Diagnosis: Small to medium sized, usually fusiform, sometimes greatly so. Aperture usually without teeth or lirations. Axial and/or spiral sculpture usually present. Species may be spinose, lamellate, scabrous, or nearly smooth. Many have an intritacalx. Protoconch paucispiral. Operculum variable. Central radular tooth with five cusps in the few species studied.

Remarks: Trophons are typically cold water taxa that creep into tropical seas only at great depths (where it is cold). 

Several studies have (perhaps) documented extreme variability in trophon species, suggesting that some subgeneric and perhaps even generic lines are imaginary. In south Australia and New Zealand alone are numerous very similar genera containing few species -- suggesting to me, at least, that perhaps we have divided these too finely. On the other hand, these species seem to form a cohesive group apart from the other "trophons."

The "trophons" are undoubtedly polyphyletic, comprised of independent invasions into the cold water habitat. Kool (1993a) demonstrated that the type species of Trophon itself was probably an ocenebrine. Some, like Actinotrophon, already have been removed to other subfamilies.

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