Biodiversity & Conservation

Neocrania anomala and Protanthea simplex on very sheltered circalittoral rock



Image Sue Scott - Circalittoral cliff face with dense brachiopods Neocrania anomala and Terebratulina retusa, the anemone Protanthea simplex and the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. Loch Duich, Highland. Image width ca 1 m.
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Distribution map

CR.LCR.BrAs.NeoPro 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.

Community Importance Species name Common Name
Important characterizing Neocrania anomala A brachiopod
Important characterizing Protanthea simplex Sealoch anemone
Important characterizing Ciona intestinalis A sea squirt


There are no species in this biotope that can be classified as 'key', i.e. species that if lost would result in loss or degradation of the associated community. Three important characterizing species have been selected that are important for the classification of this biotope. The biotope name includes Neocrania anomala and Protanthea simplex so these have been included. The parent biotope complex is 'Brachiopod and solitary ascidian communities (sheltered rock)' Ciona intestinalis has been included as a representative solitary ascidian that is found with high frequency in the biotope. The very large solitary ascidian Ascidia mentula was also recorded in more than half the of the records of this biotope although less information was available on this species with which to assess sensitivity.

Additional information

The biotope assessment also covers two sub-biotopes. Ciona intestinalis is not one of the characterizing species in SCR.NeoPro.CaTw. However, Ciona intestinalis is assumed to form a suitable surrogate, representing the sensitivity of the various other solitary ascidians in the sub-biotope.

This review can be cited as follows:

Jackson, A. 2005. Neocrania anomala and Protanthea simplex on very 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 29/11/2015]. Available from: <>