Shell in general like that of Oenopota turricula , but smaller and with more numerous costae (20-27 on last whorl, 17-23 on penult). Spire less clearly turreted in profile. The relatively short spire and siphonal canal of this species give the shell a more oval profile than that of Oenopota turricula , and this is smoothed by the relatively slight subsutural flattening of the whorls. If present, second whorl of protoconch shows 12-15 small spiral ridges. Last whorl occupies about two thirds of shell height (range 58-75 %), aperture about half (range 40-56 %). The anal sinus is narrower than in Oenopota turricula , lies closer to the wall of the last whorl, and its lip is often slightly flared.
Up to 12 x 5 mm.
The animal resembles Oenopota turricula in all respects save that the eyes lie about half way along the tentacles. Flesh white or grey.
It has been recorded from sandy bottoms, 25-30 m deep.
Circumpolar in its distribution; it extends south to the British Isles in the eastern Atlantic, to Maine in the western Atlantic, to California in the eastern Pacific. Locally frequent in North Sea (Distr. O. trevelliana).