Invasion History

First Non-native North American Tidal Record:
First Non-native West Coast Tidal Record:
First Non-native East/Gulf Coast Tidal Record:

General Invasion History:

Fistulobalanus albicostatus is native to the Northwest Pacific from Japan and Korea to Sumatra (Pilsbry 1916; Henry and McLaughlin 1975; US National Museum of Natural History 2011). It occurs in rocky intertidal areas, on oysters, mangroves, submerged wood, and manmade structures (Pilsbry 1916; Henry and McLaughlin 1975; Foster and Willan 1979). Specimens of this barnacle have been found in California, France, and New Zealand, on imported oysters or as fouling on oil-drilling platforms (Carlton 1979; Foster and Willan 1979; Goulletquer et al. 2002). However, to our knowledge, none of these translocations has resulted in established populations.

North American Invasion History:

Invasion History on the West Coast:

Fistulobalanus albicostatus was found in California several times, being associated with planted batches of Pacific Oysters (Crassostrea gigas). In 1930, it was reported in Elkhorn Slough and Marin County, San Francisco Bay (USNM 63368, US National Museum of Natural History 2011) and in 1943 it was reported in Morro Bay (Carlton 1979). It has also been found on ship fouling in Vancouver Harbor, British Columbia (Sylvester et al. 2011). However, no established populations have been found (Carlton 1979).

Invasion History Elsewhere in the World:

Fistulobalanus albicostatus was found on transplanted oysters (Crassostrea gigas) in France, in 1973, in Bourgneuf Bay and at Le Croisic, both on the northern Bay of Biscay. These barnacles did not become established (Goulletquer et al. 2002). This barnacle was also found in New Zealand, in 1975, on an oil platform towed from Japan (Foster and Willan 1979), and on Australian naval ships that had served in Japanese waters (Allen 1953). Again, these introductions did not result in established populations.


Fistulobalanus albicostatus is a barnacle with a conical or cylindro-conical shell, which varies with the amount of crowding. The orifice (opening) of the shell is rhomboidal, moderately toothed, and its width is more than half the shell diameter (measured from the carina to the rostrum). The shell surface usually has prominent white ribs. The radii (overlapping areas of shell plates) are wide, striated (streaked), and tinted with pink or purple. The scutum has weak, faint striae (streaks). The articular ridge is half the length of the tergal margin, and high and curved. The distance between the adductor ridge and articular ridge is further than in Amphibalanus amphitrite. The tergum is narrow and long, as is its spur (the length is 1/4 the length of basal margin, and the width is 3/10 width of basal margin). The carinal margin is short and arched. The diameter (from the rostrum to the carina) of the largest specimens was 16.5 mm (Pilsbry 1916, Henry and McLauglin 1975). The larval development of Fistulobalanus albicostatus is described by Lee and Kim (1991).


Taxonomic Tree

Kingdom:   Animalia
Phylum:   Arthropoda
Subphylum:   Crustacea
Class:   Maxillopoda
Subclass:   Thecostraca
Infraclass:   Cirripedia
Superorder:   Thoracica
Order:   Sessilia
Suborder:   Balanomorpha
Superfamily:   Balanoidea
Family:   Balanidae
Genus:   Fistulobalanus
Species:   albicostatus


Balanus albicostatus (Henry and McLaughlin, 1975)
Balanus amphitrite albicostatus (Pilsbry, 1916)

Potentially Misidentified Species

Amphibalanus amphitrite



Fistulobalanus albicostatus, like many other barnacles, is hermaphroditic, but is capable of cross-fertilization. The fertilized eggs are brooded in the mantle cavity, sometimes for several months, and are released as nauplius larvae with three pairs of appendages (Barnes 1983). The nauplii feed in the plankton and go through five successive molts, spending 6 to 23 days in the water column before molting into a non-feeding cypris stage, covered with a pair of chitinous shells (Lee and Kim 1991; Desai et al. 2006). Cyprids swim, investigating suitable surfaces, and then settle, secreting a shell and molting into the first juvenile barnacle stages. Juvenile and adult barnacles are filter feeders, sweeping the water with their long bristled appendages to gather phytoplankton, zooplankton, and detritus (Barnes 1983).

Fistulobalanus albicostatus is typically found in the mid-to-lower intertidal and in sheltered waters. This barnacle grows on a wide range of hard surfaces, including docks, logs, mangroves, rocks, ship hulls, oysters, and other shellfish (Allen 1953; Utinomi 1970; Henry and McLaughlin 1975).


