03 July 2012

Blue Stalked Barnacles in Caswell Bay

(c) M. Henwood

Whilst beachcombing with staff and nursery kiddies from Townhill Mo Henwood photographed this stranded organism that I was asked if I knew what it was. I’m no expert on marine fauna, but it looks very much like the Blue Stalked Barnacle (Lepas fascicularis). Unlike the Gooseneck Barnacle (L. anatifera) reported earlier on this blog here, the Blue Stalked Barnacle doesn't attach to floating objects, but manufactures its own foamy float upon which it drifts around the oceans. I’m curious if anyone else has come across this species?


Clive Ellis said...

Dosima fasicularis (Bouy Barnacle) often found washed up on south west coasts.Usually in warmer waters.When young they do attach to feathers,straw and twigs amongst flotsam and then produce a polystyrene typ float later,usually in groups of 4 or 5.Sometimes on ships.The recent winds would have chucked this up.Fantastic find.Have'nt seen them for awhile.Think i'll have a trip up west tomorrow and scour some more beeches.

Judith Oakley said...

These are most commonly known as Buoy barnacles and are a type of goose barnacle. I haven't found them on Gower yet, only on Skomer. As mentioned, they will attach to floating objects and I found them alive, attached to a polystyrene fish box. Interestingly, the more commonly stranded Goose barnacles were reported to me a few days ago from near Burry Holms. A few years back, a large log washed up on Oxwich beach with thousands of these attached and still alive. It was in the local press http://www.walesonline.co.uk/showbiz-and-lifestyle/showbiz/2009/08/04/tentacled-sea-monster-or-doctor-who-alien-91466-24307825/. Keep an eye out amongst them for Columbus crabs and other stowaways. Please report them to me. Thanks. Judith Oakley, Consultant Marine Biologist and City and County of Swansea Marine Biodiversity officer