Biodiversity & Conservation

Limaria hians beds in tide-swept sublittoral muddy mixed sediment



Image Sue Scott - Gaping file shell nest on mixed muddy substratum, with nest opened and Limaria hians exposed. Image with ca 15 cm.
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Distribution map

SS.SMx.IMx.Lim recorded (dark blue bullet) and expected (light blue bullet) distribution in Britain and Ireland (see below)

  • EC_Habitats
  • UK_BAP

Text page icon Habitat description

Map icon Distribution of biotope in Britain and Ireland The biotope is recorded from a few locations on the west coast of Scotland, and in Mulroy Bay, Co. Donegal, Ireland. For a full species distribution see Limaria hians.
National importance Scarce

Text page icon Description of biotope

For a full description of this biotope including characterizing species, distribution, survey information and references visit JNCC

Mixed muddy gravel and sand often in tide-swept narrows in the entrances or sills of sea lochs with beds or 'nests' of Limaria hians. The Limaria hians forms woven 'nests' or galleries from byssus and fragments of seaweeds so that the animals themselves cannot be seen from above the seabed. Modiolus modiolus sometimes occur at the same sites lying amongst the Limaria hians bed. Other fauna associated with this biotope include hydroids such as Kirchenpaueria pinnata, Nemertesia spp. and Plumularia setacea, mobile crustaceans (e.g. Hyas araneus) and echinoderms (Crossaster papposus, Ophiothrix fragilis and Ophiocomina nigra). Sometimes seaweeds occur if the beds are in shallow enough water. (Information taken from the Marine Biotope Classification for Britain and Ireland, Version 97.06: Connor et al., 1997a, b).

Additional information icon Additional information

Little information on the ecology of this biotope was found, and the review presented has been based on the survey data and few detailed studies available (JNCC, 1999; Minchin, 1995, Hall-Spencer & Moore, 2000b).

This review can be cited as follows:

Tyler-Walters, H. 2003. Limaria hians beds in tide-swept sublittoral muddy mixed sediment. 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: <>