Among the most magnificent of our rarely seen snails is the large Bailer snail (Melo melo) with a handsome tiger-striped foot and siphon.
It is listed among our threatened animals due to habitat loss and over-collection for the cooking pot and its shell.
From Ng, P. K. L. & Y. C. Wee, 1994. The Singapore Red Data Book: Threatened Plants and Animals of Singapore. The Bailer snail is "thought to have been exterminated from our waters, but a recent isolated sighting confirms their continued presence".
Thus it was a delight that TWO were seen on a recent trip to Beting Bronok a remote northern shore.
One was a large adult.
Another was a smaller Bailer snail that was seen eating another snail. These carnivorous snails do prey on other snails as well as clams.Bailer snails were also seen on Changi in the past, unfortunately, being taken away by someone for the cooking past.
Thus it was heartening that during this recent trip, someone was seen going onto the tidal flats to RETURN this amazing snail! He also returned the snail on the right, the Noble volute (Cymbiola nobilis). Both these snails are listed among the threatened animals of Singapore due to habitat loss and over-collection.
From Ng, P. K. L. & Y. C. Wee, 1994. The Singapore Red Data Book: Threatened Plants and Animals of Singapore. The Noble volute is "confined to the region, particularly Singapore and southern Peninsular Malaysia, presently uncommon on our reefs although abundant in the past".
The Bailer snail was very much alive, although it seemed a little slow. The Noble volute was perfectly fine. After checking on the snails, they were taken far out into the water to release them.
Hopefully, they will be safe from collectors.