name = Haminoeidae
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Mollusca
classis = Gastropoda
subclassis = Orthogastropoda
superordo = Heterobranchia
ordo = Opisthobranchia
subordo = Cephalaspidea
superfamilia = Haminoeoidea
familia = Haminoeidae
subdivision_ranks = Genera
subdivision =

Haminoeidae Pilsbry, 1895, commonly known as the haminoeid bubble family, is a taxonomic family of sea snails, marine opisthobranch gastropod mollusks in the superfamily Haminoeoidea.

The name of this family has long been controversial, and used to be Atyidae or Atydidae. Another, but incorrect, spelling was Haminaeidae (See (ICZN) 2000. Opinion 1942).

A number of genera have been proposed for this family, but the species are hard to identify (or sometimes impossible to identify) by looking only at the shell characteristics. Until the internal anatomy of 'wet' specimens has been fully described, the status of many of the genera listed here is uncertain.


These bubble snails occur in all warm or temperate seas.


These are sand dwellers or they live on muddy bottoms, in bays, estuaries, close to the shore.

Description of the live animal

These are colorful snails, that can partially take the color of the bottom of the sea floor.

Their large cephalic shield is rounded at the front, but deeply lobed behind. The mantle protrudes behind the shell. The shell is partially or completely enfolded by lateral parapodial (= fleshy winglike outgrowths) lobes.

hell description

Their shell varies in size according to the species, from 3 mm to 30 mm.

The shell is ovoid, thin and translucent. It may be smooth or have spiral grooves (striae). The umbilical apex is sunken or enclosed and no longer visible. Large body whorl with fine spiral striations. Smooth columella. The thin outer lip of the aperture extends beyond the apex of the shell and is thus longer than the body whorl. The aperture narrows posteriorly and is wider anteriorly.

Life habits

These snails are herbivorous. Their diet consists of various kinds of green algae. They can survive in brackish water.

They are hermophroditic. Their eggs are deposited in round of oval jellylike strings, attached to eelgrass or sand.

"Atys naucum" and "Atys cylindricum" are known to show biological fluorescence.

Further treatment at Cephalaspidea and Haminoeoidea.

