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Species / Aporrhais



Original Diagnosis of Aporrhais in Da Costa, 1778, p. 136:

  • "Murices or Rocks, whose wing is cut into spikes or fingers."
  • "Murices ou Rochers, dont l'aile est decoupée en pattes ou doigts."

Type species by original designation is Aporrhais quadrifidus (Strombus pes pelecani Linnaeus, 1758).

The Genus Aporrhais contains several species:

unknown species:

available names

History and Synonymy

  • Aporrhais Da Costa, 1778:136 (TS by Monotypy: Aporrhais quadrifidus Da Costa, 1778)
    • Syn.: Androvandus Woodward, 1851:129 Settepassi, 1971:I [non Woodward, 1851]
    • Syn.: Aphorais Gray, 1847: 270 [incorrect subsequent spelling]
    • Syn.: Aphorrais Auct. [incorrect subsequent spelling]
    • Syn.: Aporhais Weinzettl, 1910 [incorrect subsequent spelling]
    • Syn.: Apporhais Auct. [incorrect subsequent spelling]
    • Syn.: Chenopus Philippi, 1836: 214
    • Syn.: Ornitopus Piette, 1891:504
    • Syn.: Pelecanus Piette, 1876:265 [non Linnaeus, 1758]
    • Syn.: Struthiodomus Coen, 1931:145 [ex MS Monterosato]

350 BC

Aristotle (350 BC), "Historia Animalium": Aristotle used Aporrhais in a way, that it is doubtful which species is meant.

  • The original text by Aristotle translated by D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson: "The nerites has a smooth large round shell, and resembles the ceryx in shape, only the poppy-juice is, in its case, not black but red. It clings with great force near the middle. In calm weather, then, they go free afield, but when the wind blows the carcinia take shelter against the rocks: the neritae themselves cling fast like limpets; and the same is the case with the haemorrhoid or aporrhaid and all others of the like kind. And, by the way, they cling to the rock, when they turn back their operculum, for this operculum seems like a lid; in fact this structure represents the one part, in the stromboids, of that which in the bivalves is a duplicate shell. The interior of the animal is fleshy, and the mouth is inside. And it is the same with the haemorrhoid, the purple murex, and all suchlike animals." This text leaves space for interpretation (haemorrhoid = aporrhaid ?), since the natural habitat of Aporrhais pespelecani is not rock.


Gray, 1847:270 Aphorais [incorrect subsequent spelling]


  • Aporrhais gastropods are suspension feeders. One function of the wing is to aid the shell in filter feeding when the mollusc is buried. It forms a filtering chamber for an inhalant current entering near the anterior rostrum and an exhalant current leaving from a sinus in the posterior region of the aperture (Savazzi, 1991; Yonge, 1932)

Etymology of Aporrhais:

  • "spout-shell" from aporrheo (greek) to flow away (cited after "A Manual of the Mollusca; Or, Rudimentary Treatise of Recent and Fossil Shells" by Samuel Peckworth Woodward)
  • " απορρέω " to emanate, to flow out in drops, see "Elements of conchology: An Introduction to the Natural History of Shells and of the Animals ..." by Lovell Reeve, p.89
  • see also Gabb, 1868
  • see also "Aristoteles Thierkunde: Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Zoologie, Physiologie und alten Philosophie" by Jürgen Bona Meyer (1855), Google Books
  • Aldrovandi (1606) used Aporrhais for a large Lambis.
  • the grammatical gender of Aporrhais is feminine, see Manganelli et al. , 2008. The endings of the epithets have to be chosen according to this (see ICZN rules).


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