How to Distinguish from Similar Species: Pollicipes polymerus, the other goosneck barnacle commonly found intertidally, has more than 10 plates in the capitulum and attaches to rocks. Lepas pacifica has a notch on the side of the capitulum that borders the scutum. Lepas hilli has smooth plates and 3 or more filamentous growths from the base of the first cirri.
Geographical Range: Cosmopolitan in the open sea (pelagic). Often found washed up on the beach on the open coast; on our shores not usually washed up south of Point Conception, CA.
Depth Range: Shallow pelagic, usually within a meter of the surface attached to a floating object.
Habitat: Pelagic, attached to floating wood and debris.
Biology/Natural History: This seems to be the most common pelagic gooseneck barnacle along the Washington coast. The opening of this barnacle is lined with beautiful scarlet tissue. The peduncle (stalk) is purplish-brown. Reaches sexual maturity when the capitulum is about 2.5 cm across. Fertilization is internal. Young are brooded in a mass attached to the mantle wall. Nauplii are released after about a week.
Kozloff 1987, 1996
Smith and Carlton, 1975
Flora and Fairbanks, 1966
General Notes and Observations: Locations, abundances, unusual behaviors:
This species can grow up to a very large size (The above specimen had stalks of up to 20 cm long).
Authors and Editors of Page:
Dave Cowles (2005): Created original page