Ebala nitidissima

(Montagu, 1803)

Description (shell):
Shell small, very delicate and extremely slender, with an upstanding apex. There are 7-8 swollen postlarval whorls. The last whorl occupies 40-45 % of shell height. Sutures are deep and oblique. The protoconch lies at the apex of the spire, its axis at right angles to that of the teleoconch, forming a nipple-like projection; it has two whorls lying almost in the same plane. Ornament is clear, fine spiral lines, especially on basal half of each whorl. Growth lines are prosocline. Aperture is small (occupies 20-25 % of total shell height), oval. Umbilical groove slight; no umbilicus and no tooth visible.

Up to 2.5 x 0.7 mm.

White; brownish if it contains an animal.

The head is narrow and bears two triangular tentacles; below these lies a short mentum with laterally projecting ciliated lobes at its tip between which the proboscis opens. An eye lies at the base of each tentacle. Ciliated lobes project at the right end of the mantle cavity. The foot is short, truncated anteriorly and rounded posteriorly. Grey, darker on the mentum, the sides of the foot and on the mantle skirt.

May occasionally occur amongst algae at LWST but are commoner on muddy, sandy, or shelly bottoms 5-50 m deep.

This species ranges from the western Mediterranean to southern Norway, Isefjord (Denmark), and into the western end of the Baltic (Distr. E. nitidissima). There are records from all round the British Isles but the animals have rarely been found alive.