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Phylum Mollusca > Class Gastropoda > Family Turbinidae
Tapestry turban snail
Turbo petholatus
Family Turbinidae
updated Sep 2020

Where seen? Rarely seen, this pretty snails is found in living reefs on our Southern shores. It is more active at night.

About 6cm. Shell thick smooth glossy, without any cords. Colours brown, with a spiralling pattern of fine banded lines. Operculum shelly, hemi-spherical and smooth, brown and greenish. Body black with a bright orange foot, 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, Aug 15
Human uses: It is listed as Endangered on the Red List of threatened animals of Singapore. Although never abundant, it could be found up until the early 1970s.

Tapestry turban snails on Singapore shores
On wildsingapore 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.
  • 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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