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Phylum Mollusca > Class Gastropoda > Family Turbinidae
Dwarf turban snail
Turbo bruneus*
Family Turbinidae
updated Sep 2020

Where seen? This large turban snail is sometimes seen on our rocky shores. It is also sometimes called the Brown turban snail and the scientific name is sometimes spelt as Turbo brunneus.

3-5cm. Shell thick with spiral cords made up of tiny scales which feel rough. Chalky operculum is hemi-spherical with many tiny bumps, dark green with greyish and white margins. Body with brown mottles, a pair of slender tentacles.

Sometimes confused with the Top shell snail (Family Trochidae) has a more pyramidal shell and a thin operculum made of a horn-like material. While the turban shell snail has a shell with more distinct whorls and a thick, chalky operculum. Here's more on how to tell apart turban and top shell snails.

Pulau Hantu, Feb 08

Many tiny bumps on the operculum.

Dwarf turban snails on Singapore shores
On wildsingapore flickr

Other sightings on Singapore shores

East Coast-Marina Bay, Jan 21
Photo shared by Vincent Choo on facebook.

East Coast (B), Jun21
Photo shared by Vincent Choo on facebook.

Pulau Pawai, Dec 09
Photo shared by Ivan Kwan on his flickr.

With grateful thanks to Tan Siong Kiat of the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research for identifying this snail.



  • 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.
  • Cedric Kai Wei Tan. 19 November 2009. Effects of Trenching on shell size and density of Turbo Brunneus (Gastropoda: Turbinidae) and Monodontia labio (Gastropoda: Trochidae). Nature in Singapore 2009 2: 421–429.
  • 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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