- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Mollusca
- Class: Gastropoda
- Subclass: Caenogastropoda
- Order: Neogastropoda
- Superfamily: Buccinoidea
- Family: Buccinidae
- Scientific name: Buccinum undatum
- Norwegian: kongesnegl
Adults can exceed 10 cm from the opening to the cone top. Fine growth lines developed run crosswise the spirals, producing a pattern of squares. The shell has 7 or 8 whorls, where the last whorl covers more than half the length. The aperture (shell opening) is oval.
The common whelk can be found on both soft and hard substrate, on any depth from the subtidal zone and down to 1200 meters.
It can be found, and is often abundant, from Iceland and northern Norway to the Bay of Biscay.