Invasion History

First Non-native North American Tidal Record: 2000
First Non-native West Coast Tidal Record: 2000
First Non-native East/Gulf Coast Tidal Record:

General Invasion History:

Amphibalanus eburneus is native to the Western Atlantic, from the southern Gulf of Maine to Panama, Colombia and Venezuela. It ranges further south, to Uruguay and Argentina (Henry and McLaughlin 1975; Young 1994), where it may be cryptogenic. Based on its range, this barnacle is moderately tolerant of brackish waters and cold temperatures.  Amphibalanus eburneus may have reached the Pacific through the Panama Canal. It was collected on the Pacific coast of northern Colombia in 1924 (USNM 59208, U.S. National Museum of Natural History 2013) and is now common on the Pacific coast of Panama (Laguna 1985). It was collected in the Gulf of California, Mexico, by 1959 (Henry and McLaughlin 1975). In 2000, an established population was reported for the first time in U.S. Pacific waters, in the Colorado Lagoon, Long Beach, California (Cohen et al. 2002; Carlton, personal communication), and in 2010, it was found at two marinas in San Francisco Bay, California (Foss 2011; Ruiz et al. unpublished data). Based on its broad tolerances, this species has the potential to greatly expand its range on the Pacific coast.

North American Invasion History:

Invasion History on the West Coast:

In July 2000, A. eburneus was collected in the Colorado Lagoon, part of Alamitos Bay in Long Beach, California. This population is well-established (Cohen et al. 2002; Cohen et al. 2005). Amphibalanus eburneus was established at the Pacific end of the Panama Canal and at several locations on the Mexican coast by 1964 (Matsui et al. 1964; Henry and McLaughlin 1975). The California population may have been transported from Mexican harbors by yachts.

Invasion History in Hawaii:

Amphibalanus eburneus was first collected in the Hawaiian Islands in Pearl Harbor, Oahu, in 1929 (Henry and McLaughlin 1975). On Oahu, it has been collected in Honolulu Harbor (in 1947, Henry and McLaughlin 1975) and Kaneohe Bay (in 1959, Henry and McLaughlin 1975). It is also established in Maui (in 1962, Matsui et al. 1964) and Kauai (in 2002, Coles et al. 2004). Amphibalanus eburneus is most abundant in brackish water, and is rare outside harbors and estuaries (Zabin et al. 2009). Carlton and Eldredge (2009) review its history in Hawaii and provide additional details. 

Invasion History Elsewhere in the World:

Amphibalanus eburneus has been widely introduced around the world by shipping, and has invaded the Northeast Atlantic, the Indian Ocean, Northwestern Pacific and the Northeastern Pacific (Barnes and Barnes 1972; Henry and McLaughlin 1975; Utinomi 1975; Laguna 1985). On the Atlantic Coast, it became established in the Bay of Biscay, France by 1940 (Barnes and Barnes 1972; Golletquer et al. 2002). Further north, it was first collected in Dutch waters as early as 1895, but sporadically appeared and disappeared, and does not seem to be established there (Wolff 2005). Amphibalanus eburneus has become established in the seas of southern Europe, entering the Mediterranean by 1863, and reaching the Black Sea by 1895 (Relini and Matricardi 1999; Kocak and Kucuksezgin 2000; Gomiou et al. 2002; Innocenti 2006). This barnacle has colonized the Caspian Sea via canals and ballast water (Grigorevich et al. 2003), but has also invaded oceanic islands, including Bermuda (in 1962, Henry and McLaughlin 1975) and the Azores (Southward 1998).

Amphibalanus eburneus was collected in Manila, the Philippines, before 1916 (Pilsbry 1916), but its expansion into the Northwest Pacific was not documented until after World War II. It appeared in Tokyo Bay in 1950 (Utinomi 1970), and eventually spread north to Vladivostok, Russia and south to Hong Kong (Utinomi 1975; Rainbow 1990, Kim 1992; Zvyaginstsev 2003). Amphibalanus eburneus was collected at Enewetak Atoll in the Marshall Islands in 1967 (Zullo et al. 1972), possibly brought there during World War II or during post-war atomic bomb tests. It was first collected on Guam in 2000, where it was found in an estuary and near freshwater seeps (Paulay et al. 2002; Paulay and Ross 2003). It has also become established at several points along trade routes between Europe and Asia, including the Suez Canal (in 2003, Emara and Belal 2004) and in Mumbai and Madras, India (Daniel 1955 in Matsui et al. 1964; Henry and McLaughlin 1975).


