BIOTIC Species Information for Lacuna vincta
Researched byAngus Jackson Data supplied byMarLIN
Refereed byDr John Grahame
Distribution and Habitat
Distribution in Britain & IrelandFound on all British and Irish coasts.
Global distributionCircumboreal extending south to Brittany.
Biogeographic rangeNot researched Depth rangeLow shore to 40
MigratorySeasonal (reproduction)   
Distribution Additional InformationThe species is found on a wide variety of coasts round the British Isles. It occasionally settles from the plankton as high as the mid tide level but is more typically found much further down the shore. The larvae settle out on a variety of algal species. The preferred species in the British Isles include Fucus serratus, Laminaria spp. and on red algal turf, particularly Lomentaria articulata. Also sometimes found on Zostera spp. Lacuna vincta has been recorded in salinities as low as 12-13 psu. Larval settlement from the plankton may occur in water velocities of 2.2m/s. There is a possible inshore migration by subtidal individuals in spring for breeding. The species requires considerable shelter from wave action and water flow. It acquires this shelter by selecting suitable habitats Exposure to adversely strong water currents may result in lifting of the foot and production of long sticky mucus threads allowing passive drifting in the water column to disperse to better conditions.

Substratum preferencesAlgae
Physiographic preferencesOpen coast
Ria / Voe
Biological zone Wave exposureModerately Exposed
Very Sheltered
Extremely Sheltered
Tidal stream strength/Water flowModerately Strong (1-3 kn)
Weak (<1 kn)
Very Weak (negligible)
SalinityFull (30-40 psu)
Variable (18-40 psu)
Reduced (18-30 psu)
Low (<18 psu)
Habitat Preferences Additional Information
Distribution References Campbell, 1994, Hayward et al., 1996, Hayward & Ryland, 1995b, Fretter & Graham, 1994, Fretter & Manly, 1977, Martel & Diefenbach, 1993,
About MarLIN | Contact, Enquiries & Feedback | Terms & Conditions | Funding | Glossary | Accessibility | Privacy | Sponsorship

Creative Commons License BIOTIC (Biological Traits Information Catalogue) by MarLIN (Marine Life Information Network) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license are available at Note that images and other media featured on this page are each governed by their own terms and conditions and they may or may not be available for reuse. Based on a work at