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Phylum Mollusca > Class Gastropoda > Family Ovulidae
Soft coral false cowrie
awaiting identification*
Family Ovulidae
updated Sep 2020
Where seen? These snails are sometimes seen in pairs on flowery soft corals on many of our shores. They closely resemble the clumps of polyps of the soft corals that they eat. Often a pair is seen in one colony of soft corals.

Features: 1.5-2cm. Shell oval, white smooth. Some have a fine orange line along the edge, others with blotchy orange bars. Mantle transparent with irregular brownish blotches outlined in darker brown and short white finger-like protrusions. The foot may have fine coloured outline and fine coloured bars. Coloured tentacles and siphon. Found on flowery soft corals (Family Nephtheidae), especially in Pink flowery soft corals also in Ball flowery soft corals and Asparagus flowery soft coral.

Several similar looking falsw cowrie species can be found in flowery soft corals including: Prionovolva cf. brevis, Diminovula alabaster, Margovula marginata and Globovula sphaera.

Closely resembles the soft coral.
Beting Bronok, May 11

Often seen in a pair.
Pulau Sekudu, May 12

Chomped on parts of the soft coral.
Beting Bronok, Jul 08


Chomped areas and eggs (?) nearby
Beting Bronok, May 11

Eggs nearby?
Chek Jawa, Apr 08

Eggs nearby?
Chek Jawa, Apr 08


Prionovolva sp.#
Tuas, Aug 09


Globovula sphaera#
Pulau Hantu, Nov 12

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

Soft coral false cowries on Singapore shores
On wildsingapore flickr

Other sightings on Singapore shores


Pulau Sekudu, Jul 16
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.

Pulau Sekudu, Aug 13
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr.

Changi, Oct 10
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his flickr.


Beting Bronok, Jul 2016
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.




Beting Bronok, Jul 2019
Photo shared by Toh Chay Hoon on facebook.




Tanah Merah, Jan 10
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr.

Tanah Merah, Jan 10
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr.

East Coast, Aug 09
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.


Berlayar Creek, Mar 20
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

Small Sisters Island, Aug 21
Photo shared by Jianlin Liu on facebook.

Acknowledgment
Grateful appreciation to Dr Gary Rosenberg of Drexel University for correcting the identity of the animals indicated with #.

References

  • Calvin Leow Jiah Jay & Tan Siong Kiat. The allied cowrie, Diminovula margarita, at Lazarus Island. 30 August 2019. Singapore Biodiversity Records 2019: 112 ISSN 2345-7597. National University of Singapore.
  • Tan Heok Hui & Tan Siong Kiat. 12 December 2014. Commensal animals of a soft coral tree in the Singapore Strait: Ball flowery coral tree, Dendronephthya sp.; False cowrie, Margovula marginata; Coral shell, Coralliophila rubrococcinea; Brittlestar, unidentified. Singapore Biodiversity Records 2014: 321-323.
  • Wong, H. W., 2011. The Ovulidae (Mollusca: Gastropoda) of Singapore. Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum.
  • Tan Siong Kiat and Henrietta P. M. Woo, 2010 Preliminary Checklist of The Molluscs of Singapore Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum.
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