Amphibalanus eburneus has a shell which varies from conical to cylindrical, depending on the amount of crowding. The orifice is round or slightly toothed, and its width is usually more than ½ its height. The plates have wide longitudinal spaces (radii), narrowing towards the top of the shell plates, while the tops (summits) of the shell plates are thick and rough (Henry and McLaughlin 1975). Inside the operculum, the scutum has thick growth ridges. The tergum has a blunt apex, and a broad spur, with a length only a little greater than its width. The basal margin of the tergum curves inward beside the spur, and then curves outward to form a protuberance with prominent ridges, forming a jagged edge (Henry and McLaughlin 1975). This barnacle can grow to 40 mm diameter and 30 mm height (Henry and McLaughlin 1975), but adults more typically reach 25 mm basal diameter (Gosner 1978). It is characteristic of sheltered estuarine habitats, and tolerates considerable salinity variation (Henry and McLaughlin 1975). The larval stages are described and illustrated in Lang (1979) and Lang (1980).


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:   Amphibalanus
Species:   eburneus


Balanus amphitrite var. niveus (Oleivera, 1941)
Balanus democraticus (Dekay, 1844)

Potentially Misidentified Species

Amphibalanus amphitrite
Widely distributed in warm-temperate-tropical waters

Amphibalanus improvisus
Characteristic of brackish waters, widely distributed

Amphibalanus reticulatus
Widely distributed in subtropical waters

Amphibalanus subalbidus
Characteristic of brackish waters, Chesapeake Bay-Trinidad, introduced in Brazil and Gulf of California

Amphibalanus venustus
Native to Atlantic, MA-Brazil, introduced to SW Europe to S Africa, Persian Gulf to Madagascar



Amphibalanus eburneus, 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). Broods of A. eburneus in culture ranged from ,1000 ro 13,000 eggs (El-Komy and Kajihara 1991). The nauplii feed in the plankton and go through five successive molts, spending four to 18 days in the water column before molting into a non-feeding cypris stage, covered with a pair of chitinous shells (Scheltema et al. 1982). 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 that gather phytoplankton, zooplankton, and detritus. Amphibalanus eburneus has seven larval stages, as in other Thoracica: a non-feeding nauplius I, feeding nauplius stages II-VI, and a nonfeeding cyprid, the settling stage (Costlow and Boukhout 1957). Larval development period is based on laboratory experiments with larvae from Woods Hole, Massachusetts. The longest larval development, 18 days, was observed at 20ºC with a low food concentration, the shortest, four days, at 30ºC with high food availability (Scheltema and Williams 1982).

Based on its native range, Amphibalanus eburneus survives in estuaries prone to some winter ice cover, and also survives warm tropical temperatures (Henry and McLaughlin 1975). Its requirement for a temperature of ~20+ºC for larval development (Scheltema et al. 1992) may limit its range. This is suggested by its sporadic appearances in shallow, warm habitats at the northern edges of its range in the Sea of Japan (Zvyaginstsev 2003), the Netherlands (Wolff 2005) and Atlantic France (Barnes and Barnes 1972). Carlton et al. (2011) predict that with climate change, A. eburneus will move north into Maine. Amphibalanus eburneus can be found in marine and estuarine environments from the shallow subtidal to 37 m. Individuals settle on mangroves, mollusk shells, wood, rocks, harbor installations and ships (Wells 1966; Henry and McLaughlin 1975; Laguna 1985).

In a survey of barnacles in the upper and middle Chesapeake Bay, Amphibalanus eburneus was collected at salinities as low as 8 PSU, but was the least abundant species (Kennedy and de Cosimo 1983). This barnacle is most abundant in lower portions of the Bay (Ruiz et al., unpublished data). In a Trinidad mangrove swamp, A. eburneus occurred and reproduced at 6-40 ppt (Bacon 1971). Settlement of cyprids from Chesapeake Bay occurred at salinities of 5-35 ppt (Dineen and Hines 1994). In the Loxahatchee River estuary, Indian Lagoon, Florida, A. eburneus was common at sites with average salinities of 22-32 ppt, and rare at average salinities as low as 19 ppt (SEM ± 3 ppt) (McPherson et al. 1984).




