Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology/Natural History: The plates of this species may be heavily eroded by the boring sponge Cliona. Often grow on one another, forming clusters (druses). Barnacles are hermaphroditic, and fertilization is internal. They brood their eggs for several weeks before releasing them as nauplii. The nauplius molts to a cypris, which feeds in the plankton then settles and metamorphoses into an adult. Predators of this species include Pisaster ochraceous. The empty shells are refuges for Cancer oregonensis and Octopus rubescens. This species contains very large muscle fibers which have been used in the study of muscles.

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Source: Invertebrates of the Salish Sea

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This large, mostly subtidal barnacle has 6 wall plates and the rostrum overlaps the plates on both sides of it. The tips of the terga are drawn out into a beak (see photo above and below). The base of the shell is calcified. The exterior of the barnacle may be heavily eroded (these individuals may be little eroded because they were almost completely overgrown by a sponge). Young individuals may have low ridges on the plates but the ridges are usually eroded away in older individuals. The scuta have no longitudinal striations. Often 5 or more cm in diameter, and may exceed 8 cm (up to 15 cm?). This species also shows bright yellow or orange color when it opens up (photo).
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Source: Invertebrates of the Salish Sea

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Distribution

Geographical Range: Southern Alaska to San Qintin, Baja California, Mexico.

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Source: Invertebrates of the Salish Sea

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Physical Description

Look Alikes

How to Distinguish from Similar Species: This is the largest barnacle likely to be encountered in this area, and perhaps in the world. Most other species here are less than 5 cm diameter. Of barnacles with beaklike terga, Semibalanus cariosus has thatchlike projections on the wall plates (unless eroded). The subtidal Balanus balanus and B. rostratus are rarely greater than 3 cm diameter and the walls of large individuals are much less eroded. B. balanus has septate tubes in the wall plates and B. rostratus has shiny overlaps between the plates. In California it can be distinguished from the large Balanus aquila because it has beaked terga and no longitudinal striations on its scuta.
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Source: Invertebrates of the Salish Sea

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Ecology

Habitat

Depth range based on 38 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 26 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): -0.5 - 50
  Temperature range (°C): 8.675 - 10.151
  Nitrate (umol/L): 6.725 - 9.754
  Salinity (PPS): 31.657 - 31.942
  Oxygen (ml/l): 6.360 - 6.616
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.943 - 1.305
  Silicate (umol/l): 14.539 - 25.127

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): -0.5 - 50

Temperature range (°C): 8.675 - 10.151

Nitrate (umol/L): 6.725 - 9.754

Salinity (PPS): 31.657 - 31.942

Oxygen (ml/l): 6.360 - 6.616

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.943 - 1.305

Silicate (umol/l): 14.539 - 25.127
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Depth Range: Low intertidal to 90 m

Habitat: Mostly subtidal rocks; some very low intertidal or may be found on pilings. Common in areas of current or waves.

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Source: Invertebrates of the Salish Sea

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Balanus nubilus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Wikipedia

Balanus nubilus

Balanus nubilus, commonly called the giant acorn barnacle, is the world's largest barnacle, reaching a diameter of 15 centimetres (5.9 in) and a height of up to 30 centimetres (12 in),[2] and containing the largest known muscle fibres.[3][4]

B. nubilus is frequently found growing on rocks, pier pilings and hard-shelled animals at depths of up to 90 metres (300 ft)[3] from Alaska to La Jolla, San Diego County, California.[5] Like other acorn barnacles, B. nubilus is a filter feeder; it, in turn, is sometimes eaten by sea otters,[6] sea stars, crabs[7] and Native Americans of Pacific Northwest.[8] Abandoned shells of B. nubilus are used by the crab Glebocarcinus oregonensis for shelter.[9]

References

  1. ^ "Balanus nubilus Darwin, 1854". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. http://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=656266. Retrieved June 14, 2011.
  2. ^ Richard Martin (1997). "View from on top: mine's bigger than yours!". WaveLength Magazine. http://www.wavelengthmagazine.com/1997/fm97view.html.
  3. ^ a b "Balanus nubilus". The Race Rocks taxonomy. Race Rocks Ecological Reserve / Marine Protected Area. December 2002. http://www.racerocks.com/racerock/eco/taxalab/bio2002/balanusn.htm. Retrieved December 31, 2009.
  4. ^ Graham Hoyle & Thomas Smyth Jr. (1963). "Giant muscle fibers in a barnacle, Balanus nubilus Darwin". Science 139 (3549): 49–50. doi:10.1126/science.139.3549.49. PMID 17752025. 
  5. ^ Robert H. Morris, Donald Putnam Abbott & Eugene Clinton Haderlie (1980). Intertidal invertebrates of California. Stanford University Press. pp. 690. ISBN 978-0-8047-1045-9. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=NAybxQZvWI0C&pg=PA525&lpg=PA525.
  6. ^ James M. Watanabe (October 10, 2009). "Phylum Arthropoda, Subph. Crustacea: Subtidal Barnacles, Crabs, Shrimp, & Kin". SeaNet: Common Marine Organisms of Monterey Bay, California. http://seanet.stanford.edu/Crustacea/index.html.
  7. ^ David W. Jamison. "Giant acorn barnacle Balanus nubilus". Tour Puget Sound habitats and marine life. http://www.pugetsoundsealife.com/habitats+sealife/Giant_Acorn_Barnacle.html. Retrieved December 31, 2009.
  8. ^ "Facts about Balanus nubilus: edibility, as discussed in cirripede (crustacean): Importance to humans:". Encyclopaedia Britannica. http://www.britannica.com/facts/5/409474/Balanus-nubilus-as-discussed-in-cirripede-crustacean. Retrieved December 31, 2009.
  9. ^ "Marine Fossils and their Living Relatives". Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. Archived from the original on 11 February 2010. http://www.washington.edu/burkemuseum/collections/paleontology/marine/crabs.php. Retrieved December 31, 2009.
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