Diagnosis: Aragonitic shell. 0-2 varices. The central radular tooth has 3 large hook-like cusps between which is a smaller cusp; laterally are 0-5 smaller cusps as well. Operculum with sub-lateral nucleus. 

Remarks: The systematics of every group of organism on Earth has its own "garbage" collection. This is where the best minds put the worst species (or vice versa) -- those that don't fit anywhere else, those that baffle the preconceived notions of what constitutes a higher taxon, those we would rather just go away. For the tropical Muricidae, that circular filing cabinet is the Ergalataxinae (the Trophoninae fills the same role for boreal species). 

Some members of the Ergalataxinae seem to bridge a gap to the Buccinidae. Some were "misplaced" with the buccinids (and the Cancellariidae) until radular or other characteristics relocated them to the Muricidae. Some (such as Phyllocoma) have definite ranellid appearances. Others (such as Lindapterys) do not seem to belong anywhere within the muricid universe. On the other hand, many ergalataxine species approach the Muricopsinae and perhaps share a true common ancestry. At best, the Ergalataxinae probably are paraphyletic.

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