|A typical view of a barnacle-encrusted rocky shore (Start Point, south Devon, England)|
Anyhow, back to barnacles as we know them... The rocky shore above was well encrusted with barnacles of several species. There were many of the small limpet-shaped ones (such as Chthamalus stellatus in the family Chthamalidae), but what grabbed my attention were some larger, less flattened specimens typical of the the family Balanidae.
|A barnacle of the family Balanidae.|
The scutum (seen here as a 'keel' beneath the sharply beaked tergum) is slightly saw-edged, and the smaller barnacles (which I assume are the same species) below the large one have yellowish rims with brown banding below/around them. Also, the opening in the large specimen isn't especially small. These features combine to suggest that this is B. balanus - a common species although south Devon is at the very SW extent of its range as it is absent from Cornwall, but is a place where this species has been regularly recorded. A closer look should also help clarify a couple of the features mentioned here.
|The operculum, tergum and scutum of Balanus balanus|
So, a closer-than-usual look at a familiar organism - and a relatively rare (for me) foray into marine and littoral/intertidal habitats. Maybe I'll have to do more on this as it was the habitat that first grabbed my attention in terms of the invertebrate fauna...