BIOTIC Species Information for Sabellaria alveolata
Researched byAngus Jackson Data supplied byMarLIN
Refereed byProf. S. J. Hawkins
General Biology
Growth formTubicolous
Vermiform segmented
Feeding methodActive suspension feeder
Mobility/MovementPermanent attachment
Environmental positionEpifaunal
Typical food typesSeston HabitTubiculous
BioturbatorNot relevant FlexibilityNone (< 10 degrees)
FragilityIntermediate SizeSmall-medium(3-10cm)
HeightReefs can be 1m high Growth Rate12 cm reef/year
Adult dispersal potentialNone DependencyIndependent
General Biology Additional InformationSize refers to individual worms. It is typically gregarious forming colonies of sheets, hummocks or reefs. In Cornwall, their tubes are up to 20 cm in length and around 5 mm in diameter at the external opening. Each tube has an additional porch over the opening. In northern France, the tubes were reported to grow in length at 12 cm/year.

This species appears to be favoured by elevated winter temperatures associated with cooling water discharges (Bamber & Irving, 1997) but growth is inhibited below 5 C

Communities associated with Sabellaria alveolata are not particularly remarkable being species poor on young dense reef and up to 38 species on older reefs. Honeycomb worm aggregations that bind together mobile cobbles increase heterogeneity.
Biology References Wilson, 1969, Gruet, 1986, Wilson, 1929, Cunningham et al., 1984, Wilson, 1971, Campbell, 1994, Gruet, 1985, Holt et al., 1998, Bamber & Irving, 1997,
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