Saturday, September 1, 2012

gooseneck barnacle ~ 09/01/12 ~ Asilomar Beach

gooseneck barnacle
Lepas sp.

I'm hoping some of my blog readers may be able to direct me to decent links about these 5-plated flattened barnacles I found attached to the holdfast of a bull kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana). My best guesses would be first Lepas pacifica and second possibly Lepas anatifera. However, my main issue with these IDs is the plates are not primarily white. Does the color change as the barnacle ages? Also, there are other Lepas spp. that are not readily found pictured online. It was amazing to watch these open up to show their feathery appendages and wave around on their translucent stalks (not to be confused with the caramel-colored haptera of the kelp). Click on the pictures to see them up close.


Jeannette said...

Ah, even the bull kelp is bejeweled with critters. I can't help you find the name, but yesterday I saw a small vessel fling a "scientific research" banner hauling in bull kelp in the cove. I wonder if they encountered your new friend as well. I suppose they are testing for contaminants? Do you ever trek over to the Aquarium and ask the knowledgable there? Where is Doc when you need him?

P.S. all these questions may remain rhetorical and i will take no offense! best wishes.

ingrid said...

Katie, I wish I knew. Botanical taxonomy and constructs are still a work in progress for me. I've seen quite a few photos of Lepas anatifera attached to bull kelp, but the photos I just looked at of Lepas pacifica seem to match the coloration of yours better. I'd love to find out. Awesome discovery and images~!

Susannah Anderson said...

I don't know much about these. I remember seeing some, long ago.

I looked up Lepas sp, and kept on Googling them. Lepas fascicularis, the buoy barnacle, is similar: the descriptions say the plates are pale blue, but the photos (Google the species name) seem to be anywhere from your bluish-brown to almost white.

Another name for this one is Dosima fascicularis; I looked up this and found lots of info.

They are found around the world, in temperate waters. They hang on floats, seaweed, plastic, cranberries (cranberries?), or anything else that floats, it seems. See Wikipedia, "Dosima".

They can be pale yellow to purplish brown in color. (I wonder if, besides, they have picked up some color in their food from the kelp.)

An image, under the Lepas name, is here. Does this look like yours?

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Jeannette, thanks for the suggestion. I have 2 researchers in mind who I could ask (1 at Hopkins and 1 a retired UCSC marine biology prof), but before I do I need to update another expert ID marine-related post (I was sent so much scientific information that I got confused). I bet the boat was from MBARI, the research arm of MBA.

Ingrid, I found a couple sites where unknown barnacles are still being described, so it's possible this particular one hasn't made the internet search engines. I'll update and comment if I get an answer.

Susannah, thanks for replying to my query. I ruled out L. fascicularis, because the key from Walla Walla U (linked in the ID right below the pics) states they're "nearly globular", which mine are clearly not. In your link, look at how round the plates are where they meet the stalk. Ya, saw the cranberry reference, too. What the hay?