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Phylum Mollusca > Class Gastropoda > Family Cypraeidea
Miliaris cowrie
Erosaria miliaris
Family Cypraeidae
updated Jul 2020

Where seen? This pretty cowrie with a beige 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 miliaris.

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. Underside completely white (no markings) and the 'teeth' are not coloured. The living animal has a dark brown mottled mantle.

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.

Pulau Sekudu, Jul 04

Tanah Merah, Aug 09

'Teeth' are not coloured..
In a pair: This cowrie is often found as a pair of male and female. If you find one, the other is usually not far away! A mother cowrie stays over her eggs after she lays them, covering the egg mass with her foot.

Miliaris cowries are often seen in a pair.
Pulau Sekudu, Jun 06

Mama cowrie guarding her eggs.
Chek Jawa, Feb 05

Miliaris cowries on Singapore shores
On wildsingapore flickr

Other sightings on Singapore shores

Pasir Ris-Loyang, Oct 20
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

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

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

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.

Lazarus Island, Jan 24
Photo shared by Vincent Choo on facebook.

Big Sisters Island, Sep 20
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

Pulau Hantu, May 22
Photo shared by Vincent Choo on facebook.

Beting Bemban Besar, May 24
Photo shared by Che Cheng Neo on facebook.

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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