Skip to main content

Poli's Stellate Barnacle

Chthamalus stellatus
Did you know that Barnacles, those weird bumpy things that attach themselves to rocks, are not only animals, but they are Crustaceans just like Crabs and Lobsters? Let's learn about one species today!

These Barnacles, named for Italian biologist Giuseppe Saverio Poli, can be found in Southern Europe and off the coasts of England and Ireland. They attach themselves to rocks and other firm objects in inter-tidal zones. Once attached, the Barnacles don't really go anywhere. They feed by reaching their tiny legs out from their shell and latching on to plankton and debris.

Poli's Stellate Barnacles have chalky-white shells that have kite-shaped openings as juveniles, and oval openings as adults. Underneath that shell, their tissue is bright blue with black and orange markings. The Barnacles are usually cone-shaped, but they become more tubular in crowded areas. They grow to a size of around 14mm, but the size is dependent on their habitat and food supply.

One thing I found particularly interesting is that all Poli's Stellate Barnacles are hermaphrodites. If isolated, the Barnacles can actually self reproduce, though in most cases they will take on a male or female role. "Male" Barnacles have very long sexual organs that they can use to search for "Females" in the nearby area. Keep in mind that this whole time the Barnacle itself remains latched on to a surface, and does not otherwise move. "Females" keep their fertilized eggs inside their shell with them until they hatch, and there can be up to 4,000 eggs at a time!

After hatching, the larvae are free-swimming and go through several molts until they hit their Cyprid stage. At this point in their life they are completely unable to feed, and must find a rock or something else to latch on to in order to metamorphose into their final shelled adult form. These Barnacles can live up to 5 years, and reach full maturity after around 10 months.

IUCN Status : Not Listed
Location : Europe
Size : Diameter up to 14mm
Classification : Phylum : Arthropoda -- Subphylum : Crustacea -- Class : Maxillopoda
Order : Sessilia -- Family : Chthamalidae -- Genus : Chthamalus -- Species : C. stellatus


Popular posts from this blog

Bornean Orangutan

The Bornean Orangutan is one of two extant Orangutan species in the world. It is the third largest primate (after Gorillas) and is the largest primarily tree-dwelling animal in the world. Males are substantially larger than females, and average at around 165lbs. Bornean Orangutans are largely solitary. A handful might live within a small range but they will seldom interact with one another. Males and females only meet up to breed, which happens only once every several years. A young Orangutan will stay with it's mother for about five years, and the females tend to go about eight years between births. That is the longest interim period of any animal! Sadly, the Bornean Orangutans are in a lot of trouble. They need large forests in order to thrive, and deforestation and habitat degradation has left many homeless. They are also hunted for meat and for traditional medicines. Conservation areas are being established to help these guys in the wild, and it is believed that there are a


For anyone who was counting, yesterday was our birthday-- four years! Four years filled with animals from A to Z, more than 1,100 of them! I can't thank my readers enough, it's been wonderful! And in celebration of that milestone... I'm taking a break. Hopefully not forever, but for a little bit at least. In the mean time I plan on getting a new layout out, along with some updates to some of the older articles. I'll post updates here and on the Facebook page, I'm also brainstorming some new animal-related projects, so keep an eye out! Thanks again for four awesome years!


The Binturong ( Arctictis binturong ) also has an equally awesome alternate common name, the Bearcat! However, it really isn't much of a bear OR a cat. While it is true that it is part of the Feliforma suborder, it is not a member of family Felidae. Binturongs are a part of their own family, Viverridae, which is shared with Civets, Linsangs, and Genets. There are six subspecies of Binturong, all of which have slight differences based upon location and habitat. Binturongs range in body size from 60-100cm in length, (not including their tail which has roughly the same length) and weigh between 20 and 30lbs. Binturongs are nocturnal animals native to the rain forests of South East Asia. The species range spans through several countries including China, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. They are tree dwelling mammals, and have fully prehensile tails that basically double their body length and can be used to cling to the trees or to grasp food. Binturongs are phe