An encrusting bryozoan (Eucratea loricata)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biodiversity Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.Map Help



Eucratea loricata zooids form a tree-like colony up to 25 cm in height. The colony is whitish-brown and is attached to the substratum by a cluster of rhizoids. Branching is generally dichotomous, with branches arising at acute angles and all pairs in a branch in one plane. Individual zooids are elongated and narrower at their proximal or lower ends. They have no spines or avicularia.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Recorded at locations all around the coast of Britain and Ireland but with significant gaps in recorded distribution in south-east England, north-east Scotland and southern Ireland. Locally common.

Global distribution



Eucratea loricata is found attached to a wide variety of substrata, from lower shore to about 75 m and occasionally deeper. It is often washed up on the strand line.

Depth range


Identifying features

  • The colony forms an erect, tree-like clump up to about 25cm in height.
  • Branches diverge dichotomously and at acute angles.
  • Whitish-brown in colour.
  • Individual zooids are elongated and broader at their distal ends.
  • No spines or avicularia.

Additional information


Listed by

- none -


  1. Bruce, J.R., Colman, J.S. & Jones, N.S., 1963. Marine fauna of the Isle of Man. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.

  2. Hayward, P.J. & Ryland, J.S. (ed.) 1995b. Handbook of the marine fauna of North-West Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  3. Hayward, P.J. & Ryland, J.S. 1998. Cheilostomatous Bryozoa. Part 1. Aeteoidea - Cribrilinoidea. Shrewsbury: Field Studies Council. [Synopses of the British Fauna, no. 10. (2nd edition)]

  4. Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E., 1997. The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication, no. 276.]

  5. MBA (Marine Biological Association), 1957. Plymouth Marine Fauna. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom.

  6. Picton, B.E. & Costello, M.J., 1998. BioMar biotope viewer: a guide to marine habitats, fauna and flora of Britain and Ireland. [CD-ROM] Environmental Sciences Unit, Trinity College, Dublin.


  1. Centre for Environmental Data and Recording, 2018. Ulster Museum Marine Surveys of Northern Ireland Coastal Waters. Occurrence dataset accessed via on 2018-09-25.

  2. Manx Biological Recording Partnership, 2018. Isle of Man historical wildlife records 1990 to 1994. Occurrence dataset: accessed via on 2018-10-01.

  3. NBN (National Biodiversity Network) Atlas. Available from:

  4. OBIS (Ocean Biodiversity Information System),  2024. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. Accessed: 2024-06-25


This review can be cited as:

Avant, P. 2004. Eucratea loricata An encrusting bryozoan. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 25-06-2024]. Available from:

Last Updated: 26/10/2004