Conidae (also previously referred to as Coninae), with the current common name of "cone snails", is a taxonomic family (previously subfamily) of predatory sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs in the superfamily Conoidea.
The 2014 classification of the superfamily Conoidea, groups only cone snails in the family Conidae. Some previous classifications grouped the cone snails in a subfamily, the Coninae.
Conidae currently (March 2015) contains over 800 recognized species. Working in 18th century Europe, Linnaeus knew of only 30 species which are still considered valid.
The snails within this family are sophisticated predatory animals.〔Piper R. (2007). ''Extraordinary Animals: An Encyclopedia of Curious and Unusual Animals'', Greenwood Press.〕 They hunt and immobilize prey using a modified radular tooth along with a venom gland containing neurotoxins; the tooth is launched out of the snail's mouth in a harpoon-like action.
Because all cone snails are venomous and capable of "stinging" humans, live ones should be handled with great care or preferably not at all.
==Current 2014 taxonomy==
In the ''Journal of Molluscan Studies'', in 2014, Puillandre, Duda, Meyer, Olivera & Bouchet presented a new classification for the old genus ''Conus''. Using 329 species, the authors carried out molecular phylogenetic analyses. The results suggested that the authors should place all living cone snails in a single family, Conidae, containing four genera: ''Conus'', ''Conasprella'', ''Profundiconus'' and ''Californiconus''. The authors grouped 85% of all known cone snail species under ''Conus'', They recognized 57 subgenera within ''Conus'', and 11 subgenera within the genus ''Conasprella''.〔Puillandre N., Duda T.F., Meyer C., Olivera B.M. & Bouchet P. (2015). ''One, four or 100 genera? A new classification of the cone snails''. Journal of Molluscan Studies. 81: 1-23 online at: () Accessed 2015.3.11〕
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