information on the biology of species and the ecology of habitats found around the coasts and seas of the British Isles

Crustose sponges and colonial ascidians with Dendrodoa grossularia or barnacles on wave-surged infralittoral rock



UK and Ireland classification

UK and Ireland classification


Vertical and overhanging, exposed to moderately exposed bedrock gullies, tunnels and cave entrances subject to wave surge, and dominated by the crustose sponges Halichondria paniceaMyxilla incrustansClathrina coriacea,Leucosolenia botryoides, Esperiopsis fucorum and Grantia compressa. There may also be dense aggregations of the anthozoan Sagartia elegans, dwarf Metridium senileAlcyonium digitatum, and Urticina felina, and a dense covering of the barnacle Balanus crenatus on the bare rock face. Dense aggregations of the robust hydroid Tubularia indivisa may be recorded, growing through the sponge crust. Colonial ascidians such as Polyclinum aurantiumBotryllus schlosseri,Botrylloides leachiAplidium nordmanni and the solitary ascidian Dendrodoa grossularia may all be recorded. The echinoderms Asterias rubensEchinus esculentusHenricia sp., the crab Cancer pagurus and the calcareous tubewormSpirobranchus triqueter may also be present on the rock face, along with encrusting coralline algae.

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This review can be cited as:

Readman, J.A.J., 2016. Crustose sponges and colonial ascidians with [Dendrodoa grossularia] or barnacles on wave-surged infralittoral rock. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. (eds) Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 19-06-2018]. Available from:

Last Updated: 07/07/2016