Shell smaller than, but otherwise very similar to that of Melanella alba. Spire is usually straight. The whorls are slightly more tumid than in M. alba and the sutures more easily seen. The last whorl is less angulated at the periphery than in that species (occupies about 40 % of shell height). Ornament of whorls formed by fine but distinct spiral lines about 8 µm apart, with many regularly arranged and closely set microscopic growth lines. Aperture occupies about a quarter of shell height; the breadth of it is about two thirds of its height. Outer lip in side view is showing a smooth curve, opisthocline adapically.
Up to 9 x 3 mm.
The animal is like that of Melanella alba, but white.
On muddy, sandy and gravelly bottoms, between 14 m and 100 m deep.
Has been found from Spain to Norway (Distr. M. lubrica).