"Shell oliviform, highly polished; aperture very effuse; suture concealed by enamel; base with one or two strong grooves, which form a little tooth at the edge of the outer lip; inner lip wanting; base of the pillar thick, vitreous, obliquely striated, and turned outwards.".
Formerly considered to be a subfamily of the Olividae, it was raised to family states after a phylogenetic study recently undertaken by Kantot et al. (2017). This study clearly reveals two sister groups within the Ancillariidae, which are here regarded as subfamilies. Furthermore, the genus Entomoliva appears to be the sister taxaon of the two subfamilies and probably deserves to be included in its own as yet unnamed subfamily.
|Subfamily||Present day distribution||Genera with extant representatives|
|Ancillariinae Swainson, 1840||Mainly Western Indo-Pacific realm, ranging into Central Indo-Pacific realm. Mainly intertidal to shallow water species, some from somewhat deeper water.||Ancilla Lamarck, 1799, Anolacia Gray, 1857, Chilotygma Adams & Adams, 1853.|
|Dipsaccinae P. Fischer, 1884||Tropical Atlantic realm, Western Indo-Pacific realm, Central Indo-Pacific realm, Eastern Indo-Pacific realm, Temperate Australasia realm,Temperate Northern Pacific realm, Temperate Southern Africa realm. Shallow subtidal to UPPER SLOPE.||Many (sub)genera but phylogeny still rather unclear.|
|Unnamed subfamily||Central Indo-Pacific realm (Tropical southwestern Pacific province). UPPER SLOPE||Entomoliva Bouchet & Kilburn, 1991|