This brown seaweed, which has a yellowish
colour is found in rock pools on the mid to lower rocky shore, and
to a depth of up to 20m, depending on the amount of light.
The seaweed is shaped like a curved
fan, and can become more funnel-like when the plant is mature. On
the outside, it has brown and olive bands, while the inside can be
a bright lime green.
The peacock’s tail has a varied
texture: the inner surface has a thin coating of slime, while the
outer one is covered with lines of small, fine hairs.
This is an annual seaweed; it dies down in the
autumn to reappear the next summer.
Peacock’s tail generally prefers southern waters but the
influence of the Gulf Stream allows it to survive on the south and
west coasts of Britain. Historically, it has been recorded from the
south coasts of England and Ireland and from Pembrokeshire but now
appears to be confined to the Isle of Wight, Dorset and
Devon. As it is already disappearing from British coasts,
protection is very important to ensure that the peacock’s tail does
not vanish entirely.
Other common names
Peacock’s tail is recorded from the Isle of Wight, Dorset and
Devon, although has in the past been more widely distributed along
the south coasts of England and Ireland and in Pembrokeshire. The
British Isles are the northernmost limit of its range, (it occurs
as far south as Mauritania), and it is also found in the
Mediterranean and Black Seas.
- This is a UK BAP Priority Species (BAP species are now
Species of Principal Importance/Priority
- Species of principal importance for the purpose of conservation
of biodiversity under the Natural Environment and Rural Communities
- Nationally scarce species
Life Information Network
JNCC - UK BAP Priority
Species and Habitats