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Species / Rimellidae


  • Rimellidae Stewart, 1927

Rimellidae Stewart, 1927, p. 366 [as Rimellinae]


  • Stewart, 1927 does not give a diagnosis of Rimellinae, but discussed, as part of his comments on Ectinochilus (Cowlitzia) canalifer (Gabb), the whole group of Rimellids, see History and Synonymy below.

Genera of Rimellidae are:

Rimellids with unknown generic Designation

History and Synonymy


Stewart, 1927, p. 367:

  • "Ectinochilus is represented on the West Coast by E. macilentus (White) and at Claiborne, Alab., by E. laqueatus (Conrad). These two species differ from the typical mainly by the lack of varices, a character which does not seem to be of great importance in this family. The name Macilentos is available for this small group. E. texanus (Harris) also lacks the varices and may be considered another member of this group. It is very closely related to E. elongatus (Weaver) from Cowlitz, but the outer lip is not so distinctly projected anteriorly. This projection cannot be of much importance for it varies greatly among specimens of Rimella fissurella. If it be desirable to separate E. elongatus and E. texanus from the subgenus or section Macilentos, the name Vaderos is available. Cowlitzia itself is not far from Ectinochilus. It has the same sculpture pattern and the same aperture. The "stromboid sinuosity" is quite well developed on some specimens. The serrated anterior portion of the outer lip, caused by the prolongation of the spiral lines, is the chief character which separates it from Ectinochilus. The type species, which is from Cowlitz, has no varices, but they are often present on the early whorls of E. canalifer. In spite of the presence of varices on E. canalifer, these two species are so closely relared that it would probably be better to recognize this relationship by considering the Cowlitz form a subspecies. The number of axial ribs varies considerably in these forms, but the maximum number is always on the early whorls. The typical form usually has about sixteen while the Cowlitz form usually has twenty. Cowlitzia has not been recognized in other regions and is only represented by E. canalifer and its close allies. While it is tempting to consider the American species generically distinct from typical Ectinochilus because of the general absence of varices, the presence of these varices on the early whorls of some of the specimens of E. canalifer and on "Rimella" smithi Dall, which seems to be an Ectinochilus, is against such an arrangement. Probably some of the European species will be found to be without varices. Ectinochilus retiae (de Gregorio) from the Priabonien (Upper Eocene) is apparently without varices. In general, varices alone are not a generic criterion. ´Rimella´ rugostoma Johnson, from Jackson, Miss. (Upper Eocene) is also, I believe, near Ectinochilus, but it, too, is without varices. Its crenulated aperture is so unique that it seems best to recognize it as a distinct subgenus under the new name Dasyostoma. Ectinochilus need not be confused with Ectinochila, as one writer has done. Typical Rimella does not seem to have reached America, but it extended as far to the East as Java, where it occurs in the Eocene of Nanggulan. Dientomochilus is quite unlike Rimella and its close ally, Ectinochilus. It is doubtful whether the recent so-called Rimellae are related to it. "R." decussata (d'Orb) (Burdigalien) is probably more closely related to Ectinochilus. The one specimen available is without varices."


Stewart, 1946, p. 93:

  • "Recent attempts by some paleontologists [70] to associate Ectinochilus with Rimella do not seem to be justified. In this connection it may be recalled that Lamarck and Deshayes placed them in different genera - Ectinochilus in Strombus and Rimella in Rostellaria. Rimella has an attenuated columella; on Ectinochilus the columella is truncated. Probably the North American form nearest to Rimella is Calyptrophorus [sic], judging from the development of its ornamentation and its attenuated columella. However the columella of Calyptrophorus [sic] is longer than that of Rimella. A species of Chedevillia from the Eocene of Simi Valley is presumably also nearer Rimella than is Ectinochilus."
  • "[70] Rutsch, R. Einige interessante Gastropoden aus den Tertiar der Staaten Falcon und Larn, Venezuela: Eclogae geol. Helvetiae, vol. 23, No. 2, pp. 605-607, 1930. Clark, B.L. and Vokes, H.E. op. cit., p. 863. Turner, F.E. op. cit., p. 94 (Macilentus as a subgenus of Rimella). Vokes, H.E., op. cit., p. 155 (Macilentus as a subgenus of Rimella)."


