Biodiversity & Conservation

Brissopsis lyrifera and Amphiura chiajei in circalittoral mud


<i>%Brissopsis lyrifera%</i> and <i>%Amphiura chiajei%</i> in circalittoral mud
Distribution map

SS.SMu.CFiMu.BlyrAchi 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 CMU.BriAchi has a widespread but scattered distribution occurring in the presence of fine silts and clays. 'Brissopsis lyrifera - Amphiura chiajei' associations are recorded in the North Sea, off the Northumbrian coast, at the edge of the Celtic Deep, in the north-east and north-west regions of the Irish Sea and in some Scottish sea lochs.
National importance Not available

Text page icon Description of biotope

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

Mud in deep offshore, or shallower stable near shore, waters can be characterized by the urchin Brissopsis lyrifera and the brittle star Amphiura chiajei. This community is very similar to CMS.AbrNucCor and CMS.AfilEcor but tends to occur in deeper and siltier muds. Transitional communities between the two may contain large numbers of Turritella. In certain areas of the UK such as the northern Irish Sea, this community may also contain Nephrops norvegicus and can consequently be the focus for fishing activity (Mackie et al., 1995). Where intense benthic dredge fishing activity occurs populations of the indicator species, Brissopsis lyrifera may be depressed, although broken tests may still remain (E.I.S. Rees pers. comm., 1997; M. Costello pers. comm., 1997). This community is the 'Boreal Offshore Mud Association' and 'Brissopsis - Chiajei' communities described by other workers (Petersen, 1918; Jones, 1950). (Information taken from the Marine Biotope Classification for Britain and Ireland, Version 97.06: Connor et al., 1997a, b).

Additional information icon Additional information

This review can be cited as follows:

Budd, G.C. 2004. Brissopsis lyrifera and Amphiura chiajei in circalittoral 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: <>