Aetea anguina is a common bryozoan, present on all British coasts and occurring throughout the world, except in polar waters. The species ranges from the very lower intertidal zone, through the shallow subtidal, down to 50 m, and very rarely beyond this depth.
Aetea anguina colonises kelp holdfasts- most frequently species of Laminaria,- small red algae, hydroids (Hydrallmania, Sertularia) and erect bryozoans (Eucratea) A. anguina may also colonise stones and shells.
The colonies are composed of creeping stolons made up of tubular zooids, which rest against the substrate at the proximal end (closest to the colony origin), and rise into a free erect portion at the distal end. The adnate portion of the colony, parallel to the substrate, is branched and the colony is white in colour.