Sunday, January 03, 2010

Fig snail!

Oh boy! I'm so thrilled to see a live and FAT, juicy-looking fig snail at East Coast this evening at low tide! We sometimes encounter their empty shells on our shores, sometimes inhabited by hermit crabs.

At first I couldn't figure out what it was, just because I'd never seen it alive before. It was about 10 to 12cm long or more. It also kept doing yoga moves. From what I understand, the fig snail is rarely seen alive.

Strangely, it was not burrowing, but wandering stranded on the exposed sand bar, making it easy to spot.

It also refused to retract for me to observe its shell.

The fig snail's siphon is very long, giving the snail a fruit-like shape. (I would have called it the pear snail if it were up to me.) The shell's fig shape is what gives it its name. I'm very pleased to finally see this elusive snail alive.


Ivan said...

Awesome sighting! I think this is the only live sighting in close to a year.

ria said...

Fabulous!! I was so afraid the last known population on the mainland had been wiped out.

What great news!!!

Mei Lin said...

Hi Liana! Great find indeed!

By the way, I checked out the photo that Ivan took... It's a completely different fig snail! haha! Too bad the shell wasn't collected... It's probably another species... :)