bivalves text index | photo index
Phylum Mollusca > Class Bivalvia
Watering pot shell
Verpa penis
Family Clavagellidae
updated Jan 2020

Where seen? This strange animal is a bivalve that is tubular. It is sometimes seen among seagrasses on our Northern shores. It was previously known as Brechites penis.

Features: About 12cm long.The broader end is perforated with tiny holes and this is usually buried in the ground with the narrow tip facing the surface. Siphons emerge from the narrow tip. The broader end
resembles a watering can, hence its common name. There are two tiny oval shapes which is all that remains of the two valves of this strange bivalve.

Status and threats:
This animal is listed as "Presumed Nationally Extinct" on the Red List of threatened animals of Singapore. But a paper in Nature in Singapore (pdf) found that recent sightings suggest this animal is alive and well on our shores.

Tiny oval shapes are the remains of
the two-part shell of this bivalve.

Changi, May 11

How it is normally buried.
Changi, May 11
Photo shared by James Koh on his blog.

Changi, Aug 11

Pulau Sekudu, May 10

Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.

Watering pot shells on Singapore shores
On wildsingapore flickr

Other sightings on Singapore shores

Beting Bronok, Jun 14
Photo shared by Marcus Ng on facebook.

Chek Jawa, Dec 19
Photo shared by Liz Lim on facebook.

Chek Jawa, Jan 16
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

East Coast Park, Aug 18
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng g on facebook.


Cyrene Reef, Sep 22
Photo shared by James Koh on facebook.

Family Clavagellidae recorded for Singapore
from Tan Siong Kiat and Henrietta P. M. Woo, 2010 Preliminary Checklist of The Molluscs of Singapore.
^from WORMS

  Family Clavagellidae
  Brechites penis=^Verpa penis (Watering pot shell) (NE: Presumed Nationally Extinct)



  • Tan, S. K., S. H. Tan & M. E. Y. Low, 2011. A reassessment of Verpa penis (Linnaeus, 1758) (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Clavagelloidea), a species presumed nationally extinct. Nature in Singapore, 4: 5-8.
  • Tan Siong Kiat and Henrietta P. M. Woo, 2010 Preliminary Checklist of The Molluscs of Singapore (pdf), Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore.
  • Tan, K. S. & L. M. Chou, 2000. A Guide to the Common Seashells of Singapore. Singapore Science Centre. 160 pp.
  • Davison, G.W. H. and P. K. L. Ng and Ho Hua Chew, 2008. The Singapore Red Data Book: Threatened plants and animals of Singapore. Nature Society (Singapore). 285 pp.
links | references | about | email Ria
Spot errors? Have a question? Want to share your sightings? email Ria I'll be glad to hear from you!
wildfactsheets website©ria tan 2008