Phytoplankton, zooplankton

Trophic Status:

Suspension Feeder



General HabitatCoarse Woody DebrisNone
General HabitatMangrovesNone
General HabitatOyster ReefNone
General HabitatMarinas & DocksNone
General HabitatRockyNone
General HabitatVessel HullNone
Salinity RangeMesohaline5-18 PSU
Salinity RangePolyhaline18-30 PSU
Salinity RangeEuhaline30-40 PSU
Tidal RangeSubtidalNone
Tidal RangeLow IntertidalNone
Vertical HabitatEpibenthicNone

Tolerances and Life History Parameters

Minimum Duration6Desai et al. 2006, 30 C, high food. Note that the last (cypris) stage can settle soon (1 day) after metamorphosiis, but most settle within 8 days.
Maximum Duration23Desai et al. 2006, 20 C, low food. 15 days for nauplius stages, 8 days for cyprids. Note that the last (cypris) stage can settle soon after metamorphosis, but can delay settling for at least 8 days.
Broad Temperature RangeNoneCold temperate-Tropical
Broad Salinity RangeNonePolyhaline-Euhaline

General Impacts

Fistulobalanus albicostatus has been introduced to several locations, but has not yet become established and has had no known impacts.

Regional Distribution Map

Bioregion Region Name Year Invasion Status Population Status
NWP-3b None 0 Native Estab
NWP-3a None 0 Native Estab
EAS-I None 0 Native Estab
EAS-VI None 0 Native Estab
NWP-2 None 0 Native Estab
NWP-4a None 0 Native Estab
NWP-4b None 0 Native Estab
NEP-V Northern California to Mid Channel Islands 1930 Def Failed
NEA-IV None 1973 Def Failed
NZ-IV None 1975 Def Failed
AUS-X None 1946 Def Failed
P070 Morro Bay 1943 Def Failed
P080 Monterey Bay 1930 Def Failed
P081 Elkhorn Slough 1930 Def Failed
P090 San Francisco Bay 1930 Def Failed
EAS-VII None 0 Native Estab
SEP-H None 0 None None

Occurrence Map

OCC_ID Author Year Date Locality Status Latitude Longitude


Allen, F. E. (1953) Distribution of marine invertebrates by ships, Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 4(2): 307-316

Barnes, Robert D. (1983) Invertebrate Zoology, Saunders, Philadelphia. Pp. 883

Carlton, James T. (1979) History, biogeography, and ecology of the introduced marine and estuarine invertebrates of the Pacific Coast of North America., Ph.D. dissertation, University of California, Davis. Pp. 1-904

Desai, Dattesh; Khandeparker, Lidita; Shirayama, Yoshihisa (2006) Larval development and metamorphosis ofBalanus albicostatus (Cirripedia: Thoracica); implications of temperature, food concentration and energetics, Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 86: 335-343

Foster, B. A., Willan, R. C. (1979) Foreign barnacles transported to New Zealand on an oil platform., New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 13(1): 143-149

Goulletquer, Philippe; Bachelet, Guy; Sauriau, Pierre; Noel, Pierre (2002) Invasive aquatic species of Europe: Distribution, impacts, and management, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht. Pp. 276-290

Henry, Dora P.; McLaughlin, Patsy A. (1975) The barnacles of the Balanus amphitrite complex (Cirripedia, Thoracica)., Zoologische Verhandelingen 141: 1-203

Lee, Chu; Kim, Chang Hyun (1991) Larval development of Balanus albicostatus Pilsby (Cirripedia, Thoracica) reared in the laboratory, Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 147: 231-144

Pilsbry, Henry A. (1916) The sessile barnacles contained in the collections of the U.S. National Museum, including a monograph of the American species., United States National Museum Bulletin 93: 1-366

Pitombo, F. B. (2004) Phylogenetic analysis of the Balanidae (Cirripedia, Balanomorpha)., Zoologica Scripta 33(3): 261-276

Sylvester, Francisco and 8 authors (2011) Hull fouling as an invasion vector: can simple models explain a complex problem?, Journal of Applied Ecology 48: 415-423

U.S. National Museum of Natural History 2002-2021 Invertebrate Zoology Collections Database. <missing description>

Utinomi, Huzio (1970) Studies on the Cirripedian Fauna of Japan.IX., Distributional Survey of Thoracic Cirripeds in the Southeastern part of the Japan Sea, Publications of the Seto Marine Biological Laboratory 17(5): 339-372