Giant Tun

Class: Gastropoda

Family: Tonnidae

Family Description:

Species of Tonna are large, globular lightweight shells, mainly tropical in distribution, that live from the shallow subtidal down to several hundred metres. They live mainly in sandy areas, where they can burrow beneath the sand and leave just the tip of their siphon exposed. Although a relatively small family, the Tonnidae has not been revised for many years, and there are taxonomic problems with many species.

Genus: Tonna Brünnich, 1771

Species: Tonna galea Linnaeus, 1758

Species Description:

Shell length 181.2 mm, a lightweight, thin, large shell. Each spire whorl is separated by a deep suture. The umbilicus is very narrow. The body whorl has 15-20 broad, flattened, spiral ribs with lesser ones between them on its upper half. The flutings on the outer lip correspond to the ribs. Chestnut-brown, with paler vertical streaks apex may be purple; outer lip of aperture white, brown at edge.


Buccinum olearium Linnaeus, 1758; Dolium tenue Menke, 1830; Dolium maculatum Rigacci, 1866; Dolium antillarum Mörch, 1877; Dolium brasilianum Mörch, 1877; Dolium epidermatum Gregorio, 1884; Cithna olivacea Verrill, 1884; Dolium spirintrorsum Gregorio, 1884; Dolium tardinum Gregorio, 1884; Dolium fasciatum Gregorio, 1885; Dolium rubroviolaceum Gregorio, 1885; Dolium galeatum Locard, 1886; Dolium modjokasriense Martin, 1899; Dolium majus Pallary, 1900; Tonna (Galea complex) galea brasiliana Turner, 1948; Tonna galea abbotti (var.) Macsotay & Campos, 2001.

Other Records(References):

Tonna galea Linnaeus, 1758- [Hinton (1978): 26; Hinton (1979): 19; Abbott and Dance (1982): 118; Eisenberg (1986): 77; Oliver (1989): 140; Dance (1992): 88; Thach (2005): 92; Robin (2008): 147].

Global Distribution:

North Carolina, USA; Argentina; Portugal to Namibia; Mediterranean; South Africa; Red Sea.


This taxon has not yet been assessed for the IUCN Red List.