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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.

   Ophiura ophiura on circalittoral muddy sand

Physical habitat description

Salinity Full (30-35 ppt)
Wave exposure Very exposed, Exposed, Moderately exposed 
Tidal streams
Substratum Muddy sand
Zone Circalittoral
Depth Band 10-100 m
Other Features

Biotope origin

Derived using data from Video/still
Faunal group Epifauna

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.SSa.CMuSa.Ooph <I> Ophiura ophiura</I>   on circalittoral muddy sand

  • 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.


Circalittoral sandy mud and muddy sand characterised predominantly by epifauna Ophiura ophiura. The description of this biotope is based on epifauna recorded from the Western Channel and Celtic sea, Irish Sea, northern North Sea, southern North Sea, the Minches and western Scotland and the Scottish continental shelf but could be found in other areas with similar environmental conditions. The epifauna is less diverse and comprised of Paguridae, Hydrozoa, Astrapecten irregularis, Caridea, and Pagurus bernhardus. The burrowing forms are absent owing to the sandier nature of the substratum. The description of this biotope is based on video data so the characterising fauna include only those species with an epifaunal expression. This epifaunal biotope may be associated with infaunal biotopes described for similar environmental conditions.


No situation data available.

Temporal variation

Due to the mobile nature of the characterising species, this biotope may not always be observed at the locations used to define this biotope and can be found in other areas with similar environmental conditions where it hasn’t been observed previously.

Characterising species

Taxon Relative importance of taxon for defining this community (%) % of core records where taxon was recorded Relative frequency %
Ophiura ophiura 100 81-100% 87.7
Paguridae 0 1-20% 7.9
Hydrozoa 0 1-20% 1.6

Similar biotopes or habitat types

Not applicable or unknown.

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