Escharoides coccinea is an encrusting bryozoan. The colonies form extensive sub-circular patches that are red-orange in colour. Autozooids are broad, quadrangular and convex. They range in size from 0.6-0.7 by 0.3-0.4 mm, with six thick tubular spines.
Escharoides coccinea is a boreal species, widespread and often common around the British Isles and Ireland. It extends south into the Mediterranean, as far as the Aegean and Madeira. It ranges north to Shetland and the west coast of Norway but is apparently absent from the Faroe Isles and Arctic waters.
The species is able to colonise a wide range of substrates including stones, shells and rocky overhangs. It is particularly associated with Laminaria holdfasts, where it is frequently a significant and conspicuous part of the bryozoan epifauna. It is a characteristic component of intertidal rocky shore communities on all British coasts and extends into subtidal water beyond the kelp zone. Its precise depth range is uncertain.