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Voluta ebraea THELMA DIAS 01(pode usar).JPG
A live individual of the Hebrew volute Voluta ebraea in its natural habitat
A shell of Cymbiola vespertilio, a large volute species
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
(unranked): clade Caenogastropoda
clade Hypsogastropoda
clade Neogastropoda
Superfamily: Volutoidea
Family: Volutidae

See text

Apertural view of a shell of Scaphella junonia

Volutidae, common name volutes, are a taxonomic family of predatory sea snails that range in size from 9 mm to over 500 mm, marine gastropod mollusks. Most of the species have no operculum.


This family of sea snails are found mainly in tropical seas, though some species also inhabit the waters of the polar circles.

Shell description[edit]

The shell of species such as Melo amphora can grow as large as 50 cm (19.7 inches) in length.[1]

Volutes are distinguished by their distinctively marked spiral shells (to which the family name refers, voluta meaning "scroll" in Latin).

The shells have an elongated aperture in their first whorl and an inner lip characterised by a number of deep plaits. The elaborate decorations of the shells has made them a popular collectors' item, with the imperial volute (Voluta imperialis) of the Philippines being particularly prized.


Subfamilies and tribes[edit]

According to Bail & Poppe (2001)[2] Volutidae can be subdivided into the following Subfamilies and tribes:


Genera within the Volutidae include:

Livonia mammilla (Sowerby, 1844), museum specimen.
Two views of a shell of Scaphella lamberti, and in the center, a cut-down shell showing the folds on the columella


  1. ^ Poutiers, J. M. (1998). Gastropods in: FAO Species Identification Guide for Fishery Purposes: The living marine resources of the Western Central Pacific Volume 1. Seaweeds, corals, bivalves and gastropods. Rome, FAO, 1998. page 597.
  2. ^ Bail, P. & Poppe, G. T. (2001). A taxonomic introduction to the recent Volutidae. In: Poppe, G. T. & Groh, K.: A Conchological Iconography. 30 pp., 5 plts. ConchBooks, Hackenheim, ISBN 3-925919-47-3.
  3. ^ Bail, P., Limpus, A. & Poppe, G. T. (2001): The Genus Amoria. In: Poppe, G. T. & Groh, K.: A Conchological Iconography. 50 pp., 93 plts. ConchBooks, Hackenheim, ISBN 3-925919-46-5.
  4. ^ Bail, P., Chino, M. & Terryn, Y. (2010). The Family Volutidae. The endemic Far East Asian subfamily Fulgorariinae Pilsbry & Olsson, 1954. A revision of the recent species. In: Poppe, G. T. & Groh, K.: A Conchological Iconography. 74 pp., 64 plts. ConchBooks, Hackenheim, ISBN 978-3-939767-31-2.

External links[edit]