Slightly curved shell up to about 15cm in length. Greyish violet in colour with olive green periostracum. Shell sculptured with smooth horizontal and vertical lines with clear growth lines.
- Pallial sinus reversed S-shape pointing to posterior adductor scar
- Relatively broad shell (length : breadth ratio of 6:1)
- Posterior adductor scar very close or joined to pallial sinus
- Foot retractor scar opposite ligament insertion
- Ensis arcuatus has a narrower shell and U-shaped pallial sinus
Burrows in fine or silty sand. Remains close to the surface while submerged in water, retreating to a depth of up to half a metre when exposed.