Skip to Content

Marine Habitat Classification

Description of biotope or habitat type

To understand more about what this page is describing, see How to use the classification. See also How to cite.

   Verrucaria maura on littoral fringe rock

Physical habitat description

Salinity Full (30-35 ppt), Variable (18-35 ppt)
Wave exposure Very exposed, Exposed, Moderately exposed, Sheltered, Very sheltered, Extremely sheltered
Tidal streams
Substratum Bedrock; stable boulders and cobbles
Zone Littoral fringe
Depth Band
Other Features

Download comparative physical and biological data. The comparative tables enable a rapid comparison of the species composition and principal physical characteristics between a given set of biotopes.

Distribution of habitat LR.FLR.Lic.Ver <I>Verrucaria maura</I> on littoral fringe rock

  • Records used to define the biotope (core records)
  • Other records assigned to this biotope, marked as 'certain'
  • Other records assigned to this biotope, marked as 'uncertain'

Point data based on records in the UK Marine Recorder Snapshot.


Bedrock or stable boulders and cobbles in the littoral fringe which is covered by the black lichen Verrucaria maura. This lichen typically covers the entire rock surface giving a distinct black band in the upper littoral fringe. The winkle Littorina saxatilis is usually present. Two variants are defined which both occur in a wide range of wave exposures. On exposed shores V. maura may occur with sparse barnacles such as Chthamalus spp. or Semibalanus balanoides and may be covered by a band of ephemeral seaweeds such as Porphyra umbilicalis or Ulva spp. (Ver.B). Above Ver.B or on more sheltered shores is a species poor community consisting mainly of V. maura and L. saxatilis (Ver.Ver).


This biotope occurs below the yellow and grey lichen zone (YG) and above eulittoral communities of barnacles and fuciod algae.

Temporal variation

Discint band of red or green ephemeral algae may obscure the black lichen band at certain times of the year.

Characterising species

Taxon Relative importance of taxon for defining this community (%) Typical abundance - SACFOR scale % of core records where taxon was recorded
Verrucaria maura 81 Abundant 81-100%
Littorina saxatilis 10 Frequent 41-60%

Similar biotopes or habitat types

Not applicable or unknown.

Classification history of this biotope or habitat type

Classification version Code
1995 LRK.VER


LR.FLR.LIC.Ver Verrucaria maura on littoral fringe rock, Near Paradise Bay, Loch Sween. ANON© JNCC
LR.FLR.LIC.Ver Verrucaria maura on littoral fringe rock, Near Paradise Bay, Loch Sween. ANON© JNCC

Back to top