BIOTIC Species Information for Halichondria panicea
Researched byDr Keith Hiscock Data supplied byMarLIN
Refereed byDr Rob van Soest
Distribution and Habitat
Distribution in Britain & IrelandPresent all around Britain and Ireland.
Global distributionNorth Atlantic from the Barents Sea to the Mediterranean but not extending far into the Baltic.
Biogeographic rangeNot researched Depth rangeIntertidal to ca 569 m
MigratoryNon-migratory / Resident   
Distribution Additional InformationBurton (1959, cited in Vethaak et al., 1982) considered Halichondria panicea to be cosmopolitan in distribution. Alander (1942, cited in Vethaak et al., 1982) recorded Halichondria panicea at 569 m depth off the Swedish coast.

Substratum preferencesBedrock
Large to very large boulders
Small boulders
Physiographic preferencesOpen coast
Strait / sound
Ria / Voe
Isolated saline water (Lagoon)
Enclosed coast / Embayment
Biological zoneMid Eulittoral
Lower Eulittoral
Sublittoral Fringe
Upper Infralittoral
Lower Infralittoral
Upper Circalittoral
Lower Circalittoral
Wave exposureExtremely Exposed
Very Exposed
Moderately Exposed
Very Sheltered
Extremely Sheltered
Ultra Sheltered
Tidal stream strength/Water flowVery Strong (>6 kn)
Strong (3-6 kn)
Moderately Strong (1-3 kn)
Weak (<1 kn)
SalinityVariable (18-40 psu)
Full (30-40 psu)
Reduced (18-30 psu)
Habitat Preferences Additional InformationHalichondria panicea occurs on kelp stipes where it may dominate in tidal rapids and on other algae such as Halidrys siliquosa (sea oak). In low or variable salinity (for instance, in the western Baltic), it may be found encrusting predominantly on red algae such as Phyllophora sp. and Phycodrys sp. (Barthel, 1988). Halichondria panicea was found growing on tunicates (especially the invasive leathery sea squirt Styela clava) and molluscs in the Oosterschelde (Vethaak et al., 1982).
Distribution References Barthel, 1988, Campbell, 1994, Birkett et al., 1998(b), Barnes, 1980, Vethaak et al., 1982, Burton, 1959, Alander, 1942,
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