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Marine Habitat Classification

Description of biotope or habitat type

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   Sabella pavonina with sponges and anemones on infralittoral mixed sediment

Physical habitat description

Salinity Full (30-35 ppt)
Wave exposure Moderately exposed, Sheltered, Very sheltered
Tidal streams Strong (3-6 kn), Moderately strong (1-3 kn)
Substratum Muddy gravelly sand with pebbles
Zone Circalittoral
Depth Band 0-5 m, 5-10 m, 10-20 m
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 SS.SMx.IMx.SpavSpAn <I>Sabella pavonina</I> with sponges and anemones on infralittoral mixed sediment

  • 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'
  • Predicted extent of the level 3 (for sublittoral rock & deep sea) or 4 (for sublittoral sediment) habitat

Point data based on records in the UK Marine Recorder Snapshot. Predicted habitat extent is from UKSeaMap.


Muddy gravelly sand with pebbles off shallow, sheltered or moderately exposed coasts or embayments may support dense populations of the peacock worm Sabella pavonina. This community may also support populations of sponges such as Esperiopsis fucorum, Haliclona oculata and Halichondria panicea and anemones such as Sagartia elegans, Cerianthus lloydii and Urticina felina. Hydroids such as Hydrallmania falcata and the encrusting polychaete Pomatoceros triqueter are also important. This biotope may have an extremely diverse epifaunal community. Less is known about its infaunal component, although it is likely to include polychaetes such as Nephtys spp., Harmothoe spp., Glycera spp., syllid and cirratulid polychaetes, bivalves such as Abra spp., Aoridae amphipods and brittlestars such as Amphipholis squamata.


No sitautaion data available.

Temporal variation

No temporal data available.

Characterising species

Taxon Relative importance of taxon for defining this community (%) Typical abundance - SACFOR scale % of core records where taxon was recorded
Halichondria panicea 3 Common 41-60 %
Esperiopsis fucorum 2 Occasional 41-60 %
Haliclona oculata 2 Occasional 41-60 %
Hydrallmania falcata 4 Occasional 61-80 %
Cerianthus lloydii 2 Occasional 41-60 %
Urticina felina 1 Occasional 41-60 %
Sagartia elegans 4 Occasional 41-60 %
Lanice conchilega 3 Occasional 41-60 %
Sabella pavonina 36 Abundant 81-100 %
Pomatoceros triqueter 3 Occasional 41-60 %
Pagurus bernhardus 5 Frequent 41-60 %
Hyas araneus 2 Occasional 41-60 %
Liocarcinus depurator 3 Occasional 41-60 %
Carcinus maenas 5 Occasional 61-80 %
Buccinum undatum 2 Occasional 41-60 %
Alcyonidium diaphanum 2 Occasional 41-60 %
Asterias rubens 6 Occasional 61-80 %
Ophiothrix fragilis 2 Occasional 21-40 %
Diplosoma spongiforme 1 Occasional 41-60 %
Ascidiella scabra 2 Occasional 41-60 %
Dendrodoa grossularia 1 Occasional 41-60 %

Similar biotopes or habitat types

Not applicable or unknown.

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