The Marine Life Information Network

Information on the biology of species and the ecology of habitats found around the coasts and seas of the British Isles



Living alone, not gregarious (Thompson, 1995).
Territorial Solitary but with a defined territory.
Gregarious Living in groups or communities, growing in clusters (Thompson, 1995); where the organsims actively seek out members of the same species as adult or larvae/juveniles for protection from the environment, predators or for breeding.
Colonial (e.g. sea birds) Living in large colonies of individuals - in the same area from season to season - usually for breeding purposes.
Social group
Cooperative groups of the same species - e.g. social insects, mammals
Small (tribe/pride/pack/pod) Small group of individuals that work together for mutual benefit, often held together by familial (matriachal/patriarchal) bonds (e.g pack or wolves, pod of dolphin, pride or lions, tribe or humans).
Large (insect colonies) Large colonies of indivduals cooperating for mutual benefit, made up of thousnads or more individuals, often with a dominant matriach, e.g. social incests , bees etc.


  • Barnes, R.S.K., Calow, P. and Olive P.J.W., 1993. The invertebrates: a new synthesis. Oxford: Blackwell Science Ltd.
  • Thompson, D., (ed.) 1995. The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English. 9th ed. London: Oxford University Press.