BIOTIC Species Information for Balanus spp.
Click here to view the MarLIN Key Information Review for Balanus spp.
Researched byDan Bayley
Refereed byThis information is not refereed.
General Biology
Growth form Feeding methodActive suspension feeder
Detritivore
Mobility/MovementPermanent attachment
Environmental positionEpilithic
Typical food typesZooplankton, detritus HabitAttached
Bioturbator FlexibilityNone (< 10 degrees)
FragilityRobust SizeSmall(1-2cm)
Height Growth Rate
Adult dispersal potentialNone DependencyIndependent
SociabilityGregarious
Toxic/Poisonous?No
General Biology Additional InformationFeeding
Barnacles feed by extending thoracic appendages called cirri out from the shell to filter zooplankton from the water. In the absence of any current, the barnacle rhythmically beats the cirri. When a current is present the barnacle holds the cirri fully extended in the current flow. Barnacles feed most during spring and autumn when plankton levels are highest. Little if any feeding takes place during winter, when barnacles rely on stored food reserves. Feeding rate is important in determining the rate of growth.
Moulting
Barnacles need to moult in order to grow. Frequency of moulting is determined by feeding rate and temperature. Moulting does not take place during winter when phytoplankton levels and temperatures are low.
Biology References Rainbow, 1984, Barnes et al., 1963, Bassindale, 1964,
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