Star Barnacle (Chthalamus Stellatus)

Latin name: Chthalamus stellatus
Common name: Star barnacle
Family: Chthamalidae

Distribution: Mediterranean, Atlantic, West Indian Ocean.

Habitat: Shallow waters.

Behaviour: Whilst in the plankton stage, newly developed barnacles display their feeding arms, which look like catching mitts. These barnacles, which are distant relatives of the crabs, then settle onto a suitable habitat in the shallow water surf zone. Here, they develop a protective shell of calcified, rigid, overlapping plates. They are packed closely together. These barnacles are able to seal themselves off in bad conditions or exceptionally low tides, and can live for a short while out of the water.

Size: Only a bit more than one cm.