or Pearl conch Strombus turturella Family Strombidae updated
learn only 3 things about them ...
lively snail that hops instead of creeping along the surface.
of its features are adaptations to this hopping lifestyle:
flared shell, large eyes.
It is edible, but who could eat such a cute little snail!
Where seen? This delightful 'fat' little conch snail is
often seen on many of our shores, on silty and sandy areas with good
seagrass growths. Although large, these snails are well camouflaged. It was previously known as Strombus
canarium. 'Canarium' means 'dog' in Latin, and it is sometimes also called the Dog conch.
Features: 6-7cm, elsewhere up
to 10cm. Shell thick heavy, lip flared.
shell protects the long proboscis as the animal sweeps the bottom
for titbits. Upperside smooth and usually covered in sediments and sometimes, living plants and animals.
Sometimes, the seaweeds growing on a Gong-gong shell
becomes larger than the shell! Shell opening pearly white sometimes gold.
Body olive green. Large eyes on
eyestalks, each eyestalk has a tentacle, the purpose of which is not known. Like other conch snails, it hops using the knife-like operculum at the tip of a long muscular foot.
Kusu Island, Nov 04
Hopping along Tanah Merah, Dec 11
Highly extendable proboscis.
Tanah Merah, Aug 09
Gong-gong babies: Gong-gong may gather in groups to mate and lay eggs - in fine long strings.
Females are said to be larger than males. Young snails may not have a flared portion of the shell,
or if they do, this portion is much thinner than in an adult.
Mating and laying egg string.
Tanah Merah, Apr 12
Tanah Merah, Jul
A young snail with a thin shell that
hasn't fully developed a flared portion yet. Pasir Ris Park, Jul 08
Harvesting Gong-gong, dragging box behind. Changi, Aug 14
Gong-gong in the box dragged behind. Changi, Aug 14
Human uses: Where common it is
commercially harvested for food in many parts of Southeast Asia. In
the Philippines, the shells are traditionally used by fishermen as
sinkers for nets.
Status and threats: Like other
creatures of the intertidal zone, they are affected by human activities
such as reclamation and pollution. Trampling by careless visitors
and over-collection can also have an impact on local populations.
(Strombus canarium) 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.
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, K. S.
& L. M. Chou, 2000. A
Guide to the Common Seashells of Singapore. Singapore
Science Centre. 160 pp.
Tucker, 1991. Seashells
of South East Asia.
Graham Brash, Singapore. 145 pp.