Diagnosis: Small, trivaricate, with a tube emerging at the shoulder or somewhat before it in the whorl, sealed along its length. Older tubes sealed basally. Sculpture of scabrous, spiral lamellae. Aperture opens anteriorly to siphonal canal, which may be partially sealed along its length. Nuclear whorls convex, 1.5-2 whorls. Known radula muricopsine.

Remarks: The definitive work on the typhines and tripterotyphines is D'Attilio & Hertz (1988). They selected the subfamily name Tripterotyphinae even though Tripterotyphis is a newer name than Pterotyphis (but not synonymous). Prototyphis, regarded by D'Attilio & Hertz as a tripterotyphine, is now regarded as a subgenus of the muricine Pterynotus. D'Attilio & Hertz regarded the Tripterotyphinae as a subfamily of the Typhidae, here regarded as a subfamily of the Muricidae. This makes the Tripterotyphinae a subfamily equal to the other muricids, which was clearly not D'Attilio & Hertz's intent. 

The idea behind the current hierarchy is that the "typhid condition" -- the presence of tubular anal siphons -- has arose independently in unrelated muricid taxa. 

Pterotyphis s.s. is primarily an Atlantic group, while Tripterotyphis is primarily a Pacific group. Like the true typhines, most species are rather rare.

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