Other barnacles

Trophic Status:

Suspension Feeder



General HabitatCoarse Woody DebrisNone
General HabitatOyster ReefNone
General HabitatMarinas & DocksNone
General HabitatRockyNone
General HabitatMangrovesNone
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 Temperature (ºC)-2Based on occurrence in estuaries with winter ice cover.
Minimum Salinity (‰)6Experimental, lowest tested Trinidad (Bacon 1971)
Maximum Salinity (‰)70Field, Laguna Madre TX (Simmons 1957)
Minimum Reproductive Temperature20Experimental. larval survival, lowest tested (Scheltema et al. 1982).
Maximum Reproductive Temperature30Experimental. larval survival, highest tested (Scheltema et al. 1982).
Minimum Reproductive Salinity5Settlement of cyprids in laboratory experiments (Dineen and Hines 1994).
Maximum Reproductive Salinity45Field, Laguna Madre TX (Simmons 1957); Successful development, at 40 PSU highest salinity tested (Bacon 1976).
Minimum Duration4Experimental, larval development to cypris, 30 C, high food (Scheltema et al. 1982).
Maximum Duration18Experimental, larval development to cypris, 20 C, low food (Scheltema et al. 1982).
Maximum Length (mm)30Maximum adult height (Henry and McLaughlin 1975)
Maximum Width (mm)40Maximum basal height (Henry and McLaughlin 1975)
Broad Temperature RangeNoneCold temperate-Tropical
Broad Salinity RangeNoneMesohaline-Euhaline

General Impacts

Economic Impacts

We have not found specific reports of economic impacts for Amphibalanus eburneus. However, A. eburneus is an abundant fouling species in its native range on the East and Gulf Coasts of the U.S. (Visscher 1927; Moore and Frue 1959; Utinomi 1970; Relini and Matricardi 1999; Kocak and Kucuksezgin 2001) and it can be a major contributor to growth/biofouling on the surfaces of ships and harbor structures. It is also a common fouling organism in oyster beds, and a potential competitor with oysters for space and food (White and Wilson 1996). Hull fouling by barnacles and other organisms has costly impacts for shipping lines by increasing fuel costs, decreasing maneuverability, and clogging internal seawater piping (Visscher 1927; Haderlie 1984). Barnacles also greatly contribute to fouling of navigational buoys and coastal power station intakes (Haderlie 1984).

Ecological Impacts

In its native waters on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, A. eburneus is considered a potential fouling organism and competitor of the Eastern Oyster (Crassostrea virginica) (White and Wilson 1996). In the southern Caspian Sea, a mass population boom of A. eburneus is reported to have adversely affected molluscs and hydroids, due to competition for space and planktonic food (Zaitsev and Ozturk 2001).

Regional Impacts

CASPCaspian SeaEcological ImpactCompetition
'In the Southern Caspian Sea, mass development of Amphibalanus eburneus led to a considerable decrease in the biomass of native species of molluscs and hydroids. Under the conditions of food shortage, it prevents the development of other organisms in the fouling. This competition is particularly severe in the larval stage. The larvae of Amphibalanus sometimes reached up to 90% of all plankton in some areas of the Caspian Sea.' (Zaitsev and Ozturk 2001).

