A bryozoan (Escharoides coccinea)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biodiversity Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.Map Help



Escharoides coccinea forms reddish-orange encrusting colonies of many individuals (zooids) that are separated from each other by a deep groove. Individual zooids are quadrangular in shape with a convex-shaped upper surface. The upper surface has a broad opening (orifice) that is sealed by an operculum and marked by a wide shelf inside the outer rim and distinct tooth-like projections on the inner rim. The side of the orifice facing the edge of the colony bears an arc of 6, long, tubular spines, although these are absent from fertile zooids that house globular-shaped ovicells encasing red coloured embryos instead. The sides of the individual zooids are calcified with irregular nodules and marked along the edges by large pores. On either side of the orifice is a smaller, pointed, avicularia that extends outwards away from the main zooid.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Escharoides coccinea is common on all British and Irish coasts.

Global distribution

Escharoides coccinea is found from west Norway to the Mediterranean.


Escharoides coccinea is found on rocky coasts attached to hard substratum, stones, the holdfasts of Laminaria and below rocks on the lower shore and in shallow water.

Depth range


Identifying features

  • Reddish-orange encrusting colony.
  • Individual zooids quadrangular-shaped with broad orifice.
  • Orifice has wide inner shelf and bears tooth-like projections.
  • Small, lateral zooids either side of orifice.
  • Zooids have either 6 long, tubular spines or globular-shaped red ovicells.
  • Surface of zooids covered by irregular nodules.
  • Sides of zooids marked by large pores.

Additional information

Individuals colonies of Escharoides coccinea have a lifespan of at least two years.

Listed by

- none -


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  4. Hayward, P., Nelson-Smith, T. & Shields, C. 1996. Collins pocket guide. Sea shore of Britain and northern Europe. London: HarperCollins.

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  6. Hayward, P.J. & Ryland, J.S. 1979. British ascophoran bryozoans. London: Academic Press.

  7. Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E., 1997. The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication, no. 276.]

  8. Picton, B.E. & Costello, M.J., 1998. BioMar biotope viewer: a guide to marine habitats, fauna and flora of Britain and Ireland. [CD-ROM] Environmental Sciences Unit, Trinity College, Dublin.


  1. Centre for Environmental Data and Recording, 2018. Ulster Museum Marine Surveys of Northern Ireland Coastal Waters. Occurrence dataset https://www.nmni.com/CEDaR/CEDaR-Centre-for-Environmental-Data-and-Recording.aspx accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-09-25.

  2. Environmental Records Information Centre North East, 2018. ERIC NE Combined dataset to 2017. Occurrence dataset: http://www.ericnortheast.org.ukl accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-09-38

  3. Fenwick, 2018. Aphotomarine. Occurrence dataset http://www.aphotomarine.com/index.html Accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-10-01

  4. Kent Wildlife Trust, 2018. Biological survey of the intertidal chalk reefs between Folkestone Warren and Kingsdown, Kent 2009-2011. Occurrence dataset: https://www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/ accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-10-01.

  5. Manx Biological Recording Partnership, 2018. Isle of Man historical wildlife records 1990 to 1994. Occurrence dataset:https://doi.org/10.15468/aru16v accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  6. NBN (National Biodiversity Network) Atlas. Available from: https://www.nbnatlas.org.

  7. OBIS (Ocean Biodiversity Information System),  2024. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. www.iobis.org. Accessed: 2024-05-21


This review can be cited as:

Richards, S. 2008. Escharoides coccinea A bryozoan. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 21-05-2024]. Available from: https://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/26

Last Updated: 24/06/2008