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Callopora rylandi is an encrusting bryozoan, which forms small round patch-like colonies, up to approximately 10 m in diameter and yellowish-white in colour. The species occurs predominantly in the intertidal zone, but also extends into shallow subtidal waters. Typical substrates colonised by C. rylandi include rocks, kelp holdfasts and the button-like thali of Himanthalia seaweed.
The species is widespread on the southern and western shores of Ireland and the British Isles, where it extends north to the Isle of Man.