shelled snails text index | photo index
Phylum Mollusca > Class Gastropoda > Family Neritidae
Waved nerite snail
Nerita undata
Family Neritidae
updated Sep 2020
Where seen? This snail is commonly seen on many of our Southern rocky shores and artificial seawalls. The study by Tan & Clements (2008) found this snail in crevices and under rocks of breakwaters and rocky shores of middle to upper intertidal zones. They note that the snails are nocturnal, emerging from their hiding places at dusk. Sites included: Pulau Ubin, Changi, Marina South, Sentosa, St. John's Island, Pulau Hantu, Pulau Salu, Tuas, Labrador, Raffles Lighthouse.

Features: 2-4cm. Shell thick heavy, hemispheical, the spire sticks out. Narrow, spiralling ribs, smooth and regularly spaced. Shell patterns and colour variable, sometimes all black. The flat underside white sometimes yellowish especially at the sides of the shell opening. Some have ridges, wrinkles and a few small rounded bumps. Square notched 'teeth' (3-5) on the straight edge at the shell opening, the uppermost one is squarish. One distinctly large 'tooth' on one side of the shell opening. Operculum thick, evenly covered in tiny bumps, pinkish with darkish portion. Body pale with fine black bands on the foot and tentacles long thin black.

Sometimes confused with other similar nerites. Here's a comparison of these similar nerite snails and how to tell them apart.

Sisters Island, Jul 06

Sisters Island, May 08

Sentosa, Nov 10
Human uses: Where it is common, it is often collected for food and shellcraft by coastal dwellers.

Waved nerite snails on Singapore shores
On wildsingapore flickr

Other sightings on Singapore shores

East Coast-Marina Bay, Jul 20
Photo shared by Vincent Choo on facebook.

Sentosa Serapong, May 16
Photo shared by Ivan Kwan on facebook.

Lazarus Island, Feb 11
Photo shared by Rene Ong on facebook.

  • Waved nerite (Nerita undata) on SeaBase Life: Technical fact sheet.
  • Nerita undata (Cycloneritimorpha: Neritidae) Undate Nerite by Rebecca Loh Ker, 2015, on taxo4254.
  • Waved nerite (Nerita undata) in 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, S.K. & Clements, R. (2008) Taxonomy and distribution of the Neritidae (Mollusca: Gastropoda) on Singapore. Zoological Studies 47(4): 481-494.
  • Tan, K. S. & L. M. Chou, 2000. A Guide to the Common Seashells of Singapore. Singapore Science Centre. 160 pp.
  • Abbott, R. Tucker, 1991. Seashells of South East Asia. Graham Brash, Singapore. 145 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