Regional Distribution Map

Bioregion Region Name Year Invasion Status Population Status
NA-ET2 Bay of Fundy to Cape Cod 0 Native Estab
NA-ET3 Cape Cod to Cape Hatteras 0 Native Estab
CAR-VII Cape Hatteras to Mid-East Florida 0 Native Estab
CAR-V None 0 Native Estab
CAR-I Northern Yucatan, Gulf of Mexico, Florida Straits, to Middle Eastern Florida 0 Native Estab
CAR-II None 0 Native Estab
CAR-III None 0 Native Estab
CAR-IV None 0 Native Estab
SA-II None 1969 Crypto Estab
SEP-H None 1924 Def Estab
NEP-VIII None 1963 Def Estab
NEP-VII None 1959 Def Estab
SP-XXI None 1929 Def Estab
NA-ET4 Bermuda 1962 Def Estab
NEA-II None 1895 Def Unk
NWP-3b None 1950 Def Estab
NWP-4a None 1964 Def Estab
NWP-2 None 1990 Def Estab
CIO-I None 1975 Def Estab
MED-III None 1970 Def Estab
MED-V None 1956 Def Estab
MED-IX None 1892 Def Estab
CASP Caspian Sea 1956 Def Estab
SP-XIII None 1967 Def Estab
NWP-3a None 1963 Def Estab
NEP-IX None 1985 Def Estab
NEA-VI None 1998 Def Estab
MED-II None 1869 Def Estab
NEA-V None 1954 Def Estab
MED-VI None 1972 Def Estab
NEP-VI Pt. Conception to Southern Baja California 2000 Def Estab
P050 San Pedro Bay 2000 Def Estab
N170 Massachusetts Bay 1841 Native Estab
N130 Great Bay 0 Native Estab
N185 _CDA_N185 (Cape Cod) 0 Native Estab
N190 Waquoit Bay 0 Native Estab
M010 Buzzards Bay 0 Native Estab
N195 _CDA_N195 (Cape Cod) 0 Native Estab
M020 Narragansett Bay 0 Native Estab
M040 Long Island Sound 0 Native Estab
M070 Barnegat Bay 0 Native Estab
M080 New Jersey Inland Bays 0 Native Estab
M060 Hudson River/Raritan Bay 0 Native Estab
M090 Delaware Bay 0 Native Estab
M130 Chesapeake Bay 0 Native Estab
M110 Maryland Inland Bays 0 Native Estab
M128 _CDA_M128 (Eastern Lower Delmarva) 0 Native Estab
S030 Bogue Sound 0 Native Estab
S050 Cape Fear River 0 Native Estab
S040 New River 0 Native Estab
S060 Winyah Bay 0 Native Estab
S080 Charleston Harbor 0 Native Estab
S140 St. Catherines/Sapelo Sounds 0 Native Estab
S180 St. Johns River 0 Native Estab
S190 Indian River 0 Native Estab
G020 South Ten Thousand Islands 0 Native Estab
G100 Apalachicola Bay 0 Native Estab
G090 Apalachee Bay 0 Native Estab
G070 Tampa Bay 0 Native Estab
G074 _CDA_G074 (Crystal-Pithlachascotee) 0 Native Estab
G050 Charlotte Harbor 0 Native Estab
G120 Choctawhatchee Bay 0 Native Estab
G170 West Mississippi Sound 0 Native Estab
G220 Atchafalaya/Vermilion Bays 0 Native Estab
G260 Galveston Bay 0 Native Estab
G300 Aransas Bay 0 Native Estab
G310 Corpus Christi Bay 0 Native Estab
G320 Upper Laguna Madre 0 Native Estab
S200 Biscayne Bay 0 Native Estab
MED-X None 1999 Def Estab
MED-VIII None 1939 Def Estab
MED-VII None 1872 Def Estab
NEA-IV None 1940 Def Estab
WA-V None 1962 Def Unk
CIO-II None 1955 Def Estab
EAS-III None 1916 Def Estab
S045 _CDA_S045 (New) 0 Native Estab
SP-XII None 2000 Def Estab
SA-III None 2006 Crypto Estab
RS-3 None 2003 Def Estab
SA-IV None 2010 Crypto Estab
EA-V None 0 Def Unk
MED-IV None 2009 Def Estab
PAN_PAC Panama Pacific Coast 1924 Def Estab
PAN_CAR Panama Caribbean Coast 0 Native Estab
WA-IV None 2015 Def Estab

Occurrence Map

OCC_ID Author Year Date Locality Status Latitude Longitude


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Cornelio, Michele; Manzoni, Alberto (1999) Caratterizzazione stagionale degli insediamenti di organismi macrobentonici su substrati sperimentali nel bacino centrale della laguna di Venezia., Bollettino del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Venezia 49: 135-144

Costlow, John D., Jr.; Bookhout, C. G. (1957) Larval development of Balanus eburneus in the laboratory, Biological Bulletin 112(3): 313-324

de Montaudouin, Xavier; Sauriau, Pierre-Guy (2000) Contributions to a synopsis of marine species richness in the Pertuis-Charentais Sea with new insights into the soft-bottom macrofauna of the Marennes-Oleron Bay, Cahiers de Biologie Marine 41: 181-222

del Monaco, Carlos; Capelo, Juan (2000) [The genera Balanus, Chthamalus and Tetraclita from the coast of Nueva Esparta, Venezuela], Memoria de la Fundacion La Salle de Ciencias Naturales 154: 77-197

Dineen, Joseph F.; Hines, Anson H. (1994) Larval settlement of the polyhaline barnacle Balanus eburneus: cue interactions and comparisons with two estuarine congeners., Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 179: 223-234

El-Komy, M. M.; Kajihara, T. (1991) Breeding and moulting of barnacles under rearing conditions, Marine Biology 108: 83-89

Eldredge, L. G.; Smith, C. M. (2001) Introduced marine species of Hawaii, Bishop Museum Technical Report 21: 1-60

Emara, Ahmed; Belal, Aisha (2004) Marine fouling in Suez Canal, Egypt, Egyptian Journal of Aquatic Research 30A: 189-206

Farrapeira, Christiane M. R. (2010) Barnacles (Crustacea:Cirripedia) of the estuarine and marine areas of the port of Recife (Pernambuco, Brazil), Cahiers de Biologie Marine 50: 199-129

