A key for the identification of the nauplii of common barnacles of the British Isles, with emphasis on Chthamalus.

PM Ross, Michael Burrows, S J Hawkins, AJ Southward, KP Ryan

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Chthamalus stellatus and C. montagui are warm-water barnacles common on rocky shores in southwest England, Ireland, and southern Europe. They are partly sympatric, with overlapping vertical and horizontal distributions. It has been suggested that the differing horizontal distribution of the adults may be related to differences in the distribution of the larval stages. To this end, we have examined plankton samples taken during the summer breeding period at Plymouth, from inshore to 15 miles offshore. The samples also contained large numbers of other cirriped nauplii, notably Elminius modestus, Balanus perforatus, B. crenatus, and Verruca stroemia, from which the chthamalids had to be distinguished. The chthamalids can be separated from the other nauplii by use of characters that include a unilobed or trilobed labrum, the length of posterior processes and the shape and size of the cephalic shield, but the two species of Chthamalus are more difficult to distinguish. Scanning electron microscopy (S.E.M.) has allowed development of a key to the main barnacle nauplii occurring off the British Isles. This key, with accompanying SEM photographs, will enable enumeration of the two chthamalids and help answer the question whether there is a differential distribution of the larvae of these species.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)328-340
Number of pages13
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • Marine & Freshwater Biology


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