Shell with a moderately tall spire, not turreted in profile. Apex is often a little bulbous. There are 6-7 whorls which are tumid and usually lack subsutural and peripheral flattening. Last whorl occupies about two thirds of shell height (range 56-75 %). There is an ornament of narrow and flexuous costae (13-15 on the youngest 3-4 whorls, those on the last whorl dying out on the base) and less obvious spiral ridges confined to intercostal spaces. The aperture is an elongated oval and pointed adapically (occupies usually less than half of the shell height). The outer lip is thin, with a small anal sinus near its adapical end. Siphonal canal is short, hardly distinct from the aperture.
Up to 15 x 6 mm.
Shell often reddish in whole or in part. The columella and siphonal canal are paler than the rest of the shell; dead shells are often more uniformly pale, perhaps due to fading.
The animal resembles that of Oenopota turricula , its flesh white with some grey; a bluish colour may be present on the siphon and the anterior end of the foot.
Collected from soft bottoms from
about LWST to 70 m deep.
Found between the British coast in the north and the Atlantic coast of France in the south (Distr. O. rufa).