Where seen? This amazing conch is sometimes seen on Changi
in a lush seagrass meadow. Elsewhere it is considered moderately common
in shallow water near reefs, grassy sand flats and coral rubble to
10m deep. It was previously known as Strombus aratrum.
Features: 7-9cm long. Shell thick,
large flared lip with one prong. The inner portion of shell opening
is pearly and orange and there are brown stains on the underside.
According to Abbott, Strombus aratrum is a subspecies of S.
aurisdianae. 'Auris' means 'ear' and indeed, the beautiful underside
of S. aurisdianae may be what the ear of the goddess Diana
looks like. The common name of S. aurisdianae is the Diana
conch or Diana Ear conch. S. aratrum is more elongate and has
a brown-stained shell opening. Thus its common name is Dark Diana
Human uses: S. aurisdianae
is collected for food where it is abundant. The shell is used in shellcraft.
It is sold in local markets of the central and northern Philippines.
Status and threats: S. aratrum
(spelt S. atratum in the Red Data Book) is listed as 'Critically
Endangered' in the Red List of threatened animals of Singapore. The
Red Data Book states it as being found near our coral reefs and was
present in small numbers until the 1960s. It was rarely seen since
then and possibly "now wiped out".
Changi, Apr 09
Diana conch snails on Singapore shores
- 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.
G.W. H. and P. K. L. Ng and Ho Hua Chew, 2008. The Singapore
Red Data Book: Threatened plants and animals of Singapore.
Nature Society (Singapore). 285 pp.
- Abbott, R.
Tucker, 1991. Seashells
of South East Asia.
Graham Brash, Singapore. 145 pp.