Biodiversity & Conservation

Philine aperta and Virgularia mirabilis in soft stable infralittoral mud



Image Rohan Holt - Dense Virgularia and Sagartiogeton. Image with ca XX cm.
Image copyright information

  • #
Distribution map

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

  • EC_Habitats

For a list of 2004 characterising species please see the JNCC website.

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.

Rare of scarce species associated with this biotope

  • Sternapsis scutata
Community Importance Species name Common Name
Important characterizing Philine aperta A sea slug
Important characterizing Virgularia mirabilis A sea pen
Important other Amphiura filiformis A brittlestar


Philine aperta and Virgularia mirabilis are the main important characterizing species, giving the name to the biotope. Amphiura filiformis is an important species as it represents the burrowing brittlestars that are found within this biotope.

Additional information

May contain the nationally rare polychaete Sternapsis scutata in southern Great Britain.

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 30/11/2015]. Available from: <>