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Phylum Mollusca > Class Gastropoda > Family Nassariidae
Common whelk
Nassarius livescens
Family Nassariidae
updated Oct 2016
Where seen? This elegantly ribbed whelk is usually busy foraging at low tide among seaweeds or on the sand near seagrasses, especially at night. Commonly seen on many of our shores. 'Livescens' means 'black and blue' in Latin.

Features: 2-2.5cm. Shell conical, long and slender with neat, regular fine ridges and narrow white bands alternative with broad bands of brown or dark blue. Shell opening edged with broad smooth white portion, towards the mouth, darker and with small bumps. Body pale with dark speckles, a long foot with a pair of 'tails' at the ends. Operculum thin with tiny 'teeth' along the edges, yellow with a dark blotch in the centre.

Changi, May 05


The operculum has 'teeth' along the edges.

Very long foot with a pair of tentacles at the end, operculum with a dark blotch.
Changi, May 05

With tiny sea anemones on it.
Pasir Ris, Dec 08
Hitching on a whelk: This whelk often has one or more tiny sea anemones hitching a ride on its shell. Sometimes also with tiny barnacles on the shell.

Whelk food: Whelks are active scavengers and often seen busily foraging in pools at the change of the tides. A choice morsel such as a dead crab or fish is a magnet for these snails which hurry as fast as they can to the feast.

Feeding on a clam!
Lazarus Island, Feb 09
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.

Cleaning out a shell while hermits wait patiently.
Changi, Jul 09

Gathered on a dead crab.
Changi, Jul 09

Common whelks on Singapore shores
On wildsingapore flickr

Other sightings on Singapore shores

Coney Island, Oct 20
Photo shared by Vincent Choo on facebook.

Pulau Tekukor, Nov 20
Photo shared by Shwne Goh on facebook.

Pulau Sudong, Dec 09
Photo shared by Ivan Kwan on his flickr.

Links References
  • 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.
  • Bunjamin Dharma. 1988. Indonesian shells (Siput dan Kerang Indonesia). PT Sarana Graha. Indonesia. 111 pp.
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