BIOTIC Species Information for Balanus crenatus
Researched byNicola White Data supplied byMarLIN
Refereed byProf. Alan J. Southward
Distribution and Habitat
Distribution in Britain & IrelandAll coasts of Britain & Ireland, and offshore in the North Sea and Celtic Sea.
Global distributionNortheast Atlantic from the Arctic to the west coast of France as far south as Bordeaux; east and west coasts of North America and Japan.
Biogeographic rangeNot researched Depth rangeInsufficient information
MigratoryNon-migratory / Resident   
Distribution Additional InformationBalanus crenatus is a widespread species that occurs at quite high latitudes in the Arctic. It colonizes a wide range of substrata, attaching to any hard substrata, molluscs and their dead shells (Southward, pers. comm.), often as an initial colonizing species. Densely packed colonies occur particularly in areas exposed to strong tidal streams where few other epifauna survive. It can also be found attached to carapaces of the Norway lobster or Dublin Bay prawn (Nephrops norvegicus) and other crustaceans.
Balanus crenatus may have been misidentified as Solidobalanus fallax in shallow waters lying to the south of the UK. The deep water record of Gruvel (noted in Southward, 1998) is an error (Southward, pers. comm.). Balanus crenatus and Solidobalanus fallaxcolonize different substrates and also occur in different temperatures. Solidobalanus fallax occurs in warmer water on shells, false corals, seaweeds and other soft substrata, including plastic bags and synthetic netting (Southward, pers. comm.).

Substratum preferencesBedrock
Artificial (e.g. metal/wood/concrete)
Gravel / shingle
Large to very large boulders
Small boulders
Physiographic preferencesOpen coast
Offshore seabed
Strait / sound
Ria / Voe
Enclosed coast / Embayment
Biological zoneLower Eulittoral
Sublittoral Fringe
Upper Infralittoral
Lower Infralittoral
Wave exposureExtremely Exposed
Very Exposed
Moderately Exposed
Very Sheltered
Extremely Sheltered
Tidal stream strength/Water flowVery Strong (>6 kn)
Strong (3-6 kn)
Moderately Strong (1-3 kn)
Weak (<1 kn)
Very Weak (negligible)
SalinityFull (30-40 psu)
Reduced (18-30 psu)
Variable (18-40 psu)
Low (<18 psu)
Habitat Preferences Additional Information
Distribution References Rainbow, 1984, Barnes, 1953, Barnes et al., 1963, JNCC, 1999, Bassindale, 1964, Southward, 1998,
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