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Phylum Mollusca > Class Gastropoda > Family Olividae
Common olive snail
Oliva oliva*
Family Olividae
updated Oct 2016

Where seen? This small bullet-shaped snail is actually not very commonly seen. It was seen once on Pulau Semakau. It is a burrowing snail and more often seen above the ground at night or with the incoming tide.

Features: 3-4cm. Shell thick heavy, cylindrical bullet-shaped with tall conical spire. White lip ends at less than half of the shell opening length. The glossy shell with a wide range of patterns and colours. The shell opening pinkish. The animal has a large beige body 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

Photos of Common olive snails for free download from wildsingapore flickr

Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map

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

  • 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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