Eulimella ventricosa

(Forbes, 1844)

Description (shell):
Shell a tall, slender cone. Protoconch has a flattened coil; the axis of protoconch is at right angles to that of the rest of the shell and as its second whorl is large it often stands as an erect point to the shell. There are commonly 7-8 postlarval whorls. Whorls are distinctly tumid, oldest 2-3 being more so than younger ones. Whorls rarely with a subsutural shelf. Last whorl occupies 40-45 % of shell height. Surface is smooth to the naked eye and nearly transparent. Any ornament requires reflected light and some magnification to be seen, and spiral lines are not normally present; growth lines are more obvious, slightly prosocline in direction. Aperture is small (occupies 25 %) of shell height, rhomboidal, somewhat flared basally. Umbilical groove shallow, no umbilicus. No tooth usually visible.

Up to 4.5 x 1.5 mm.


The tentacles are short and triangular and are held so as to point laterally; small eyes lie between their bases. The mentum is long, narrow, dorsally grooved, bifid at the tip where the proboscis opens. A tubular projection lies at the right margin of the mantle skirt. The foot is long, broad anteriorly and pointed posteriorly. White with scattered opaque white marks.

The animals live on muddy sand 20-400 m deep.

From the Mediterranean to north Norway. There are only a few records from the British Isles, all recent living ones from near the Shetlands; all southern records are of dead shells (Distr. E. ventricosa).