Interesting finds on Welsh beaches
Marine Biologist Eilir Morgan identified some interesting creatures found on a South Wales beach from photographs sent in to the School of Ocean Sciences. Further sightings have also been reported from North Wales.
Photos courtesy of the finder, David Luckhurst.
"I believe what you've found is a species of 'stalked' or 'goose' barnacle (Class: Cirripedia,
Order: Thoracica) that has been, like you postulated, washed up on the shore, most likely during a storm event.
Whilst I'm by no means an expert in the field, I'm nearly certain that the species in question is Dosima fascicularis (Ellis and Solander), commonly known as the 'buoy barnacle'. The head region of each barnacle
is usually up to 30mm in length. The plates are thin, smooth and distinctively curved as shown clearly in your images, giving it a streamlined shape. The neck of this species is shorter than its head and is usually coloured in pale-yellowish to purpulish-brown hues. It secretes a type of 'communal float' that apparently has the texture of expanded polystyrene(?!); this is the white bit that you found in the middle of each group of barnacles. Interestingly, smaller individuals attach to small floating objects such as feathers (interesting that these are also present on the strand line...!) and straws, with larger conspecifics supplementing their floatation by the production of this white material around the material upon which they initially settled.
The species is cosmopolitan in warmer seas and is often found stranded on south and west coasts of the British Isles, as well as the west coasts of France, Spain and Portugal, sometimes in large numbers (some of this information taken from Hayward & Ryland, 2002)."
Publication date: 22 August 2012