Farrapeira, Cristiane Maria Rocha (2010) Shallow water Cirripedia of the northeastern coast of Brazil: The impact of life history and invasion on biogeography, Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 392: 210-219

Farrapeira, Cristiane Maria Rocha; Ferreira, Gledson Fabiano de Araujo; Tenório, Deusinete de Oliveira (2010) Intra regional transportation of a tugboat fouling community between the ports of Recife and Natal, northeast Brazil, Brazilian Journal of Oceanography 58(IV SBO): 1-14

Foss, Stephen (2011) <missing title>, California Department of Fish and Game, Office of Spill Prevention and Response, Sacramento. Pp. 54

Gomiou, Marian-Traian; Alexandrov, Boris; Shadrin, Nikolai; Zaitsev, Yuvenaly (2002) The Black Sea- a recipient, donor, and transit area for alien species., In: Leppakoski, E.; Gollasch, S.; Olenin, S.(Eds.) Invasive aquatic species of Europe: Distribution, impacts, and management.. , Dordrecht. Pp. 341-350

Gosner, Kenneth L. (1978) A field guide to the Atlantic seashore., In: (Eds.) . , Boston. Pp. <missing location>

Gould, Augustus A. (1841) <missing title>, Folsom, Wells, and Thurston, Cambridge. Pp. <missing location>

Gould, Augustus A. (1870) <missing title>, Wright and Potter, State Printers, Boston. Pp. <missing location>

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

Grigorovich, Igor A.; Therriault, Thomas W.; MacIsaac, Hugh J. (2003) History of aquatic invertebrate invasions in the Caspian Sea., Biological Invasions 5: 103-115

Hardwick-Witman, Morgan; Mathieson, Arthur C. (1983) Intertidal macroalgae and macroinvertebrates: seasonal and spatial abundance patterns along an estuarine gradient., Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science 16: 113-129

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

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Honma, Y.; Nakajima, J. (1973) Studies on gonad maturity in some marine invertebrates - 8.Structure of reproductive and related organs of a foreign barnacle, Balanus eburneus, that appears in Lake Kamo-ko, Sado Island., Bulletin of the Japanese Society of Scientific Fisheries 39(4): 357-365

Innocenti, G. (2006) Collections of the Natural History Museum, Zoological Section «la Specola» of the University of Florence. XXIII. Crustacea, class Maxillopoda, subclass Thecostraca, infraclass Cirripedia, Atti della Societa Toscana di Scienze Naturali Memorie, series B. 113: 1-11

Iwasaki, Keiji (2006) Assessment and Control of Biological Invasion Risks., Shoukadoh Book Sellers,and IUCN, Kyoto and Gland, Switzerland. Pp. 104-112

Kennedy, Victor S.; DiCosimo, Jane (1983) Subtidal distribution of barnacles (Cirripedia: Balanidae) in Chesapeake Bay, MD., Estuaries 6(2): 95-101

Kim, I-H. (1992) Invasion of foreign barnacles into Korean waters, Korean Journal of Systematic Zoology 8(2): 163-176

Kim, Jeongho; Ubagan, Michael; Kwon, Soyeon; Kim, l-Hoi; Shin, Sook (2022) Variation in genetics, morphology, and recruitment of the invasive barnacle Amphibalanus eburneus (Gould, 1841) in the southern Korean peninsula, PeerJ 10: Published online
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Kocak, F. ; Kucuksezgin, F. (2000) Sessile fouling organisms and environmental parameters in the marinas of the Turkish Aegean coast., Indian Journal of Marine Science 29: 149-157

Koukouras, Anathasios; Matsa, Athanasia (1998) The thoracican cirriped fauna of the Aegean Sea: New information, checklist of the Mediterranean species, faunal comparisons., Senckenbergiana Maritima 28(4/6): 133-142

Laguna, Jorge (1985) <missing title>, M.S. Thesis, University of California, San Diego. Pp. <missing location>

Laguna, Jorge E. (1990) Shore barnacles (Cirripedia, Thoracica) and a revision of their provincialism and transition zones in the tropical Eastern Pacific, Bulletin of Marine Science 46(2): 406-424

Lang, W. H. (1980) Cirripedia: balanomorph nauplii of the NW Atlantic shores, Fiches D’Identification du Zooplancton 163: 1-6

Lang, William H. (1979) Larval development of shallow water barnacles of the Carolinas (Cirripedia: Thoracica) with keys to naupliar stages., NOAA Technical Report NMFS Circular 421: 1-39

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