Goose barnacle

Lepas anserifera

Family Lepadidae - barnacles (crustacea)

Shelled body flat, triangular shaped, wide at the bottom, narrows to a point, compressed; 5 calcareous plates, plates overlap, no gaps in between, color off-white, orange color at edges of plates; plates have radiating ridges and grooves; upper trapezoid-shaped plate (tergum) usually more striated than the wide quadrangular lower plate (scutum); narrow singular plate (carina) forked at the bottom to an angle of 90° or more; rounded ridge from lower area near beak to apex of scutum plate; no holes or spots on sides of scutum plates; fleshy stalk (peduncle) between shell and substrate used to attach to substrate, usually as long as the shelled part (capitulum), may be hidden in shell, orange in color; feathery appendages extend from opposite end of shell when feeding;
Similar Species
The smooth goose barnacle, Lepas anatifera, does not have radiating grooves (sometimes a few on the scutum by never on the tergum), and its peduncle is purplish brown. Also in smooth goose barnacle, the forks at the end of the carina are imbedded in tissue and cannot be seen. The carinal forks on L. anserifera are not embedded in tissue and are clearly visible (with magnification). The small goose barnacle L. pectinata is smaller and usually found on sargassum. Its peduncle is brown and yellow. It has deep radiating lines crossed by well-defined growth lines.
Gulf, found attached to floating debris
Maximum Size
4 cm (1 1/2 in) capitulum length (shelled part)
Other Common Names
goose-neck barnacle
Previous Scientific Names