BIOTIC Species Information for Hydrobia ulvae
Researched byLizzie Tyler Data supplied byUniversity of Sheffield
Refereed byThis information is not refereed.
Distribution and Habitat
Distribution in Britain & IrelandFound on all British and Irish coasts
Global distributionAtlantic, English Channel, North Sea and Baltic. Insufficient detail available to map distribution.
Biogeographic rangeNot researched Depth range0 - 20 m
MigratoryNon-migratory / Resident   
Distribution Additional InformationOften found as high as the high level strand line in a dried blanket of green algae. They appear to be dead but rapidly revive when returned to more suitable conditions. Hydrobia ulvae does not undertake any true migration but considerable dispersal is possible through floating at the surface using a mucous raft. A cycle of climbing, floating and crawling up and down the shore has been hypothesised. Work by Barnes (1981) suggests however that climbing is simply part of normal browsing behaviour.

Substratum preferencesSandy mud
Muddy sand
Physiographic preferencesOpen coast
Ria / Voe
Isolated saline water (Lagoon)
Enclosed coast / Embayment
Biological zoneUpper Littoral Fringe
Lower Littoral Fringe
Upper Eulittoral
Mid Eulittoral
Lower Eulittoral
Sublittoral Fringe
Upper Infralittoral
Lower Infralittoral
Wave exposureSheltered
Very Sheltered
Extremely Sheltered
Ultra Sheltered
Tidal stream strength/Water flowModerately Strong (1-3 kn)
Weak (<1 kn)
Very Weak (negligible)
SalinityVariable (18-40 psu)
Low (<18 psu)
Full (30-40 psu)
Reduced (18-30 psu)
Habitat Preferences Additional Information
Distribution References Graham, 1988, Fretter & Graham, 1994, Clay, 1960, Barnes, 1981, Anderson, 1971, Hayward & Ryland, 1990,
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