In general appearance the shell is like that of Alvania beani , but the V-shaped nicks in which the sutures lie are wider and deeper, the lattice of ornament coarser because costae and spiral ridges are fewer; costae lost on the base of the last whorl. Aperture with varix and teeth within the outer lip. Without a tooth on columella. There are 6-7 rather flat-sided whorls. Spire is regularly pyramidal. There are 16-20 costae on the last whorl, orthocline or very slightly prosocline, 15 on the penult, 13-16 on each of the rest apart from the larval ones. Spiral ridges number 9-12 on the last whorl, 4-6 on the penult, then 2-3. The larval shell has an irregular spiral pattern (A. cimicoides-protoconch). Last whorl occupies about two thirds of the shell height, aperture 40-45 %.
Up to 4 x 2.5 mm.
White or yellowish, apical whorls golden brown; a vertical brown band on the last whorl along abapertural side of varix which it crosses near the periphery, sometimes extended along the whorl subsuturally and peripherally (A. cimicoides-photo).
Lives from a few metres depth to 500 m; on soft bottoms.
Uncommon. Recorded from the Mediterranean to Norway, but is probably absent from the southern North Sea (Distr. A. cimicoides). In the British Isles it has been found, but not recently, in a number of places between south-west England and the Northern Isles.