BIOTIC Species Information for Ampharete falcata
Researched byTracy Heath Data supplied byMarLIN
Refereed byThis information is not refereed.
Scientific nameAmpharete falcata Common nameA bristleworm
MCS CodeP1135 Recent SynonymsNone

PhylumAnnelida Subphylum
Superclass ClassPolychaeta
Subclass OrderTerebellida
Suborder FamilyAmpharetidae
GenusAmpharete Speciesfalcata

Additional Information
Taxonomy References Howson & Picton, 1997, Hayward et al., 1996, Holthe, 1986, Rouse & Pleijel, 2001, Fauchald, 1977, Hayward & Ryland, 1995b,
General Biology
Growth formVermiform segmented
Feeding methodPassive suspension feeder
Active suspension feeder
Surface deposit feeder
Sub-surface deposit feeder
Environmental positionInfaunal
Typical food typesInsufficient information HabitTubiculous
BioturbatorNot researched FlexibilityHigh (>45 degrees)
FragilityFragile SizeSmall(1-2cm)
HeightNot researched Growth RateInsufficient information
Adult dispersal potential100-1000m DependencyIndependent
General Biology Additional InformationFeeds by extending its tentacles across the sediment surface. Mucus secreted by the tentacles traps food which is then carried back to the mouth. Branchiae are used for gas exchange.
Biology References Holthe, 1986, Rouse & Pleijel, 2001, Fauchald, 1977, Hayward & Ryland, 1995b,
Distribution and Habitat
Distribution in Britain & IrelandRecorded from Orkney, North Sea, Southampton Water, Isles of Scilly, Celtic Sea, the Irish Sea and the west coast of Scotland. Also recorded on the north east coast of Ireland.
Global distributionRecorded solely from British and Irish coasts though may be underrecorded elsewhere.
Biogeographic rangeNot researched Depth range
MigratoryNon-migratory / Resident   
Distribution Additional InformationLives mainly in soft sand at depths of between 30-90 m. Can live in fragile tubes of sand or mud attached to solid objects or lying across the sea bed.

Substratum preferencesFine clean sand
Sandy mud
Muddy sand
Physiographic preferencesOffshore seabed
Biological zone Wave exposureUltra Sheltered
Tidal stream strength/Water flow Salinity
Habitat Preferences Additional InformationNone entered
Distribution References Hayward et al., 1996, Rouse & Pleijel, 2001, Hayward & Ryland, 1995b, Mackie et al., 1995, Foster-Smith, 2000,
Reproduction/Life History
Reproductive typeGonochoristic
Developmental mechanismDirect Development
Reproductive SeasonSeptember - December Reproductive LocationInsufficient information
Reproductive frequencySemelparous Regeneration potential No
Life span3-5 years Age at reproductive maturity3-5 years
Generation timeInsufficient information Fecundity
Egg/propagule size Fertilization typeInsufficient information
Larval/Juvenile dispersal potentialVery limited (<1m) Larval settlement periodInsufficient information
Duration of larval stage   
Reproduction Preferences Additional InformationNone entered
Reproduction References
About MarLIN | Contact, Enquiries & Feedback | Terms & Conditions | Funding | Glossary | Accessibility | Privacy | Sponsorship

Creative Commons License BIOTIC (Biological Traits Information Catalogue) by MarLIN (Marine Life Information Network) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license are available at Note that images and other media featured on this page are each governed by their own terms and conditions and they may or may not be available for reuse. Based on a work at