Smooth goose barnacle

Lepas anatifera

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; wide quadrangular lower plates (scutum) smooth or minutely striated, without distinct radiating ridges and grooves; upper triangular or trapezoid-shaped plates (tergum) smooth; ; narrow singular plate (carina) forked at the bottom, forks embedded in tissue, sometimes with barbs on outer edge; rounded ridge from lower area near beak to apex of scutum plate; may have 1 to 2 radiating rows of holes or spots on sides of scutum plates; fleshy stalk (peduncle) between shell and substrate used to attach to substrate, as long or longer than shelled part (capitulum), may be hidden in shell, purplish brown in color, feathery appendages extend from opposite end of shell when feeding;
Similar Species
The goose barnacle, Lepas anserifera has radiating grooves on the scutum and especially on the tergum, and its peduncle is orangish. Also in L. anserifera, the forks at the end of the carina are not imbedded in tissue and can be clearly seen (with magnification). The carinal forks on the smooth goose barnacle are embedded in tissue and are cannot be seen. 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
5 cm (2 in) capitulum length (shelled part)
Other Common Names
pelagic goose-neck barnacle, smooth goose-neck barnacle
Previous Scientific Names