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Kingdom  Animalia
Family  Pyramidellidae
Scientific name  Odostomia
Higher classification  Pyramidellidae
Superfamily  Pyramidelloidea
Subfamily  Odostomiinae
Phylum  Mollusca
Rank  Genus
Odostomia Odostomia cf oxia main page
Similar  Pyramidellidae, Turbonilla, Gastropods, Molluscs, Chrysallida

Odostomia is the most speciose genus of minute sea snails, pyramidellid gastropod mollusks. This genus is placed in the family Pyramidellidae in the subfamily Odostomiinae. There are several hundred species in this diverse genus (Schander et al. 1999)


Odostomia Odostomia cf gulicki main page

Most of the description of species in the genus Odostomia was carried out by Dall & Bartsch in 1909. Many of the described species are however suspected of being synonyms, or are proven synonyms.

Odostomia AnimalBase Odostomia eulimoides species homepage

The genus Odostomia Fleming, 1813 was used by XIXth century authors, particularly in the European literature, for most of the smaller Pyramidellidae. It is still a catchall for most snall pyramidellids lacking both axial and spiral sculpture. Some authors, e.g. Høisæter (2014), Peñas, Rolán & Swinnen (2014) and Giannuzzi-Savelli et al. (2014) who are here followed have attemptted to redistribute some of the species, but there are still many species remaining unduly under Odostomia. For these, the database WoRMS has refrained from making new combinations not backed by (or implicit from) a published source but, unless otherwise noted, the species that were already "accepted" under a subgenus now raised to full genus have been marked as "accepted" under that full genus.

Odostomia AnimalBase Odostomia scalaris picture homepage

The European and American species of Odostomia differ in several anatomical and shell characteristics. They are therefore likely to be assigned to different genera.

Odostomia httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu


Odostomia Odostomia Odostomia scalaris scalaris

The genus Odostomia is common in all oceans from the tropics to the polar regions. It is mainly known from coastal areas and sandy shores, and is less common in the deep sea.


There is little known about their life histories. Most species are only known from their shells.

Most species have a white of yellowish, minute, conical to ovate-conical shell, usually between 2 mm and 5 mm. The apex is rather obtuse or nipple-shaped, sinistrally or dextrally oriented to the teloconch. The protoconch is usually deeply immersed in the first of the succeeding turns. The shells are variously sculptured, usually with a microsculpture. The teleoconch contains in most cases between 4 and 6 whorls. The body whorl is usually large, comprising 50-60% of the total length. The aperture is suboval to ovate with the peristome incomplete behind. There is usually a tooth-like fold on the columella. The shells usually have a small umbilicus or none at all.

Life habits

The members of Odostomia are ectoparasites on other molluscs, and polychaetes. First they pierce the body wall with the buccal stylet and then feed on them by sucking blood with their buccal pump. They have become a pest of oysters, mussels, scallops and slipper limpets. Most of the Odostomia species are host-specific, only a few are not. Odostomia scalaris MacGillivray, 1843 is an ectoparasite on a wide range of hosts but especially known as a pest of mussels. Odostomia turrita Hanley, 1844 has been found on the European lobster Homarus gammarus (Linnaeus, 1758).


Species within the genus Odostomia include:


The following species were brought into synonymy:


Odostomia Wikipedia

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