MarLIN

information on the biology of species and the ecology of habitats found around the coasts and seas of the British Isles

Common goose barnacle (Lepas (Anatifa) anatifera)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.

Summary

Description

Lepas anatifera is made up of two parts; the capitulum, 4-5 cm long, bears the feeding tentacles and body of the barnacle, and the peduncle, 4-85 cm long, which is a flexible, contractile stalk that attaches the barnacle to floating objects. The capitulum is roughly oblong with five smooth white plates, separated by red/brown or black tissue. If Lepas anatifera is observed underwater, the brush-like feeding appendages may be seen protruding from lower end of the animal.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Found washed up on the shore on western coasts of Britain and Ireland especially after westerly gales but poorly recorded in surveys. Rarely found on east coasts of Britain. Otherwise, a pelagic species in the Atlantic and western English Channel.

Global distribution

-

Habitat

A pelagic species attached to hard floating objects such as logs.

Depth range

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Identifying features

  • Body divided into two parts: the capitulum which bears the body of the animal and a flexible peduncle.
  • Capitulum has five large calcareous plates.
  • Plates on the capitulum are smooth or at most finely marked.

Additional information

A guide to the identification of the various species of Lepas is given by Bassindale (1964).

Listed by

- none -

Further information sources

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Bibliography

  1. Bassindale, R., 1964. British Barnacles. London: The Linnean Society of London.[Synopses of the British Fauna, no. 14.]

  2. Gibson, R., Hextall, B. & Rogers, A., 2001. Photographic guide to the sea and seashore life of Britain and north-west Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  3. Hayward, P.J. & Ryland, J.S. 1990. The marine fauna of the British Isles and north-west Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  4. Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E., 1997. The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication, no. 276.]

  5. National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Atlas website. Available from: http://www.nbnatlas.org.  Accessed 01 April 2017

Citation

This review can be cited as:

Neal, K.J. 2007. Lepas (Anatifa) anatifera Common goose barnacle. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. (eds) Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Available from: http://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/2058

Last Updated: 13/08/2007