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Phylum Mollusca > Class Gastropoda > Family Strombidae
Gong-gong or Pearl conch
Strombus turturella

Family Strombidae
updated Oct 2016

if you learn only 3 things about them ...
A lively snail that hops instead of creeping along the surface.
Many 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 hard to spot. The shell of a living Gong-gong is often obscured by encrusting plants and animals. Sometimes, the seaweeds growing on a Gong-gong shell becomes larger than the shell! It was previously known as Strombus canarium.

Features: 6-7cm, elsewhere up to 10cm. Shell thick with large flared lip, inner portion of shell opening is pearly, sometimes gold. The flared portion is thick only in adults. Young snails may not have a flared portion of the shell, or if they do, this portion is much thinner than in an adult. Each eyestalk has a tentacle, the purpose of which is not known. The flared shell protects the long proboscis as the animal sweeps the bottom for titbits. Gong-gong may gather in groups to mate and lay eggs. Females are said to be larger than males.

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.

Kusu Island, Nov 04

Hopping along
Tanah Merah, Dec 11

A young snail with a thin shell that
hasn't fully developed a flared portion yet.
Pasir Ris Park, Jul 08

Highly extendable proboscis.
Tanah Merah, Aug 09

Mating and laying egg string.
Tanah Merah, Apr 12

Egg string.
Tanah Merah,
Jul 10

Gong-gong on Singapore shores

Photos of Gong-gong for free download from wildsingapore flickr

Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map

Coney Island, Nov 15
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr.

Berlayar Creek, Oct 15
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

East Coast, Dec 08
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.

East Coast, Dec 08
Photo shared by Marcus Ng on his flick.

East Coast-Marina Bay, Nov 17
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

Pulau Semakau South, Feb 16
Photo shared by Jianlin Liu on facebook.

Terumbu Semakau, Dec 15
Photo shared by Marcus Ng on facebook.

Terumbu Pempang Tengah, May 11
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.

Terumbu Berkas, Jan 10

Pulau Pawai, Dec 09

Pulau Sudong, Dec 09

Pulau Senang, Aug 10
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his flickr.

Gong-gong using its pointed operculum to turn itself over, filmed on Changi, May 07
Shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.



  • 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.
  • Tan, K. S. & L. M. Chou, 2000. A Guide to the Common Seashells of Singapore. Singapore Science Centre. 160 pp.
  • Abbott, R. Tucker, 1991. Seashells of South East Asia. Graham Brash, Singapore. 145 pp.
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