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Pelagic Gooseneck Barnacle, Smooth Gooseneck Barnacle

Lepas anatifera


The body or capitulum of Lepas anatifera is supported by a long, flexible stalk or peduncle. There are five smooth, translucent plates, edged with scarlet and separated by narrow gaps. The plates have growth lines parallel with their margins and a few faint radial sculpture lines. Inside the capitulum, the barnacle has a head and thorax and vestigial abdomen. A number of brown, filamentous cirri or feeding tentacles project from between the plates. The peduncle is tough and a purplish-brown colour. The capitulum can grow to a length of 5 centimetres and the peduncle varies between 4 centimetres and 80 centimetres.


At the coast of the Caribbean Sea at the foot of the island Saba (which is actually a Volcano )


They are also called Percebes, known as goose barnacles in English, are a Galician delicacy from Spain and are among the most exclusive seafood in Europe. Customers in Spain and Portugal pay up to 200 Euros per kilo for superb quality Percebes. This extraordinary price results from the extreme circumstances in which the rare barnacles are harvested from the rocky cliffs off the Galician coast.

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Muckpuk a year ago

Thank you Mark Ridgeway and Tukup. Me too, I am learning too. I took this picture a minute before getting in the car. It was late afternoon and we had to get home. Later when googling I saw all the pictures of their long long tentacles. I did not notice them at all when taking the pictures. Now when looking closely at the first and second picture I think I can spot the tentacles penetrating the buoy. I will check it out next time I go back to see if I can get a a better image of their tentacles somehow. Fascinating little creatures.

Tukup a year ago

Beautiful creatures Muckpuk. Nice series. Thanks. I've been reading since seeing this. I didn't know barnacles could live out of water, but I see some can live for long periods of time with only an occasional dunking. Again, thanks PN for the education.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway a year ago

Amazing things. I was impressed to discover they are crustaceans.

Spotted by

Saba, Caribisch Nederland, Netherlands

Spotted on Jan 5, 2020
Submitted on Jan 6, 2020

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