Genera and species

*Genus "Aliculastrum"
*Genus "Atys"
*Genus "Cylichnium" Dall, 1908
**"Cylichnium africanum"
**"Cylichnium domitum" Dall, 1908
***Distribution : Caribbean
**"Cylichnium matsumotoi" (Habe), 1955
***Distribution : Japan
*Genus "Diniatys" Iredale, 1936
**"Diniatys dentifer" A. Adams, 1850
***Distribution : Indo-Pacific
***Length : 10 mm
***Description : this herbivore is found on the bluegreen alga Lyngbya majuscula, Schizothrix and Hormothamnion. There is pointed projection on the columella. The color varies between green and various shades of brown. Two black eyes on the back of the cephalic shield.
**"Diniatys monodonta" A. Adams, 1850
***Distribution: Japan
*Genus "Haloa"
**"Haloa binotata" H. (A. Pilsbry), 1895
***Distribution : Indo Pacific
**"Haloa constricta" A. Adams, 1850
***Distribution : Japan
**"Haloa crocata" W. H. Pease, 1860
***Distribution : Hawaii
**"Haloa flavescens" (A. Adams), 1850
***Distribution : Indo Pacific
**"Haloa fusca" W. H. Pease, 1863
***Distribution : Indo Pacific
**"Haloa japonica" H. A. Pilsbry, 1895 Japanese Paper-bubble
***Distribution : Indo Pacific, Japan
***Length : 10 mm
***Description : species with beautiful colors : glassy white background with tiny white spots and dark patches with orange dots.
**"Haloa kawamurai" T. Habe, 1950
***Distribution : Indo Pacific
**"Haloa margaritoides" T. Kuroda & T. Habe, 1971
***Distribution : Japan
***Length : 7 mm
***Description : intertidal among seaweeds
**"Haloa nigripunctata" W. H. Pease, 1868
***Distribution : Japan
**"Haloa rotundata" A. Adams, 1850
***Distribution : Japan
**"Haloa vitrea" (A. Adams), 1850
***Distribution : Japan
**"Haloa yamaguchii" T. Habe, 1952
***Distribution : Indo Pacific
*Genus "Haminoea" Leach 1820There have been three different spellings ("Haminoea, Haminea, Haminaea") in usage for the same genus for over two hundred years. The ICZN has finally settled on the correct spelling "Haminoea". Many species have green algae growing on their shells. The posterior tip of the headshield is bilobed, except in "Haminoea elegans".
**"Haminoea alfredensis" P. Bartsch, 1915
***Distribution : South Africa
***Length : 9-17 mm
***Description : has a broad radular ribbon with about 40 teeth in each half row; translucent greenish color, dotted with yellow to orange spots.
**"Haminoea angelensis" F. Baker & G. D. Hanna, 1927
***Distribution : Gulf of California, Mexico
***Length : 7 mm
**"Haminoea antillarum" d'Orbigny, 1841 Antilles Glassy-bubble, Antilles Paper-bubble
***Distribution : Florida, Caribbean, Brazil.
***Length : 12-20 mm
**"Haminoea antillarum guadaloupensis" Sowerby II, 1868
***Distribution : Florida, Cuba, Guadaloupe
***Length : 12-18 mm
***Description : globose shell with greenish yellow color, covered with longitudinal striae (= stripes); mantle with white to greenish background with small black dots.
**"Haminoea brevis" J. R. C. Quoy & J. P. Gaimard, 1833
***Distribution : Australia
**"Haminoea calledegenita" Gibson & Chia, 1989
***Distribution : West America
***Description : has a deeply bifurcate headshield.
**"Haminoea crocata"
**"Haminoea curta" A. Adams, 1850
***Distribution : Pacific
**"Haminoea cyanomarginata" Heller & Thompson, 1983
***Distribution : Greece, Turkey, Red Sea.
***Length : 50 mm
***Description: colorful animal: cream-white mantle bordered with a purple line on the parapodia, headshield and the infrapallial lobe
**"Haminoae cymbalum" J. R. C. Quoy & J. P. Gaimard, 1833
***Distribution : West-Pacific, Indonesia to Hawaii, Japan
***Length : 13- 20 mm
***Description : translucent withgreen color (caused by growths of green algae), mottled with lightbrown spots, outlined in white, and darker brown dots; There can be a wide variation in the color pattern. This species is fairly uncommon, but, when found, always in large aggregations.
**"Haminoea cymbiformis" Carpenter, 1856
***Distribution : Mexico
**"Haminoea elegans" Gray, 1825 Atlantic Elegant Paper Bubble; Elegant Glassy Bubble
***Distribution : West Africa, Florida, Caribbean, Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil
***Length : 23.5 mm
***Description : found at depths up to 34 m; translucent mantle with patches of brown and black; posterior end of the headshield is not bilobed; shell with spiral grooves.
