Key to Family Muricidae--the Murexes

Phylum Mollusca
 Class Gastropoda
  Order Neogastropoda
   Suborder Rachiglossa

Taken primarily from  Kozloff, 1987, 1996  (Copyright 1987, 1996, University of Washington Press.  Used in this web page by permission of University of Washington Press)
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1a Edges of the siphonal canal touching or nearly touching for at least part of the canal, so this is essentially a closed tube 2
1b Edges of the siphonal canal not touching or nearly touching, so the canal is an open trough for its entire length  7
2a With a large tooth on the outer lip of the aperture; with 3 winglike axial excrescences, as well as unevenly spaced spiral ridges; height up to about 8 cm (common intertidal and shallow subtidal species)
Ceratostoma foliatum
(Gmelin, 1791)
2b
3a
3b
4a
4b
5a
5b
6a
6b
7a Height decidedly more then twice the diameter  Trophonopsis lasius
7b Height not more then twice the diameter  8
8a Axial ribs stout, not at all like lamellae 9
8b Axial ribs rather thin lamellae, sometimes frilly 12
9a Height much less then twice the diameter; outer lip of aperture, in mature or nearly mature specimens, thickened to the extent that it is more than half the width of the aperture (height up to about 3 cm; locally introduced with the Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas) Ceratostoma inornatum
9b Heght about twice the diameter; outer lip of aperture not thickened to the extent that it is half the width of the aperture 10
10a Interior of aperture purplish or brownish; spiral ridges more obvious between the axial ribs than where they intersect the ribs; on oysters and barnacles in areas where the Atlantic oyster, Crassostrea virginica, has been introduced Urosalpinx cinerea
10b Interior of aperture usually light, not purplish or brownish; spiral ridges generally as prominent where they intersect the axial ribs as between the ribs; on rocky shores 11
11a Axial ribs broad, nearly contiguous, rounded, not sharply elevated; height up to about 2.5 cm (common inertidal species) Ocenebra lurida
(Middendorff, 1849)
11b
12a
12b
13a
13b



Taxonomic Levels Represented in This Key:
Ceratostoma foliatum
Ocenebra lurida


Page created by Nathaniel Charbonneau, 7-2002
Edited by:  Dave Cowles 8-2002, 2005
Edited by Hans Helmstetler 1-2003