BIOTIC Species Information for Ophiothrix fragilis
Researched byLizzie Tyler Data supplied byUniversity of Sheffield
Refereed byThis information is not refereed.
Distribution and Habitat
Distribution in Britain & IrelandAll British and Irish coasts, except for the east coast of Scotland, around the Humber Estuary and north East Anglia and south Kent coast.
Global distributionWidely distributed in the eastern Atlantic from northern Norway to the Cape of Good Hope.
Biogeographic rangeNot researched Depth range
MigratoryNon-migratory / Resident   
Distribution Additional Information
  • Ophiothrix fragilis may be found in low densities on Crepidula fornicata (slipper limpet) beds (Bourgoin et al., 1985) or also overlying Modiolus shells (Magorrian et al., 1995)
  • Wolff, (1968) notes the species occurring in normal salinities of 16 psu and even persisting down to 10 psu.

Substratum preferencesBedrock
Large to very large boulders
Small boulders
Gravel / shingle
Muddy gravel
Under boulders
Crevices / fissures
Other species (see additional information)
Physiographic preferencesOpen coast
Offshore seabed
Strait / sound
Biological zoneLower Eulittoral
Sublittoral Fringe
Upper Infralittoral
Lower Infralittoral
Upper Circalittoral
Lower Circalittoral
Wave exposureExtremely Exposed
Very Exposed
Moderately Exposed
Very Sheltered
Tidal stream strength/Water flowStrong (3-6 kn)
Moderately Strong (1-3 kn)
Weak (<1 kn)
SalinityLow (<18 psu)
Full (30-40 psu)
Variable (18-40 psu)
Reduced (18-30 psu)
Habitat Preferences Additional Information
Distribution References Fish & Fish, 1996, Hayward et al., 1996, Campbell, 1994, Bruce et al., 1963, MBA, 1957, JNCC, 1999, Picton & Costello, 1998, Hayward & Ryland, 1995b, Migné & Davoult, 1997(c), Gorzula, 1976, Lefebvre & Davoult, 1997, Davoult, 1990, Migné et al., 1998, Warner & Woodley, 1975, Warner, 1971, Bourgoin et al., 1985, George & Warwick, 1985, Davoult et al., 1990, Holme, 1984, Migné & Davoult, 1997(b), Hughes, 1998, Magorrian et al., 1995, Wolff, 1968, Hayward & Ryland, 1990, Julie Bremner, unpub data, Mortensen, 1927,
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