Shell is a tall, slender, blunt-tipped cone with intucked protoconch. The spire is cyrtoconoid but tends to have parallel sides in its basal half. There are 6-7 postlarval whorls of which the older ones are often flat-sided in profile, the younger ones more tumid. The apical sutures are shallow, the basal ones deeper. Whorls in the spire have two, sometimes three, spiral ridges confined to spaces between costae on their abapical half. Last whorl has 28-30 costae and 5-10 spiral ridges; it occupies 45-50 % of shell height. Costae are straight and opisthocline on upper whorls, flexuous on last whorl, sometimes fading, sometimes not, on the base. Aperture occupies 25-30 % of shell height. There is a small umbilical groove and, in some shells, a narrow umbilical chink. Tooth are rarely visible. The outer lip is sinuous in side view, with an anal sinus and a peripheral bulge.
Up to 4 x 1.5 mm.
The animal is in most respects like Chrysallida interstincta but with shorter, broader tentacles, larger eyes, a longer mentum, a longer and narrower foot with better developed antero-lateral processes. Body colour is cream with opaque white flecks.
Lives most commonly 7-100 m deep, but occasionally in rock pools near LWST.
Occurs between the Mediterranean and southern Norway and the Kattegat, though not in the southern parts of the North Sea (Distr. C. indistincta). Animals have been collected off most parts of the British Isles.