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Phylum Mollusca > Class Gastropoda > Family Olividae
Common olive snail
Oliva oliva*
Family Olividae
updated Sep 2020

Where seen? This small bullet-shaped snail is actually not very commonly seen, only on a few of our shores so far. A burrowing snail, it is more often seen above the ground at night or with the incoming tide.

Features: 3-4cm. Shell thick heavy glossy, cylindrical bullet-shaped with tall conical spire. White lip ends at less than half of the shell opening length. Shell pattern and colour varies. The shell opening pinkish. Body large beige with brownish spots all over. A long siphon sticks out of the notch in the shell. It does not have an operculum.

Pulau Semakau, Aug 11

Tall conical spire.

White lip ends at less
than half the shell opening length.
Shell opening pinkish.

*Species are difficult to positively identify without close examination.
On this website, they are grouped by external features for convenience of display.

Common olive snails on Singapore shores
On wildsingapore flickr

Other sightings on Singapore shores

Changi, Apr 13
Photo shared by Marcus Ng on flickr.

Changi, Apr 10
Photo shared byJames Koh on flickr.

East Coast Park, Aug 18
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

  • Common olive (Oliva oliva) on SeaLife Base: Technical fact sheet and photo.
  • Family Olividae on The Gladys Archerd Shell Collection at Washington State University Tri-Cities Natural History Museum website: brief fact sheet on moon snails with photos.
  • Family Olividae 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.
  • Abbott, R. Tucker, 1991. Seashells of South East Asia. Graham Brash, Singapore. 145 pp.
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