BIOTIC Species Information for Balanus spp.
|Researched by||Dan Bayley|
|Refereed by||This information is not refereed.|
|Growth form||Feeding method||Active suspension feeder
|Typical food types||Zooplankton, detritus||Habit||Attached|
|Bioturbator||Flexibility||None (< 10 degrees)|
|Adult dispersal potential||None||Dependency||Independent|
|General Biology Additional Information||Feeding
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.
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,|