Platylepas ophiophilus   Lanchester,  1902 (Barnacle)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Maxillopoda

Image copyrights: Ocean Science and Technology Cell, CUSAT, Kochi

Size: Base 3 mm in its carino-rostral diameter; opercular diameter 2 mm

The barnacle is oval in shape and sub-conical possibly avoiding the frictional drag. The wall is sub-conical, not so depressed as that of Platylepas hexastylos. The outer surface of the wall fully denuded is longitudinally ribbed, crossing by transverse grooves (or growth annuli) and the ribs are profusely beaded or spinose along the annuli, just like the valves of Xenobalanus globicipitis Steenstrup (dolphin barnacle) and Lepas pectinata Linne (goose barnacle). Internally, the sheath is approximately one-half he height of the compartment. Below the sheath the infolding of the wall is reflected by many strong inner ribs, one primary and 3-7 secondary. On each side of the large midrib bluntly ended, secondary and tertiary riblets from below the sheath extend downwards and sharply ended inside the bluntly ended outer ribs. Externally, each of the compartments is apparently solid and has a more or less distinct median sulcus. The sutural surface between the compartments is deep, either medium or narrow and transversely grooved.
The development of the opercular valves greatly varies irrespective of the growth of the outer wall. They are seated on the outer surface of the projecting opercular hood near the orificial edge; the scutum is moderately developed, oblong or spoon-shaped, while the tergum is less developed or rudimentary, elongate, both ends being truncate and bent inwards.
The mouth parts almost conform to the characters of the related Platylepas hexastylos, but differ in details. The palp is small, elongated in parallel with the cutting edge of the labrum, and fringed with a number of incurved pectinate bristles and covered densely with long, simple bristles on the outer surface. The labrum is bullate and provided with 3 obtuse teeth on each side of a deep notch in the middle on the inner surface of the hairy outer rim. The mandible is narrow and has four strong teeth and a pectinated lower angle. The inner maxilla is narrower, with 10 spines along the straight frontal edge. The outer maxilla is large, bilobed, and terminally armed with long, comb-like bristles and a series of spinules at the truncated distal end.
The cirri are much developed and laterally flattened and have 5 pairs of long, stout setae along the ventral edge of each segment. The numbers of segments in the cirri for a 7.5 mm long specimen are as follows:
I: 12,15, IT: 13,13, Ill: 14,8+, IV: 17,17, V: 15,16,VI: 18,19.
The penis is very long, finely annulated and scarcely hairy and gradually tapers to the truncated end.

Synonym (s)
Cryptolepas ophiphilus Kruger 1912
Platylepas ophiophilus Nilsson-Cantell 1938a
Platylepas ophiophilus Lanchester 1902
Platylepas ophiophila Utinomi 1970

Common Name (s)
Economic Importance and Threats



• INDIA (Record: 2006)
• Arabian Sea (Record: 2006)
• Madras Presidency INDIA (Record: 2006)
• Orissa, Ganjam Coast INDIA (Record: 2006)
• Tamil Nadu, Parangipettai INDIA (Record: 1970)

Literature Source(s)
  • Fernando, SA (2006) Monograph on Indian Barnacles Ocean science and technology Cell, Kochi 9-199 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -

Page last updated on:2012-05-21

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