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Phylum Mollusca > Class Gastropoda > Family Strombidae
Black-lipped conch
Canarium urceus

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 listed among the threatened animals of Singapore.

Where seen? This narrow conch with black lips is sometimes seen in seagrass areas on our shores. Elsewhere, they are found on sand or sandy mud bottoms, sometimes associated with sparse algae. Often occurring in colonies. Intertidal and sublittoral zones to a depth of about 40 m. It was previously known as Strombus urceus.

Features: 3-5cm long. Shell thick, long and narrow without a very broad flared portion. The shell opening is black, although in some, this may appear as just a black border around the edges of the shell's underside. The animal is greenish sometimes with white or with beige spots. Like other conch snails, it uses its pointed operculum to hop along.

Human uses: The snails are actively collected in the Philippines and often sold in the markets of northern Luzon. Shell frequently used to make decorative items.

Status and threats: The Black-lipped conch is listed as 'Vulnerable' on the Red List of threatened animals of Singapore. It used to be abundant in the 1970s but is now uncommon.

Kusu Island, Jun 05

Pulau Sekudu, Jan 05

Kusu Island, Sep 10

Kusu Island, Jun 05

Black-lipped conch snails on Singapore shores

Photos of Black-lipped conch snails for free download from wildsingapore flickr

Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map

Tanah Merah, May 09
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.

Labrador, Nov 18
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

Pulau Tekukor, Jan 10
Photo shared by James Koh on his flickr.

Lazarus Island, Feb 11
Photo shared by James Koh on his blog

Beting Bemban Besar, May 10
Photo shared by James Koh on his blog.

Beting Bemban Besar, May 11
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.

Terumbu Semakau, May 17
Photo shared by Marcus Ng on facebook.



  • 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.
  • Davison, 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.
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