This and several other local species are somewhat related to the English whelk. These fish are carnivorous scavengers and may be seen clustered around a cockle on mud flats, one doing the job of boring into the shell of the cockle, the others hanging on to share in the feast. It is whitish, speckled with brown, and is yellow inside the aperture. It grows to 2 to 2 ½ in. in height and is abundant in the North Island. It was known to the Maoris as kawari.
by Arthur William Baden Powell, Assistant Director, Auckland Institute and Museum.