BIOTIC Species Information for Ampelisca brevicornis
Researched byLizzie Tyler Data supplied byUniversity of Sheffield
Refereed byThis information is not refereed.
Scientific nameAmpelisca brevicornis Common nameAn amphipod
MCS CodeS427 Recent SynonymsAmpelisca bellianus

PhylumCrustacea Subphylum
Superclass ClassEumalacostraca
SubclassPeracarida OrderAmphipoda
SuborderGammaridea FamilyAmpeliscidae
GenusAmpelisca Speciesbrevicornis

Additional InformationAccurate identification of amphipods can be difficult and usually requires some microscopic examination (see Lincoln, 1979).
Taxonomy References Howson & Picton, 1997, Hayward & Ryland, 1995b, Hayward et al., 1996, Lincoln, 1979,
General Biology
Growth formArticulate
Feeding methodPassive suspension feeder
Active suspension feeder
Surface deposit feeder
Sub-surface deposit feeder
Environmental positionEpifaunal
Typical food typesNo text entered HabitTubiculous
Bioturbator FlexibilityLow (10-45 degrees)
FragilityIntermediate SizeSmall(1-2cm)
Height Growth Rate
Adult dispersal potential100-1000m DependencyIndependent
General Biology Additional InformationCreate silt tubes that may be built up into extensive mats.
Biology References Hayward & Ryland, 1990, Julie Bremner, unpub data,
Distribution and Habitat
Distribution in Britain & IrelandCommon around all British and Irish coasts.
Global distributionFound round north west Atlantic coasts from west Norway to the western Mediterranean, and in the Canary Isles. Cosmopolitan distribution, found in shallow waters from Atlantic coasts of Africa, Med, Indian and Pacific Oceans (Hastings, 1981).
Biogeographic rangeNot researched Depth range
Distribution Additional Information

Substratum preferencesMuddy gravel
Muddy sand
Physiographic preferencesInsufficient information
Biological zoneUpper Infralittoral
Circalittoral Offshore
Sublittoral Fringe
Upper Circalittoral
Lower Circalittoral
Lower Infralittoral
Lower Eulittoral
Wave exposureInsufficient information
Tidal stream strength/Water flowField unresearched
SalinityInsufficient information
Habitat Preferences Additional Information
Distribution References Hayward & Ryland, 1995b, Hayward et al., 1996, Lincoln, 1979, NBN, 2002, Hastings, 1981, Hayward & Ryland, 1995b,
Reproduction/Life History
Reproductive typeGonochoristic
Developmental mechanismDirect Development
Reproductive Season Reproductive LocationInsufficient information
Reproductive frequencyAnnual protracted Regeneration potential No
Life span1-2 years Age at reproductive maturity<1 year
Generation timeInsufficient information Fecundity70
Egg/propagule size Fertilization type
Larval/Juvenile dispersal potentialVery limited (<1m) Larval settlement periodInsufficient information
Duration of larval stageNot relevant   
Reproduction Preferences Additional InformationThe majority of amphipods are known to brood their young, so that juvenile mobility is probably low but adult mobility is potentially high. Timing on breeding depends on geographic location e.g. May to Oct in one site in France, April to Dec in the other (Dauvin, 1988e), May to Sept on Isle of Man (Hastings, 1981). Some produce two generations per year, others one. First generation live only for four to five months, second generation much longer (Dauvin, 1988e).
Reproduction References Dauvin, 1988e, Eckert, 2003, Julie Bremner, unpub data,
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