Description of [Sabellaria spinulosa], didemnid and small ascidians on tide-swept moderately wave exposed circalittoral rock
This variant is typically found on tide-swept, moderately wave-exposed circalittoral bedrock, boulders and cobbles subject to slight sand-scour. It occurs predominantly in the lower circalittoral. This variant normally appears as a bedrock/boulder outcrop or reef with a dense crust of the polychaete Sabellaria spinulosa and a dense turf of didemnid ascidians and scour-tolerant bryozoans such as Flustra foliacea, Pentapora foliacea and Cellaria species. There may be discreet clumps of Alcyonium digitatum and sparse sponges such as Tethya aurantium and Phorbas fictitius. Patchy occurrences of the small ascidians Polycarpa scuba, Polycarpa pomaria and Distomus variolosus may be present on the tops of rocks and boulders whilst in crevices between, the anemone Urticina felina may be found. Species such as Asterias rubens, Crossaster papposus, the serpulid worm Salmacina dysteri and the anemone Sagartia elegans are occasionally seen on the rock surface. This variant has been recorded from the Lleyn Peninsula, the Skerries and around Pembrokeshire in Wales.