E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Wildlife of British Columbia

Lepas anatifera Linnaeus
Pelagic Goose-Neck Barnacle
Family: Lepadidae
Species account author: Ira Cornwall.
Extracted from The Barnacles of British Columbia (1955).
Photo of species

© Yaroslava Polosina  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #49285)

E-Fauna BC Static Map
Distribution of Lepas anatifera in British Columbia
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Species Information


Size large, capitulum up to 43 mm (1¾ inches) in length, peduncle up to 8 inches in length. Capitulum enclosed in five finely striated plates. A tooth is usually present on the lower angle of the right scutum, but is often absent from the left. A series of square spots often present on the scutum. Space between carina and other valves narrow. Never more than two branchiae on each side. Scales irregularly scattered over peduncle in mature specimens; minute spines are present on young individuals.


Dirty white or bluish-grey on plates, bright scarlet-orange on edges of orifice. Dull orange-brown on interspaces; purplish-brown on peduncle.


World-wide, often attached to driftwood.


This is perhaps the most common pedunculate barnacle, being found on driftwood all along the coast. It resembles Lepas hilli very closely but can be distinguished from it by the presence of fine striations on the valves and one pair of filamentary appendages (branchiae) on each side of the body. The name "anatifera," meaning goose-bearer, refers to the legendary origin of the barnacle goose.

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)
BC Ministry of Environment: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer--the authoritative source for conservation information in British Columbia.

Additional Photo Sources

General References

Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2021. E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Fauna of British Columbia [efauna.bc.ca]. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed: 2024-06-19 6:37:55 AM]
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