Burger & Kronenberg, 2006, p. 77:

Rimella Agassiz, 1840

  • Type species by subsequent designation Herrmannsen (1848) Strombus fissurella Linnaeus, 1767, from the Lutetian (Middle Eocene), Paris Basin, France. Included species range from late Cretaceous to late Eocene of respectively Mexico and Europe.

Ectinochilus Cossmann, 1889

  • Type species by original designation Strombus canalis Lamarck, 1804, Lutetian (Middle Eocene), Paris Basin, France. This genus was hitherto known from the Eocene of Europe and the Americas and is the subject of this paper.

Macilentos Clark & Palmer, 1923

  • Type species by original designation Rimella macilenta White, 1889, probably Middle Eocene, California, U.S.A. Described as a subgenus of Ectinochilus, but, as the outer lip is not thickened (Clark and Palmer, 1923: 280, pers. obs. GCK) and a strombid notch is present, a status of a full genus, distinct from both Rimella and Ectinochilus is advocated here. This genus is hitherto only known from its type species.

Vaderos Clark & Palmer, 1923

  • Type species by original desgnation Rimella canalifera elongata Weaver, 1912 from the Late Eocene Cowlitz formation, Washington, U.S.A. Like Macilentos, Vaderos was described as a subgenus of Ectinochilus. The rounded rather than thickened outer lip, as well as the more dilating outer lip, with a pointed toothlike transition between lateral and basal part of the outer lip, as well as the absence of a strombid notch—unless the sinuous lateral part of the outer lip would be considered as such—(all pers. obs. GCK), strongly suggests that Vaderos should be accepted as a full genus. This genus is also only known from its type species.

Varicospira Eames, 1952

  • Type species by original designation Strombus cancellatus Lamarck, 1816, Pliocene to Recent, Pacific Ocean. Taxa included in this genus are known from the early Miocene of Europe, the Middle East (two undescribed species from Oman, pers. comm. to GCK by Dr Mathias Harzhauser, 2006) and southeastern Asia, to Recent, Indo-Pacific. The three Recent species, Varicospira cancellata, crispata (Sowerby 1, 1842) and V. tyleri (H. & A. Adams, 1863), are restricted to the western Pacific and the easternmost Indian Ocean (Kronenberg and Burger, in prep.).


Diagnosis of the subfamily Rimellinae by Bandel, 2009, p. 124:

  • "Shell shape is spindle-like with whorls of the teleoconch ornamented by axial ribs and variable varices. The body whorl is of about the same height as the spire. The aperture is elongate with open short siphonal canal. Its outer margin is commonly elongate and pointed. The apical end of the outer lip forms together with the continuation of the callus of the inner lip a narrow canal that continues onto the spire. The outer lip may or may not have a distinct stromboid notch, that is a sinus next to the siphon."


Pacaud & Pons, 2015, p. 92:

  • "Nous ne suivrons pas Squires (2013) dans son rapprochement des genres Ectinochilus Cossmann, 1889 et Rimella Agassiz, 1841. Un examen sans doute superficiel lui permet de statuer sur la non persistance de l’encoche stromboïde du labre chez Ectinochilus et donc de mettre en synonymie ce genre avec Rimella. Rappelons que cet auteur n’a examiné que 28 exemplaires d’Ectinochilus canalis (Coquebert de Montbret & Brongniart, 1793) ; 8 spécimens avaient une encoche stromboïde peu marquée et un seul spécimen provenant du Lutétien de Chaussy (Val d’Oise), usé et attaqué par des cliones, n’en montre aucune. Nous en avons examiné plus d’un millier d’exemplaires et, tenant compte du polymorphisme évident de cette espèce, nous maintenons le genre Ectinochilus qui montre indéniablement des caractères particuliers (Pacaud, 2014 : pl. 3, fig. 1-5) dont une encoche stromboïde, plus ou moins accentuée, caractère totalement absent chez le genre Rimella."


