Raphitomidae is a diverse group of conoid-shaped shells, many species of which show a reduction in the radular apparatus or other structures of the foregut (Bouchet et al. 2011). Characters (from Bouchet et al. 2011): Shell very variable in shape and size, from buccinoid to ovate or to elongate-fusiform or high-cylindrical and from about 2mm to over 140 mm high. Sculpture variously developed, from nearly smooth shell to well-developed spiral and axial elements; subsutural ramp, when separated from rest of the whorl, usually smooth or with traces of anal sinus growth. Apertural armature rarely well expressed, inner lip usually smooth. Anal sinus either subsutural, shaped as a ‘reversed-L’, or on subsutural ramp, asymmetric, very shallow to rather deep, typically not constrained but sometimes even almost tubular. Siphon short to rather long. Protoconch typically planktotrophic, multispiral, of 2.5–6.5 whorls, protoconch I often spirally striated, protoconch II with diagonally cancellated sculpture. Paucispiral protoconch with predominantly spiral striation. Operculum absent. Radula of hypodermic marginal teeth of very variable morphology. Teeth relatively very long to very short and reduced. Solid base of teeth from very small to rather large, side projections around base sometimes present. Barb(s) present or absent; cockscomb-shaped structure present near tooth tip in at least one species. Tooth canal opening laterally or subapically. Reduction in radular apparatus and other structures of anterior foregut frequent, grading to complete absence.

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Thatcheria mirabilis (Japanese wonder shell)
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Thatcheria mirabilis (Japanese wonder shell)

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