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Family  Newtoniellidae





The Newtoniellidae, which is closely related to the Cerithiopsidae, have dextral, elongate shells, often with a multiwhorled protoconch. They occur world-wide, and are most common in deep or cold water. They are well represented in the Antarctic, in contrast to the Cerithiopsidae which are mainly tropical and temperate. In common with the Triphoridae and Cerithiopsidae, some are known to feed on sponges (Marshall, 1980).

The limits of the family are at present not well defined. The Australian Faunal Directory places only the genera Trituba and Cerithiella in the family, and leaves Ataxocerithium in the Cerithiopsidae. The World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) assigns these three genera to Newtoniellidae, along with Eumetula and several other small genera. According to WoRMS there are about 80 species assigned to the family.

There are only four species of Newtoniellidae recorded from NSW, all in the genus Ataxocerithium. Two of them are restricted to eastern Australia, including Tasmania, and the other two extend around southern Australia. Most of them occur in relatively shallow water, down to 100 m, but A. eximium occurs down to 600 m.

Family Reference

Loch, I. 1992. Ataxocerithium. Australian Shell News 78: 1-3.

Marshall, B.A. 1980. The systematic position of Triforis Deshayes (Mollusca: Gastropoda). New Zealand Journal of Zoology 7:8588.

Marshall, B. (2016). Cerithiella pileata (Cotton, 1951). In: MolluscaBase (2016). Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species at http://www.marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=taxdetails&id=741006 on 2016-07-01


All the known species from NSW are detailed here.


Copyright Des Beechey 2016