Eulimella scillae

(Scacchi, 1835)

Description (shell):
Shell a tall, regular cone with flattened base and rounded apex on which the protoconch lies transversely; the axis of the protoconch is tilted, with the apex usually downward. There are 9-10 postlarval whorls of which the oldest 2-3 are more tumid than the rest; whorls are nearly flat-sided in profile. Last whorl is small with angulated periphery and it occupies 40-45 % of shell height. Surface is smooth to naked eye. If growth lines are visible (they need magnification and reflected light to be seen and are easily eroded) they are slightly opisthocline or orthocline in the main part of each whorl though prosocline at the adapical suture. Aperture is small (occupies 25-30 % of shell height) and squarish. Umbilical groove is short, shallow. Umbilicus and tooth are absent, a slight thickening may be present. The outer lip in apertural view is nearly straight, as are the base of the aperture and the columella.

Up to 9 x 5.5 mm.


The tentacles are triangular, not very long, with a heavily ciliated groove on the lateral margin. A large eye lies at the base of the median edge of each, the two eyes close together. The mentum extends from under the tentacular bases, dorsally grooved and bifid distally, with the opening of the proboscis between the lobes. A ciliated lobe lies on the mantle margin at the extreme right. The anterior end of the foot is axe-shaped with projecting lateral points, the posterior end narrowly pointed. White, with many opaque white points.

Catches have been from sand 20-400 m deep.

Ranges from the Mediterranean, Madeira and the Canary Islands to arctic Norway. There are records from most parts of the British Isles though not from the eastern Channel or southern North Sea (Distr. E. scillae).