Part of the original description from, Da Costa, Mendes E. (1778):
"The shells vary in colour, but most generally are white, shaded with pale and strong chestnut colour; others are livid and white, and others almost white. At the very bottom of each wreath it has a remarkable girdle, made up of distant parallel rays or streaks, curved or oblique, of a deep brown colour, which appears like a very pretty chain work: it runs circular, or to the turn of the wreaths. The adult shells, and many others, are thus coloured, but numbers of young ones are also found on our coasts, about the size of small grapes, which are elegantly adorned with three or four other chain-like girdles, especially on the body wreath, the spots whereof, are triangular, or like arrow heads, and emulate the fine West-India shells of this kind".
Furthermore, "The shell is.... the size of a large walnut, and round".
- Up to 35mm in height;
- The outer lip meets the last whorl at right angles;
- Whorls tumid with distinct sutures giving a stepped profile; and,
- Large, deep, round, umbilicus.
Euspira nitida (Donovan, 1803), but E. nitida is smaller and generally lives in deeper water though it can on occasion be found on the lower shore. In addition, E. nitida has a short and blunt spire and a distinctly flat profile, with the outer lip meeting the last whorl, tangentially. The two species have similar distributions.
Found all around the British Isles and from Norway to the Mediterranean.
The map provided here shows the distribution of the species based on Conchological Society data.