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The current volume is dedicated to an extremely important group of gastropod snails – the Neogastropoda exclusive of the Conoidea. This group of carnivorous marine molluscs is one of the best studied in terms of its taxonomy, and, as a result, has one of the most complicated and confusing nomenclatural histories. This is not speculation – neogastropods have more synonyms for each valid name than any other mollusc. This is probably also the most commercially important group of gastropods – in ancient times the royal purple dye was obtained from Muricidae, whelks (Buccinidae) are collected for food, and some Muricidae are major pests of bivalve aquaculture. And of course, several neogastropod families have shells that are most desirable and valued collectors items.
A total of 151 neogastropod species (excluding the conoideans) has been included in this Atlas as living in the Mediterranean Sea.