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

Sertularia cupressina and Hydrallmania falcata on tide-swept sublittoral sand with cobbles or pebbles.



UK and Ireland classification

UK and Ireland classification


Shallow sands with cobbles and pebbles, exposed to strong tidal streams, with conspicuous colonies of hydroids, particularly Hydrallmania falcata and to a lesser extent Sertularia cupressina and Sertularia argentea. These hydroids are tolerant to periodic submergence and scour by sand. Both diving and dredge surveys will easily record this biotope. Flustra foliacea, Balanus crenatus and Alcyonidium diaphanum may also occur on the more stable cobbles and pebbles, with Urticina felina and occasional Lanice conchilega present in the sand. Infaunal components of the other biotopes in the SSA or SCS complex may occur in this biotope as may elements of the 'Venus' associations; indeed, this biotope may be at one extreme of the spectrum of such associations (E.I.S. Rees pers. comm. 1997) and this biotope may be best considered an epibiotic overlay. (Information from Connor et al., 2004). 

Depth range

0-5 m, 5-10 m, 10-20 m

Additional information

Please note, molecular taxonomy of the genus Bugula (Fehlauer-Ale et al., 2015) identified several clear genera (clades ), Bugula sensu stricto (30 species), Bugulina (24 species), Crisularia (23 species) and the monotypic Virididentulagen. The following review was derived from information concerning species of Bugula where possible. The review assumes that, while their taxonomy has changed, the biology of Bugula sensu stricto and Bugulina remains similar. Hence, references to Bugula spp. in the text refer to Bugula sensu strictoBugulina, and Crisularia species.

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Sensitivity reviewHow is sensitivity assessed?



Species indicative of sensitivity


Physical Pressures

No sensitivity data available

Chemical Pressures

No sensitivity data available

Biological Pressures

No sensitivity data available

Additional information



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This review can be cited as:

Readman, J.A.J., 2016. [Sertularia cupressina] and [Hydrallmania falcata] on tide-swept sublittoral sand with cobbles or pebbles.. 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