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Phylum Mollusca > Class Gastropoda > Family Cypraeidea
Miliaris cowrie
Erosaria miliaris
Family Cypraeidae
updated Oct 2016

Where seen? This pretty cowrie with a spotted shell is commonly seen on our Northern shores, under and on rocks or on sandy and silty areas among seagrass. It was previously known as Cypraea miiliaris.

2.5-4cm, up to 5cm. Shell is pear-shaped, beige to light brown with white spots all over it and a broad white margin around the base. It has a very 'hairy' looking mantle. The underside is completely white and the 'teeth' are not coloured.

They are often found as a pair of male and female. If you find one, the other is usually not far away!

Sometimes mistaken for a sea slug. When the shell is completely covered in its mantle, it is sometimes mistaken for a hairy sea slug. Here's how to tell apart hairy slugs and snails more on how to tell apart slugs and animals that look like slugs.

Status and threats: Like other creatures of the intertidal zone, cowries 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.

Tanah Merah, Aug 09


Pulau Sekudu, Jul 04


Miliaris cowries on Singapore shores

Photos of Miliaris cowries for free download from wildsingapore flickr

Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map

Beting Bronok, Jun 10
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his flickr.

Pulau Ubin, Jul 17
Photo shared by Abel Yeo on facebook.

East Coast Park Big Splash, Jun 15
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

Sentosa Serapong, May 12
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr.

Kusu Island, Jun 08
Photo shared by Tan Sijie on his blog.

Terumbu Semakau, May 13

Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr.



  • 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.
  • Abbott, R. Tucker, 1991. Seashells of South East Asia. Graham Brash, Singapore. 145 pp.
  • Gosliner, Terrence M., David W. Behrens and Gary C. Williams. 1996. Coral Reef Animals of the Indo-Pacific: Animal life from Africa to Hawaii exclusive of the vertebrates Sea Challengers. 314pp.
  • Kuiter, Rudie H and Helmut Debelius. 2009. World Atlas of Marine Fauna. IKAN-Unterwasserachiv. 723pp.
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