Tiny creeper snails are common on our shores but often overlooked.
They may be found on sandy shores, coral rubble and reefs on many
of our shores. They are often seen in groups of individuals.
Features: 2 2.5cm. Shell
long and narrow, distinguished by an upturned siphonal canal at the
opening that looks like a little spout. This protects the siphon as
the snail hides just beneath the sand. The shell opening is oval,
and the operculum is made of a horny material usually brown usually
with only a few whorls.
Sometimes confused with Horn
snails (Family Potamididae) which also have an operculum made
of a horny material but with a tight spiral pattern. Horn snails have
siphonal canals that are less pronounced and they are generally larger
than Creeper snails. More on how to
tell these snails apart.
What do they eat? Creeper snails
are often found in groups of many individuals packed close to one
another. They feed on algae and detritus on the sea bottom, often
Role in the habitat: Should the
tiny snail die, the empty shell is often taken over by tiny
Human uses: Some of the prettier species are collected
for the shell trade.
Status and threats: Traill's creeper
(Cerithium trailli) is listed as 'Endangered' on the Red List
of the threatened animals of Singapore, as shores where it was originally
found have been lost to reclamation. Like other creatures of the intertidal
zone, Creeper snails are affected by human activities such as reclamation
and pollution. Trampling by careless visitors and over-collection
can also have an impact on local populations.
Sentosa, Oct 08
Operculum with only a few whorls.
snails on Singapore shores
Cerithiidae recorded for Singapore
Tan Siong Kiat and Henrietta P. M. Woo, 2010 Preliminary Checklist
of The Molluscs of Singapore.
in red are those isted among the threatened
animals of Singapore from 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.
snails commonly seen awaiting identification
Species are difficult to positively identify without
On this website, they are grouped by external features for convenience
Cerithium traillii (Traill's
creeper) (EN: Endangered)
Clypeomorus bifasciata bifasciata
Clypeomorus pellucida (Mangrove
creeper snail)=Clypeomorus pellucidus
Clypeomorus petrosa petrosa
Clypeomorus petrosa chemnitziana
Rhinoclavis sinensis (Obelisk
cerith (Cerithium trailli) on the NParks Flora and
Gladys Archerd Shell Collection at Washington State University
Tri-Cities Natural History Museum website:
brief description and photos.
the Gastropods section by J.M. Poutiers in the FAO Species Identification
Guide for Fishery Purposes: The Living Marine Resources of the
Western Central Pacific Volume
1: Seaweeds, corals, bivalves and gastropods on the Food and
Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) website.
- 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.
- Wee Y.C.
and Peter K. L. Ng. 1994. A First Look at Biodiversity in Singapore.
National Council on the Environment. 163pp.
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.
- Abbott, R.
Tucker, 1991. Seashells
of South East Asia.
Graham Brash, Singapore. 145 pp.