BIOTIC Species Information for Alcyonium digitatum
Researched byGeorgina Budd Data supplied byMarLIN
Refereed byDr Richard G. Hartnoll
Distribution and Habitat
Distribution in Britain & IrelandFound on all British and Irish coasts.
Global distributionAlcyonium digitatum is recorded along the Atlantic Coasts of Europe from Portugal to Norway, in Iceland.
Biogeographic rangeNot researched Depth rangeLow water (Springs) to 50 m
MigratoryNon-migratory / Resident   
Distribution Additional Information
  • Alcyonium digitatum prefers areas of strong water movement resulting from wave turbulence or currents.
  • Records of Alcyonium digitatum from New England, USA have been shown to be %Alcyonium siderium% Verrill, which differs in both morphology and reproduction and lacks the seasonal quiescent phase (Sebens, 1983; Hartnoll pers. comm.).

Substratum preferencesLarge to very large boulders
Small boulders
Artificial (e.g. metal/wood/concrete)
Physiographic preferencesOpen coast
Offshore seabed
Biological zoneUpper Circalittoral
Lower Circalittoral
Circalittoral Offshore
Wave exposureVery Exposed
Moderately Exposed
Very Sheltered
Tidal stream strength/Water flowStrong (3-6 kn)
Moderately Strong (1-3 kn)
SalinityVariable (18-40 psu)
Full (30-40 psu)
Habitat Preferences Additional Information
Distribution References Manuel, 1988, Hayward & Ryland, 1995b, Hartnoll, 1975, Hiscock, 1983, Sebens, 1983,
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