The shells of these very common cowries reach on average 25–35 millimetres (0.98–1.38 in) of length, with a minimum size of 8 millimetres (0.31 in) and a maximum size of 54 millimetres (2.1 in).

The basic color of these cylindrical-shaped shells is light beige or fawn or pale reddish-brown, the dorsum surface is crossed by thin discontinuous longitudinal markings and the extremities show orange-red terminal spots. The base is mainly white and the long and narrow aperture has several short teeth. In the living cowries the well developed mantle is black matt and almost velvety, with external short antennae.

This species lives in the Red Sea, along the East African coast, the Mascarene Basin and in the Indo-West Pacific Ocean (Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, Melanesia, Philippines, Southern Japan, Taiwan) up to Hawaii. Living cowries of this species can be encountered in a wide range of habitats, in shallow and in intertidal waters up to about 35 metres (115 ft) of depth.

During the day they usually stay under rocks and stones or in small holes or coral caves. At dawn or dusk they start feeding on sponges, algae or coral polyps.

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