BIOTIC Species Information for Polydora ciliata
Researched byLizzie Tyler Data supplied byUniversity of Sheffield
Refereed byThis information is not refereed.
Distribution and Habitat
Distribution in Britain & IrelandPolydora ciliata is widely distributed around Britain and Ireland.
Global distributionWidely distributed in north-west Europe.
Biogeographic rangeNot researched Depth range
MigratoryNon-migratory / Resident   
Distribution Additional InformationNone entered

Substratum preferencesOther species (see additional information)
Artificial (e.g. metal/wood/concrete)
Physiographic preferencesOpen coast
Offshore seabed
Strait / sound
Isolated saline water (Lagoon)
Enclosed coast / Embayment
Biological zoneMid Eulittoral
Lower Eulittoral
Sublittoral Fringe
Upper Infralittoral
Lower Infralittoral
Upper Circalittoral
Lower Circalittoral
Wave exposureExposed
Moderately Exposed
Very Sheltered
Extremely 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)
Habitat Preferences Additional InformationThe species makes a U-shaped tube from small particles (usually of mud, but may be whitish and calcareous if excavating in lithothamnia or other encrusting coralline algae (Hayward & Ryland, 1995). Much of this tube may be embedded in a burrow excavated in limestone rock, shells and calcareous algae, and the two ends extend a few millimetres above the surface of the substratum. It has been suggested that burrowing is achieved by mechanical action of the chaete, especially those of the 5th segment, but this is open to some doubt as chemical action may also be involved (Fish & Fish, 1996).
Distribution References Fish & Fish, 1996, Hayward & Ryland, 1995b, Hayward & Ryland, 1995b,
About MarLIN | Contact, Enquiries & Feedback | Terms & Conditions | Funding | Glossary | Accessibility | Privacy | Sponsorship

Creative Commons License BIOTIC (Biological Traits Information Catalogue) by MarLIN (Marine Life Information Network) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license are available at Note that images and other media featured on this page are each governed by their own terms and conditions and they may or may not be available for reuse. Based on a work at