**"Haminoea ferruginosa" A. Adams, 1850
***Distribution : Indian Ocean
**"Haminoea fusari" Alvarez, E.F.García & Villani, 1993
**"Haminoea fusca" Pease, 1863
***Distribution : Indo-Pacific
***Length : 25 mm
***Description : color of the shell : varies from greenish to brown and light purple.
**"Haminoea galba" W. H. Pease, 1861
***Distribution : Indo Pacific
**"Haminoea glabra" A. Adams, 1850
***Distribution : Yucatan, Panama
***Length : 4.3 mm
**"Haminoea gracilis" G. B. Sowerby III, 1897
***Distribution : South Africa
***Length : 10-14 mm
**"Haminoea guildingii" W.A. Swainson, 1840
***Distribution : Jamaica
**"Haminoea hydatis" Linnaeus, 1758
***Distribution : SW Britain, Ireland, France and south to the Mediterranean, Madeira and Canaries; Ascension Island, St. Helena, west coast of Africa
***Length : 8-30 mm (shell : 15 mm)
***Description : fragile shell hidden by the mantle and parapodial lobes in crawling animals. Herbivorous swimming darkbrown snail found on muddy sands, shell grit and algae fields, down to unknown depths.
**"Haminoea japonica" T. Habe Japanese Delicate Bubble
***Distribution : Japan, Korea, Thailand
***Length : 19 mm
**Haminoea margaritoides Kuroda & Habe, 1971
***Distribution : Japan
***Length : 7 mm
**"Haminoea maugeansis" Burn, 1966
***Distribution : Tasmania
**"Haminoea natalensis" C. F. Krauss, 1848
***Distribution : South Africa
***Length : 6 mm
***Description : broad radular ribbon with 7 teeth in each half row.
**"Haminoea navicula" da Costa, 1778
***Distribution : SW Britain, south to the Mediterranean, Ascension Island, St. Helena; Atlantic and Mediterranean costas of France and Spain; Black Sea
***Length : up to 70 mm (shell : 32 mm)
***Description : larger species, with heavier and darker-white shell; cephalic shield with short tentacular processes at front. Found on muddy sands especially among Eelgrass (Zostera marina). Does not swim. This species is able to change its color to correspond with its environment The color puigments (or melanophores) in the skin can be obscured. The skin color can change in this way from dark brown to white in four to five hours. (Edlinger, Malacologia 22; 1982)
**"Haminoea orbignyana" A. de Férussac, 1822
***Distribution : France to West Africa; Mediterranean, Eastern Atlantic
***Length : 7 mm
**"Haminoea orteai" F. G. García Talavera, Murillo & Templado 1987
***Distribution : Southern Spain
**"Haminoea ovalis" Pease 1868
***Distribution : tropical West Pacific
***Length : 10 mm
***Description : translucent body mottled with orange or purple spots; radula with lateral teeth denticulate.
**"Haminoea padangensis" Thiele, 1825 Padang’s Delicate Bubble
***Distribution : West-Pacific
***Length : 11 mm
**"Haminoea peruviana" d'Orbigny, 1842
***Distribution : Peru
***Length : 11 mm
**"Haminoea petiti" d'Orbigny, 1841 Straight Glassy-bubble
***Distribution: Caribbean, Florida, Colombia, Brazil
***Length : 12 mm
**"Haminoea pygmaea" A. Adams, 1850
***Distribution : Japan
**"Haminoea solitaria" T. Say, 1822 Solitary Glassy-bubble, Say’s Paper-bubble, Solitary Paper-bubbleDistribution : Canada, Massachusetts to Florida
***Length : 8-19 mm
***Description : common bubble snail; oblong smooth shell; bluish-white to yellowish-brown.
**"Haminoea strongi" Baker & Hanna, 1927
***Distribution : Gulf of California, Mexico
***Length : 14 mm
**"Haminoea succinea" (T.A. Conrad, 1846) Amber Glassy-bubble
***Distribution : caribbean, Florida, Colombia, Venezuela, Bermuda
***Length : 12 mm
**"Haminoea taylorae" E. J. Petuch, 1987
***Distribution : Caribbean
**"Haminoea tenera" A. Adams, 1850
***Distribution : Australia
**"Haminoea vesicula" A. A. Gould, 1855 Blister Glassy-bubble, White Paper-bubble, Gould’s Paper-bubble
***Distribution : West America, Alaska, Gulf of California, Mexico
***Length : 19 mm
***Description : common on muddy flats and on eelgrass; the middle posterior part of the cephalic shield has an indent; brown or greenish-yellowi shell; large, barrel-shaped body whorl covered by a rust periostracum; involute (= sunken) spire; long aperture; outer lip gradually increasing in width; the snail cannot retract completely into its shell.
