ITIS. Accessed 22 November 2008
  7. ^ Hiroshi Fukuda (2017), Nomenclature of the horned turbans previously known as Turbo cornutus (Lightfoot), 1786 and Turbo chinensis Ozawa & Tomida, 1995 (Vetigastropoda: Trochoidea: Turbinidae) from China, Japan and Korea; Molluscan Research Vol. 0 , Iss. 0,0


  • Alf A., Kreipl K. & Poppe G. T. (2003) The Family Turbinidae, Subfamily Turbininae, Genus Turbo. In: Poppe G. T. & Groh K. (eds.): A Conchological Iconography: 68 pp., 95 colour plates, ConchBooks, Hackenheim, ISBN 3-925919-27-9.
  • Williams, S.T. (2007). Origins and diversification of Indo-West Pacific marine fauna: evolutionary history and biogeography of turban shells (Gastropoda, Turbinidae). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2007, 92, 573–592.
  • Williams S. (2008) The calcareous operculum as a character for defining subgenera in the marine gastropod genus Turbo. Vita Malacologica 7: 1-13. [16 December 2008]