Biodiversity & Conservation

Philine aperta and Virgularia mirabilis in soft stable infralittoral mud



Image Rohan Holt - Dense Virgularia and Sagartiogeton. Image with ca XX cm.
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Distribution map

SS.SMu.IFiMu.PhiVir recorded (dark blue bullet) and expected (light blue bullet) distribution in Britain and Ireland (see below)

  • EC_Habitats

Marine natural heritage importance

Listed under EC Habitats Directive
National importance Uncommon
Habitat Directive feature (Annex 1) Large shallow inlets and bays

Biotope importance

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  • The fine sediments on which this biotope typically exists is not targeted for seabed extraction. Divers generally are not attracted to sedimentary habitats and so there is no likelihood of environmental damage by this means.
  • However, fishing for Nephrops norvegicus may lead to exploitation of the biotope. If trawls are used to extract Nephrops the biotope is likely to be significantly damaged as sea pens may be killed and Philine aperta and other species damaged or killed. However, creeling for Nephrops is unlikely to cause significant damage (Eno et al., 1996).

Additional information icon Additional information

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This review can be cited as follows:

Hill, J.M. & Wilson, E. 2005. Philine aperta and Virgularia mirabilis in soft stable infralittoral mud. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 25/11/2015]. Available from: <>