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Phylum Mollusca > Class Gastropoda > Family Turbinidae
Ribbed turban snail
Turbo intercostalis
Family Turbinidae
updated Oct 2016

Where seen? Among the most commonly encountered of our turban snails on our shores, this chubby snail is often seen on rocky shores and under coral rubble near living reefs. There are suggestions that Turbo intercostalis=Turbo ticaonicus=Turbo bruneus.

3-5cm, up to 6cm. Shell thick with many smooth spiral cords. Chalky operculum is hemi-spherical and smooth, dark green centre with yellowish and white margins. There is a fine ridge on the outside of the operculum and perforation in the centre. Sometimes, the operculum of a dead snail is washed ashore. It is sometimes called a 'cat's-eye'. Body greenish 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.

Labrador, May 05
Human uses: It is collected for food by coastal dwellers.

Ribbed turban snails on Singapore shores
On wildsingapore flickr

Other sightings on Singapore shores

St John's Island, Jan 09
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr.

Terumbu Hantu, Jul 20
Photo shared by Shawne Goh on facebook.

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

Terumbu Pempang Tengah, May 11
Photo shared by Ivan Kwan on flickr.

Pulau Salu, Apr 21
Photo shared by Vincent Choo on facebook.

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.
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