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Critters of the Chesapeake Bay. Barnacles. What is a Barnacle?. You may have seen barnacles along the shoreline attached to pilings or rocks. What is a Barnacle?. They are a common sight along the Bay’s tidal zones. Some might think they are some type of mollusk. What is a Barnacle?.

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Critters of the

Chesapeake Bay

Barnacles


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What is a Barnacle?

You may have seen barnacles along the shoreline attached to pilings or rocks.


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What is a Barnacle?

They are a common sight along the Bay’s tidal zones.

Some might think they are some type of mollusk.


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What is a Barnacle?

Actually, they more closely related to the blue crab than the blue mussel.

They are crustaceans!


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What is a Barnacle?

Barnacles are small shrimp like organisms that “attach their heads to a hard object, build a house, and kick food into their mouths with their feet”.


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Barnacles

There are two major groups of barnacles.

The gooseneck barnacles are shown here.


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Barnacles

In our area, these are only found in the ocean where they attach to some floating object.


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Barnacles

The other group consist of the acorn barnacles.

The most common type in our area is the bay barnacle.


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Barnacle Life Cycle

Young barnacles are called naupli. These naupli swim around in the plankton going through several molts.


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Barnacle Life Cycle

Barnacle naupli are very common members of inshore plankton samples.


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Barnacle Life Cycle

Eventually the young barnacle will develop into a cyprid larva and find a suitable spot to attach and spend its life.



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Barnacles

Once the barnacle has attached to an object, it’s there for the rest of its life!


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