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The name of this species of shells derives from the Greek epi = above and tònos = rope. The species belonging to this family are known as Scalare or Scalaridae, which derives from the type of winding of the spire, which reminds a spiral staircase.
The family includes about 200 species distributed in the seas of the world. Some were considered among the rarest ever and purchased by collectors at astronomical prices. Usually they are small molluscs that live at great depths.