Comprehensive Description

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 The buoy barnacle Dosima fascicularis is a stalked (pedunculate) barnacle with a swollen head-like capitulum. Like other barnacles, it bears plates (in this case five large ones) although the stalk is naked. The buoy barnacle is markedly different to the acorn barnacles commonly found on rocky shores, especially in size, and closely resembles goose barnacles (see for example Lepas anatifera). It can be pale yellowish to purplish-brown in colour and, although commonly found in small numbers attached to small floating objects, can also be washed ashore in large groups attached to the same object.Dosima fascicularis was originally known as Lepas fascicularis to Linnaeus and Darwin although it was separated as Dosima by Gray in 1825 (Darwin, 1851). 

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland (continued)
 Big strandings have occurred in recent years, in Cornwall on the north coast (e.g. Turk, 1982), and in Ireland in West Cork and counties Mayo and Sligo (Minchin, 1996; Cotton et al., 2006). Such strandings may also include large numbers of the by-the-wind-sailor (Velella velella), the Portuguese-Man-o-War (Physalia physalis), the snail (Janthina sp.) and other members of a community that lives close to the water surface and has been called neuston. The buoy-barnacle is recorded as being stranded also in the Faeroe Islands and southern Norway (Nilsson-Cantell, 1986). There are old records for the North Sea coast of Britain, mentioned by Nilsson-Cantell (1986) and Foster-Smith (2000), but these need validating.


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©  The Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom

Source: Marine Life Information Network

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