Type of fouling organism: Barnacle
Barnacles are a unique, and much modified group within the Phylum Crustacea. All barnacles are sessile marine animals, which remain fastened to hard substrates. When the barnacle is immersed under water, the upper shell plates open and the legs reach out casting a food collecting net. These basket like limbs are called cirri and filter food from the water and direct it towards the mouth. Barnacles have both male and female organs (hermaphroditic) and are all able to fertilise one another. As the adult stage is sessile, motile larval stages living in the plankton are the main method of dispersal. Barnacle larvae develop through a number of planktonic stages with the rate determined by feeding rate and temperature.
Balanus trigonus is a small, steep-sided, conical barnacle, with six shell plates. The colour of its base is pink, with characteristic, white coloured vertical ribs with purple lines in between. The mouth of the shell is triangular, and the small plates that close the shell opening bear distinctive rows of small pits. Average size is a height of 15 mm and a diameter of 20 mm.
Environment and Habitat
- Subtidal to depths of 150 m.
- Reproductive type: Hermaphrodite.
- Found on other biofouling organisms.
Effects and Impacts
- Problematic for stock species as can compete for space and resources.
Control/ Strategies and Management
Principles of Management
C Combat Settlement
- Range includes eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean.
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