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Phylum Mollusca > Class Gastropoda > Family Turbinidae
Sunburst carrier-shell snail
Stellaria solaris
Family Xenophoridae
updated Sep 2020

Where seen? Only the empty shells of these snails have been seen washed up on our shores. It is considered uncommon and usually found in deep water.

8-10cm in diameter. Shell flat coiled with 14 long spines on the last outer whorl. Underside with fine spiraling lines. Objects are rarely attached to the shell, except on early whorls.

The Family Xenophoridae are called carrier shell snails because they cement bits of shells of other snails and clams onto their own shell. The living snail has a very long proboscis which it uses to attach these bits to its own shell. See a photo of a snail doing this.

Sometimes confused with turban snails (Family Turbinidae). Unlike turban snails, carrier shell snails do not have shiny mother-of pearl on the inside of the shell.

Human uses: Occasionally collected in shrimp trawls. The shell is used in shellcraft.

Tanah Merah, Mar 10

Inside of the shell not shiny.

Fine lines on the underside.

Tuas, Aug 09

Tuas, Aug 09

Changi, Oct 10

Sunburst carrier-shell snails on Singapore shores
On wildsingapore flickr

Family Xenophoridae recorded for Singapore
from Tan Siong Kiat and Henrietta P. M. Woo, 2010 Preliminary Checklist of The Molluscs of Singapore.

  Family Xenophoridae
  Onustus indicus

Stellaria solaris
(Sunburst shell carrier)

Xenophora solarioides



  • 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.
  • Abbott, R. Tucker, 1991. Seashells of South East Asia. Graham Brash, Singapore. 145 pp.
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