Gooseneck barnacles live on rocky shores, to
which they attach by means of a strong, flexible stalk (called a
peduncle). The stalk may be 10cm or more in length and is
strong enough to ensure that the gooseneck barnacle stays firmly
fixed in place, even with a constant battering from the
waves. Gooseneck barnacles also attach to the hulls of ships,
pieces of driftwood, and other floating debris.
A gooseneck barnacle can itself become a
home for other animals, including young gooseneck barnacles or
adult acorn barnacles (the common, cone-shaped barnacles found on
many British shores).
The main body of the gooseneck barnacle is
at the end of the stalk, and it is protected by a series of white
or grey triangular plates of different sizes. The number of
plates grows as the animal ages, and can reach more than 100 in
Gooseneck barnacles feed when they are underwater, extending
feathery feeding tentacles to gather particles of food.
Other common names
The coasts of south-west England and south-west Ireland mark the
northern most boundary of the gooseneck barnacle’s range, as it is
mostly found in warmer waters off France, Spain and Portugal.
- This is
a UK BAP Priority Species (BAP species are now Species of Principal Importance/Priority
- Species of principal importance for the purpose of conservation
of biodiversity under the Natural Environment and Rural Communities
Life Information Network
World Register of Marine Species
JNCC - UK BAP Priority
Species and Habitats