The small, rather solid shell is spirally striated. It is not iridescent. Its colour is yellowish white or pale brownish with irregular waved longitudinal bands of brown, which are rather indistinct. The spire is depressed and obtuse. The shell contains four whorls. They are rounded and distinctly and closely spirally grooved. The umbilical region is smooth. The suture is scarcely impressed. The narrow umbilicus is deep. The aperture is subrotund. The peristome is acute and not continuous. The lower lip is thickened. The rather thick, white operculum is subcalcareous. It is round and translucent. It contains about six slowly increasing whorls. 
This marine species is endemic to New Zealand.
- Rosenberg, G. (2012). Argalista fluctuata (Hutton, 1883). Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species at http://www.marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=taxdetails&id=598347 on 2013-02-10
- Hutton, F.W. 1883. Art. IX.—Notes on some marine Mollusca, with descriptions of new species. Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute, 16: 212-216.