|Kingdom Animale | Phylum Mollusca | Class Gastropoda|
The local conch shells are characterised by a narrow, blade-like operculurn on their foot. The black-lipped conch (shell 3-5cm) is common in muddier substrates adjacent to reefs, being a detritivore and herbivore. They move in jerks, using their bladelike opercula to thrust them forward. In neighbouring countries, they are a popular seafood. A related species, S. canarium, which is white to yellowish in colour, with a thicker shell, is rare nowadays, but the dead shell can still be seen along the shores.
This snail is getting to be rather rare. The dorsal part of the shell (left) is usually covered with plant and animal growths, camouflaging it. The ventral surface (right) has a glossy appearance. The long lateral projections on the shell are present only in the adults. Their habits parallel those of the black-lipped conch except that they prefer more rocky areas and reefs, and they feed mainly on larger forms of algae. Spider conchs are considered a delicacy in many parts of South East Asia, and the shell, when polished, is much prized by collectors. (Length up to 18cm).
From A Guide to Seashore Life by Dr Leo W H Tan and Peter K L Ng
Published by the Singapore Science Centre and sponsored by BP
@Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research and Singapore Science Centre