Titan Acorn Barnacle
Range/Geographical Distribution: Native to the Pacific coast from California to Ecuador but is now found along the east coast from North Carolina to the Gulf of Mexico.
Habitat: Hard substrates such as rocks, pilings, and boat hulls; usually in high salinity locations.
Description: A large acorn barnacle with pink and light pink coloration on its shell.
Size: Can grow to two inches in height and width.
Food: Suspension feeder; eats plankton.
Breeding: Simultaneous hermaphrodites but breed with neighboring individuals. Fertilization is internal and released larvae go through several planktonic stages before settling and metamorphosizing into an adult.
Predators: Large size protects them from most predators.
Conservation Status: No legal status.
Interesting Facts: Titan acorn barnacles have a body mass that is up to 100 times greater than native barnacles. This increased size can be detrimental to native species as the titan barnacles out-compete natives for both food and space. Titan acorn barnacles, also called giant pink barnacles, were first observed outside their native range in 1851 on the hull of a ship at Le Havre, France.
On the Coast: Titan acorn barnacles were first found in GA in 2006. They can now be found on the pilings and rocks around Tybee Island.