Erato voluta

(Montagu, 1803)

Description (shell):
Shell solid, glossy, with three or four slightly tumid whorls; spire short, sutures shallow; last whorl about 80 % or more of shell height, harp-shaped in profile. Smooth, with translucent overlay secreted by mantle lobes on most of last whorl and part of spire. Aperture long, narrow, with parallel sides and short siphonal canal; outer lip thick, with internal row of teeth; base of columella grooved.

Up to 12 x 7.5 mm.


Cephalic tentacles rather short, slender; mantle drawn out into long siphon anteriorly, laterally into large tuberculate lobes which envelop much of shell in active animals. Foot elongate, with double-edged anterior and posterior pedal gland on sole; no operculum.

Sublittoral, associated with ascidians on hard substrata from 20-150 m.

Distributed from Mediterranean to Norway; widely distributed around British Isles, more common in southern parts of range (Distr. E. voluta).