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Subfamily Coralliophilinae

Coral Shells





The Coralliophilinae have traditionally been treated as a separate family, alternatively known as the Magilidae, but Ponder and Waren (1988), in their revision of the Caenogastropoda, have placed them as a subfamily of the Muricidae. They are parasitic on corals and other coelenterates, sometimes living buried in the coral. The animal has no radula, and feeds by sucking up fluids from the host, but otherwise the anatomy is similar to the muricids.

The temperate water species mainly occur in deep water, and are uncommon to rare, so their specific habitats are unknown. Only one of the species that occurs in NSW (Mipus arbutum) occurs intertidally. In recent years several deep water species that have previously only been known from Japan have been taken off the NSW coast and it can be expected that further such species will be found as deep water trawling continues.


Kosuge, Sadao and Suzuki, Masaji. 1985. Illustrated catalogue of Latiaxis and its related groups. Family Coralliophilidae. Institute of Malacology of Tokyo. Special Publication No.1.


All the species of the subfamily known from NSW are treated here in detail.