  • Comment of G. Kronenberg:
    • "At present Burger & Kronenberg do not recognise (yet) the family Rimellidae Stewart, 1927. The name [as a family level taxon] is available, which does not necessarily mean that it should be used in this fashion, or used at all. Living species (Varicospira spp.) have morphological [shell, operculum, anatomy] characters that look like a mixture of characters found in Strombidae, Rostellariidae and Seraphsidae. Should future research indicate that this is a true clade within the Stromboidea, there are a few options left:
      • a family of its own
      • a subfamily within Strombidae (or perhaps Seraphsidae, or -less plausible- Rostellariidae)
      • a tribus within a not yet defined subfamily."


  • Agassiz, L., 1841. Großbritanniens Mineral-Conchologie oder ausgewählte Abbildungen und Beschreibungen der Schaltier-Überreste, welche zu verschiedenen Zeiten und in verschiedenen Tiefen der Erde erhalten worden sind; von James Sowerby. Deutsche Bearbeitung, Durchgesehen, berichtigt und bevorwortet von Dr. Agassiz, Volume 1, Nicolet, Neuchatel, 689 p.
  • Burger, A.W. 1988. Rimella - achtige Schelpen, Enige notities; De Kreukel, Jubileumnummer 25 jaar, p. 125-135.
  • Burger, A.W. & Kronenberg, G.C., 2006. The occurrence of Ectinochilus Cossmann, 1889 (Gastropoda; Strombidae) in New Zealand, with the description of two new Eocene species. Molluscan Research, 26 (2) : 77-83, fig. 1-3.
  • Clark, B.L. & Palmer, D.K. (1923) Revision of the Rimella-like gastropods from the west coast of North America. University of California Publications; Bulletin of the Department of Geological Sciences 14, 277–288.
  • Coquebert de Montbret, A.R. & Brongniart, A., 1793. Extrait d’un mémoire sur la formation de la coquille du Strombus fissurella, et sur deux espèces analogues à celle-ci. Bulletin de la Société Philomatique à ses correspondants, 25: 1-2, pl. 5.
  • Coquebert de Montbret, A.R. & Brongniart, A., 1799. Extrait d’un mémoire sur la formation de la coquille du Strombus fissurella, et sur deux espèces analogues à celle-ci. Bulletin des Sciences de la Société Philomatique, 1 : 55’-56’, pl. 5. [Travail regroupant les articles publiés de juillet 1791 à Ventôse, an 7 (= 1799)]
  • Cossmann, M., 1909. Strombus fissurella Coquebert & Brongniart, 1793. Palaeontologia Universalis, Centuria 2, 2(4): fiches 157-157a.
  • Eames, F.E. (1952) A contribution to the study of the Eocene in Western Pakistan and Western India. C. The description of the Scaphopoda and Gastropoda from standard sections in the Rakhi Nala and Zinda Pir areas of the Western Punjab and in the Kohat region. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society London B 236, 1–168.
  • Herrmannsen, A.N. (1848) Indicis generum malacozoorum primordia 2 (2): 353–492. Fischeri, Casselis.
  • Pacaud, J.-M., 2014. Sur un manuscrit inédit d’Antoine Romain Coquebert de Montbret (1791) : « Observations sur quelques Coquilles du genre des Strombes … » et description d’une espèce nouvelle du genre Ectinochilus (Gastropoda, Rostellariidae). Bulletin d’Information des Géologues du Bassin de Paris, 51 (2) : 4-24, fig. 1-10, pl. 1-3.
  • Pacaud J.-M. & †Pons J. 2015. Le genre Rimella (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Rostellariidae) à l’Éocène du bassin de Paris. Description d’une nouvelle espèce du Lutétien inférieur (Éocène moyen). Cossmanniana 17: 90-112, fig. 1-2, pl. 1-3.
  • Squires, 2013
  • Stewart, R. B. 1927. Gabb’s California fossil type gastropods. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 78(for 1926):287–447, pls. 20–32.
  • R. Stewart, 1946. Geology of Reef Ridge, Coaling District, California; Shorter contributions to general geology, 1943-45; U.S. Geol. Surv. Professional Paper 205-C, p. 81-115, Fulltext

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