Alcyonium digitatum
Dead man's fingers

Alcyonium digitatum
Dense bed of Alcyonium digitatum.
Image width ca 75 cm in foreground.
Image: Sue Scott

Phylum Cnidaria
Class Octocorallia
Habitat Information
Attached to rocks, shells and stones where the otherwise dominant algae are inhibited by a lack of light and occasionally on living crabs and gastropods. Generally found in situations where strong water movement prevails. Occasionally on the lower shore but more common sublittorally, down to about 50 m.
Species description
Mature colonies form thick, fleshy masses of irregular shape, typically of stout, finger-like lobes that usually exceed 20 mm in diameter. Young, developing colonies form encrustations about 5 -10mm thick. The height and breadth of colonies are up to 200 mm. Colonies are white or orange in colour, but may appear reddish or brownish during periods of inactivity when the polyps are withdrawn into the colony, owing to the development of a film of epibiota.
PMF archive information
Species name is listed in the PMF at the following locations:
>Eddystone (inner) Channel Grounds
Eddystone (outer) Channel Grounds
Hoe Foreshore
Mewstone Area
Millbay Channel

Links to the MarLIN Biology and Sensitivity Key-information pages

Basic Information

Taxonomy &
General Biology Habitat Preference & Distribution Sensitivity & Recoverability Importance