- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Mollusca
- Class: Gastropoda
- Subclass: Caenogastropoda
- Order: Neogastropoda
- Superfamily: Muricoidea
- Family: Muricidae
- Scientific name: Nucella lapillus
- Norwegian: purpursnegl
The shell is oval and conical, the last whorl constitutes 80 % of the total shell length. Spiral ridges, often crossed by fine growth lines, produce a checked surface. The shell may reach a length of 42 mm. White is common, but it may come in a variety of colors, both monochrome and striped versions.
It is common in the tidal zone, preferably on rocky locations. The dogwhelk is less frequent down to 40 meters depth.
It is widespread in the North-East Atlantic Ocean from the Arctic to the Straits of Gibraltar.