Barnacles

Below are examples of barnacles you will likely run across on Oregon’s exposed rocky shores or washed up on the beaches. The photos on this page are from northern Oregon unless noted in the caption. My organization follows Lamb and Hanby (2005). Common names are my choice. I refer to WoRMS for scientific names, and I learn a ton by browsing the natural history riches in Kozloff (1993). Biodiversity of the Central Coast’s Crustaceans page is full of great information on all the barnacles shown below. Experts cover these barnacles in the books, field guides, and identification resources listed at the bottom of the page.

Balanus glandula, acorn barnacle

Acorns are the most noticeable high intertidal barnacle. They’ll inflict a scratch if you fall or have to reach out to catch your balance.


Semibalanus cariosus, thatched barnacle

If you’re looking for thatched barnacles, an excellent place to start is the mussel beds.


Balanus nubilus, giant barnacle

Look for giants in the low intertidal or lower.


References

Gotshall, D. W. 2005. Guide to Marine Invertebrates, Alaska to Baja California 2nd Edition (Revised). Shoreline Press.

Harbo, R. M. 2011. Whelks to Whales: Coastal Marine Life of the Pacific Northwest. 2nd ed. Harbour Publishing Co.

Kozloff, E. N. 1993. Seashore Life of the Northern Pacific Coast. 3rd ed. University of Washington Press.

Lamb, A. and B. P. Hanby. 2005. Marine Life of the Pacific Northwest. Harbour Publishing.

Sept. J. D. 2009. The Beachcomber’s Guide to Seashore Life in the Pacific Northwest. Revised ed. Harbour Publishing.


Online Resources

Biodiversity of the Central Coast’s Crustaceans page is full of great information on Pacific Northwest barnacles.

Pacific Northwest Shell Club’s Crustacean page


This page was updated on May 29, 2021