Shell small to extremely large, thick and solid, varied in shape but generally resembling muricacean neogastropods in most features except that there are only two varices per whorl, rather than three or more; last whorl of most genera relatively small, siphonal canal short to long, spire short to tall; sculpture of most genera of prominent spiral and axial cords and nodules. Outer lip prominently variced in all genera, varices remaining at preadult growth pauses in almost all genera.
Periostracum prominent, bearing numerous short to long bristles in most genera.
Operculum always present, with central, adaxial, subcentral, or abapically terminal nucleus.
[Beu, 1981. pp 252]