Balanus amphitrite [Status Unaccepted]   Darwin,  1854 (Barnacle)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Maxillopoda

Image copyrights: Faasse, Marco

Max. size: 3.0 cm WD (male)

Color: Whitish with purple or brown longitudinal stripes. Surface of test plates are longitudinally ribbed.

Balanus amphitrite is a small, conical, sessile barnacle with protective rigid housing plates, known as capitulum plates. It is largest at the base, with a diamond-shaped opening protected by a movable opercular lid composed of two symmetrical triangular halves. Each of these halves contains two plates, the tergum and the scutum. The operculum opens when the lid halves are flexed out to the sides. Balanus amphitrite is distinguished from other members of this species complex by having 12-13 teeth on the labrum and a short spur on the terga that is located more than half of its length from the basi-scutal angle. The labrum is a lip-like extension anterior to the mouth. Balanus amphitrite is an acorn barnacle (Suborder Balanomorpha). Like all members of the taxon, it resides within a protective wall of rigid plates and is attached by its base directly to solid substrata. In contrast, goose barnacles attach by means of slender, flexible stalks.

Like most balanomorph barnacles, Balanus amphitrite is hermaphroditic. Reproductive individuals are general capable of simultaneous production of male and female gametes. However, outcrossing with neighboring individuals, occurring through the deposit of sperm into the mantle cavities of adjacent animals via a long intromittent tube and subsequent internal fertilization of eggs, is the general rule. Self-fertilization is also reported to occur, however. Fertilized eggs are brooded within the mantle cavity for up to several months before free-swimming planktonic larvae are released to the water column. Balanus amphitrite has been found to spawn continuously throughout the year in India. The striped barnacle Balanus amphitrite is a cosmopolitan barnacle and naturally occurs in almost every (sub)tropical sea. It is a typical fouling species that can reach different places by attaching itself to ship’s hulls. The striped barnacle thrives well in areas with a certain degree of physical stress or pollution.

Synonym (s)
Balanus amphitrite amphitrite Darwin, 1854
(Senior synonym)

Common Name (s)
• Striped Barnacle (English)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Dangers
(It is a prevalent biofouler of ships and harbors. Balanus amphitrite cements itself onto hard surfaces with a matrix of proteins. Hulls of ships, buoys, and inflow pipes of desalination plants become covered with the barnacles which causes corrosion of the metals.)

Habitat:  Benthic, Estuarine
Predator:  Fishes (Repomucenus richardsonii, Siganus canaliculatus)


• West Bengal, Sundarbans (Lat: 21.5) (Long: 88.17) INDIA
• Maharashtra, Mumbai Coast INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andaman Islands (Lat: 12.5) (Long: 92.75) INDIA
• Maharashtra, Mumbai (Lat: 18.98) (Long: 72.83) INDIA
• East Coast, Coromandel, Pulicat Lake INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Chennai Coast INDIA
• Andhra Pradesh, Vishakhapatnam Harbour INDIA
• Kerala, Kochi, Willingdon Island INDIA
• Andhra Pradesh, Kakinada Bay INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Pichavaram INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Vellar Estuary INDIA (Record: 11/2008-10/2009)
• Maharashtra, Mumbai (Lat: 18.9) (Long: 72.66) INDIA
• Gujarat, Jakhau-Babber Creek (Lat: 23.5) (Long: 68.6) INDIA (Record: 1999-2000)
• Gujarat, Sangi-Kharo Creek (Lat: 23.28) (Long: 68.51) INDIA (Record: 1999-2000)
• Gujarat, Medi-Sinthodi Creek (Lat: 23.45) (Long: 68.48) INDIA (Record: 1999-2000)
• Andhra Pradesh, Vishakhapatnam INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Adyar Backwaters INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Cooum Estuary (Lat: 13.16) (Long: 80.26) INDIA

Literature Source(s)
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  • Gaonkar, CA; Sawant, SS; Anil, AC; Krishnamurthy, V and Harkantra, SN (2010) Changes in the occurance of hard substratum fauna: A case study from Mumbai harbour, India Indian Journal of Marine Sciences National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources, CSIR, New Delhi, India 39(1) 74-84 Available at -
  • Saravanakumar, A; Serebiah, JS; Thivakaran, GA and Rajkumar, M (2007) Benthic macrofaunal assemblage in the arid zone mangroves of Gulf of Kachchh – Gujarat Journal of Ocean University of China Ocean University of China 6(3) 303 -309 Available at -
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Page last updated on:2012-02-08

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