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Family  Cavoliniidae





Members of the Cavoliniidae, one of the families of sea butterflies, live in the plankton, remaining in the water column throughout their entire life. They swim by flapping the two parapodia, giving a butterfly-like effect. They have a thin uncoiled bilaterally symmetrical external shell up to about 10 mm in greatest dimension that has a clearly differentiated dorsal and ventral side. The dorsal and ventral 'valves' of the shell are completely different in shape. The aperture is slit-like. There is no operculum. Cavoliniids are most abundant in tropical or subtropical waters and are usually collected in plankton trawls.


Cavolinia gibbosa (d'Orbigny, 1834)

Cavolinia globulosa J.E. Gray, 1850

Cavolinia inflexa (Lesueur, 1813)

Cavolinia labiata (d'Orbigny, 1834)

Cavolinia tridentata (Forsskål in Niebuhr, 1775)

Cavolinia uncinata (d'Orbigny, 1834)

Diacavolinia angulosa (J.E. Gray, 1850)

Diacavolinia longirostris (Blainville, 1821)

Diacria quadridentata (Blainville, 1821)

Diacria trispinosa (Blainville, 1821)


Copyright Des Beechey June 2018