Biodiversity & Conservation

Antedon spp., solitary ascidians and fine hydroids on sheltered circalittoral rock



Image Keith Hiscock - Circalittoral rock with Antedon bifida, hydroids and occasional solitary sea squirts. Image width ca 60 cm.
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Distribution map

CR.SCR.BrAs.AntAsH 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) Reefs
Large shallow inlets and bays

Biotope importance

The corkwing wrasse, Symphodus melops, has been observed to feed extensively on the genital pinnules of Antedon bifida (Fish & Fish, 1996) and pieces of Antedon bifida were found in the stomach of Galathea strigosa (Nickell & Sayer, 1998). Antedon bifida may lose up to half their pinnules through predation, largely, if not entirely by the corkwing wrasse (Nichols, 1994).


Exploitation from the biotope is unlikely because there are no species that have commercial value and often occurs in areas where no other commercial species exist. Dredging is not likely to be possible on such rocky reef habitats.

Additional information icon Additional information

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This review can be cited as follows:

Hill, J.M. 2001. Antedon spp., solitary ascidians and fine hydroids on sheltered circalittoral rock. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 27/11/2015]. Available from: <>