Vermetid reefs (Dendropoma patraeum)

Description (English)

Vermetid platforms, or reefs, are built by the gastropod mollusc Dendropoma (Novastoa) petraeum, in association with some encrusting red seaweeds like Neogoniolithon brassica-florida. These reefs are often colonised by Vermetus triquetrus, another species of vermetid which, in both solitary and gregarious forms, occupies the portions of the structure that are permanently underwater. The bioconstructing vermetid is a highly gregarious species living in the tidal zone, to which it is particularly well adapted, thanks to the horny operculum that seals its shell opening in an airtight manner, thus enabling the animal to tolerate periodic emersions between tides. Vermetid reefs colonise the tidal zone exclusively on rocky coasts, with smaller formations according to the type of rock: calcarenite, limestone, dolomite, basalt and flysch. The presence of an abrasion platform thus becomes the essential condition for the formation of a reef. A second factor limiting the distribution and size of structures on a small scale is the extent of superficial hydrodynamics, as developed reefs are unlikely to be found in sheltered environments with calm waters

Source: EUNIS habitat classification

Quick facts

EUNIS habitat type code MA2551
Relation to Resolution 4 habitat type (used for designation of Emerald sites)

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Species mentioned in habitat description

Invertebrates Vermetus triquetrus
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Vermetus triquetrus Invertebrates

Other classifications

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
EUNIS Habitat Classification 2007 (revised descriptions 2012) A2.7 Littoral biogenic reefs narrower
For relation to plant communities (syntaxa), see Vegetation types


Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type Comment
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200410 A2.7 Littoral biogenic reefs same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200308 A2.8 Littoral biogenic structures same
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200202 A2.8 Biogenic structures on littoral sediments same
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