Ocenebra erinacea

(Linné, 1758)

Description (shell):
Shell a tall, turreted, sharply pointed cone of up to eight tumid whorls. Sutures are deep and sinuous. Sculpture of strong, buttress costae, cord-like spiral striae and growth lines. Costae with marked shoulder, in mature shells coming to lie adapical to suture; eight or nine costae on penultimate whorl, increasing in number up the spire. Spiral striae of variable size; two or three prominent striae on penultimate whorl, eight or nine on last whorl, with minor striae in between; striae are slightly swollen where they cross costae. Growth lines are numerous, raised to produce finely laminate surface to shell. Aperture is oval, siphonal canal long, equal to aperture height; open and slightly curved in juveniles, closed over in mature shells. Outer lip thin, crenulate in young shells, often with hollow varix behind and internally grooved; thickened internally in mature shells.

Up to 50 x 25 mm.

Cream coloured, often with rusty brown patches (O. erinacea-drawing).

Body yellowish-white, with white flecks. Distal third of cephalic tentacles slender, with eyes at junction with broader basal portion. Foot similar to that of Nucella lapillus .

On rocky shores, in silty crevices and beneath stones from LWST to 150 m; intertidal range increased in summer.

Distributed from the Azores and Mediterranean; in the North Sea restricted to the British coast, becoming rare in north (Distr. O. erinacea).