**"Haminoea virescens" Sowerby, 1833 Green Glassy-bubble, Green Paper-bubble, Sowerby’s Paper-bubble
***Distribution : Northwestern America from Puget Sound (Seattle) to Gulf of California.
***Length : 13-19 mm
***Description : Thin, fragile shell is ovate and yellowish-green; involute (= sunken) spire, with small perforation; body whorl with longitudinak growth ridges and minute grooves; large aperture; thin outer lip
**"Haminoea wallisi" Gray, 1825
***Distribution : Australia
**"Haminoea zelandiae" Gray, 1843 White Bubble
***Distribution : New Zealand
***Length : 30 mm (shell : 20 mm)
***Description : very common; translucent snail with variable coloring, going from pale color with black dots, to a uniform black color; broad headshield; parapodia fold up and envelop most of the shell; thin, ovate translucent shell
*Genus "Hamineobulla" Habe, 1950 ("incertae sedis"; may be belong to the family Bullidae)
**"Hamineobulla kawamurai" Habe, 1950
***Distribution : Okinawa
***Length : 6 mm
***Description : brown animal with short cephalic shield; on the shell there are a few transverse rows with brighter dots
*Genus "Liloa" Pilsbry, 1921Since most of these bubble snails have been identified from the shell alone, the occurrence of synonyms among the following species is quite possible.
**"Liloa brevis" (Quoy & Gaimard, 1833)
***Distribution : Australia
***Description : elongate body; parapodial flpas cover only the front of the thin, fragile shell
**"Liloa curta" (A. Adams 1850)
***Distribution : Western Pacific
***Description : elongate body; the color can vary from a few dark spots on a translucent body, to almost completely dark.
**"Liloa incisula" Yokoyama, 1928
***Distribution : Japan
**"Liloa laeta" A. A. Gould, 1859
***Distribution : Indo Pacific
**"Liloa nipponensis" Nomura & Hatai, 1940
***Distribution : Japan
**"Liloa porcellana" A. A. Gould, 1859
***Distribution : Japan
**"Liloa tomaculum" H. A. Pilsbry, 1951
***Distribution : Hawaiian Islands
**"Liloa translucens" A. Adams, 1862
***Distribution : Japan
*Genus "Limulatys" Iredale, 1936
**"Limulatys constrictus" T. Habe, 1952
***Distribution : Indo Pacific
***Length : 16 mm
**"Limulatys crassilabris" (J. Thiele, 1925)
***Distribution : S.E. Asia, Thailand
***Length : 8 mm
**"Limulatys fusiformis" T. Habe, 1952
***Distribution : Japan
**"Limulatys muscarius" A. A. Gould, 1859
***Distribution : Indo Pacific, Philippines
**"Limulatys okamotoi" T. Habe, 1952
***Distribution : Indo Pacific
**"Limulatys ooformis" T. Habe, 1964 Egg-shaped Bubble
***Distribution : Indo Pacific, Philippines, Thailand
***Length : 20 mm
**"Limulatys okamotoi" Habe, 1952
***Distribution : Philippines
***Length : 9 mm
**"Limulatys reliquus" T. Iredale, 1936
***Distribution : New Zealand
**"Limulatys scobriculatus" A. Adams, 1862
***Distribution : Japan
**"Limulatys tortuosus" A. Adams, 1850
***Distribution : Japan
*Genus "Micratys" Habe, 1952
**"Micratys ovum" T. Habe, 1952
***Distribution : Japan, Philippines
***Length : 2 mm
*Genus "Mimatys" Habe, 1952
**"Mimatys fukuokaensis" T. Habe, 1952
***Distribution : Japan, Philippines
***Length : 2.5 mm
*Genus "Nipponatys" Kurida & Habe, 1952
**"Nipponatys amakusaensis" T. Habe & Kikuchi, 1960
***Distribution : Japan
**"Nipponatys oshimai" T. Habe & Kikuchi, 1960
**"Nipponatys vo"lvulina A. Adams, 1862
***Distribution : Japan
*Genus "Sericohaminoea" Habe, 1952
*Genus "Sphaeratys" F. Nordsieck, 1972 (?)
*Genus "Ventomnestia"
**"Ventomnestia bizona" (A. Adams, 1850)
**"Ventomnestia colorata" Iredale, 1936
**"Ventomnestia villica" (Gould, 1859) (may be a synonym of "Ventomnestia bizona")
***Distribution : Guam
***Length : 5.5 mm
***Description : a bubble snail with a great variation in color, going from white to brown, but always with a characteristic pattern; heavy shell; radula formula : 2.1.2;
*Genus "Weinkauffia" A. Adams, 1858
**"Weinkauffia diaphana" A. Aradas & Maggiore, 1839
***Distribution : West Africa
***Description : has similar gizzard plates as Atys multistriatus
**"Weinkauffia turgidula" Forbes, 1844
***Distribution : Adriatic Sea, Malta, Turkey
***Length : 5 mm
***Description : fossils of this species have been found in sediments of Pliocene age in Italy.

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