Biodiversity & Conservation

Talitrid amphipods in decomposing seaweed on the strand-line



Image Paul Brazier - View along sand and gravel shore backed by seawall (strandline debris). Image width ca XX cm.
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Distribution map

LS.LGS.S.Tal recorded (dark blue bullet) and expected (light blue bullet) distribution in Britain and Ireland (see below)

  • EC_Habitats

Species indicative of sensitivity

To assess the sensitivity of the biotope, the sensitivity of component species is reviewed. Those species that are considered to be particularly indicative of the sensitivity of the biotope, and for which research has been undertaken in detail are shown below (see selection criteria). The biology of other component species of the biotope is also taken into account wherever information is known to the researcher.

Species found especially in this biotope

  • Talitrus saltator
  • Talorchestia deshayessii
  • Orchestia gammarellus
  • Enchytraeidae spp.
  • Coelopa frigida
  • Coelopa pilipes
  • Fucellia maritima
  • Fucellia fucorum
  • Armadillidium album

Rare of scarce species associated with this biotope

  • Rumex rupestris
Community Importance Species name Common Name
Important characterizing Talitrus saltator A sand hopper


Many species, both terrestrial and marine frequent the strand-line habitat as it is transitional between the two environments. Talitrus saltator is considered to be an important characterizing species. It is always present at and around the most recent high water strand-line deposit, as it possess a well defined endogenous and circadian locomotor activity pattern (Bregazzi, 1972; Bregazzi & Naylor, 1972; Williams, 1980), that controls its daily migration to recently deposited strand-line algae. Other species within the biotope are opportunistic colonizers, e.g. wrack flies, with highly mobile adult stages that are capable of migrating considerable distances to reach strand-line material, but which would not be present in the intertidal zone but for the presence of strand-line debris.

Additional information

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This review can be cited as follows:

Budd, G.C. 2004. Talitrid amphipods in decomposing seaweed on the strand-line. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 29/11/2015]. Available from: <>