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The shell of Penion cuvieranus cuvieranus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
Superfamily: Buccinoidea
(unranked): clade Caenogastropoda

clade Hypsogastropoda
clade Neogastropoda

Family: Buccinidae
Rafinesque, 1815
Type genus
Linnaeus, 1758
Genera and species

See text.

Whelk or welk is a word used for individuals of several of marine gastropods; they are not monophyletic. They are found in temperate and tropical waters, and are used by humans as food.

  • In North America whelk refers to several large edible species in the genera Busycon and Busycotypus within the family Melongenidae. These are sometimes called Busycon whelks.
  • In the English-speaking islands of the West Indies, the word whelks or wilks (the word is both singular and plural) is applied to a large edible top shell, Cittarium pica, also known as the magpie or West Indian top shell.
  • In the United States, the invasive Murex Rapana venosa is referred to as the Veined rapa whelk or Asian rapa whelk.