Escharella abyssicola may be confused with Escharella laqueata which is a similar size and also heavily calcified, but has a flatter frontal surface and large distinct pores around the autozooid margin which E. abyssicola lacks. The geographical range of the two species overlaps and they are often found in association with one another.
Escharella laqueata is an encrusting bryozoan that forms extensive sheet-like colonies. The colonies are dense and white in colour, with autozooids that are easily visible to the naked eye. Autozooids are oval to hexagonal, often irregular, flat or slightly convex. They are large, ranging from 0.7-0.12 by 0.4-0.7 mm with two to three short stout spines.
Records come from the boreal-Arctic zone as far south as west Norway,
Denmark and Shetland. It is known from the Bay of Biscay in deep cold
water, just off the edge of the continental shelf.
The species is able to colonise shells and stones and other hard substrates. Escharella laqueata is a deep-water species that occurs well offshore, below the kelp zone to at least the continental shelf and possibly deeper.