Goose Barnacle

Lepas anatifera


Goose Barnacles live attached to rocks, wooden ships or objects floating out at sea. They have a long, fleshy 'neck' with hard shells at the end protecting the main body of the animal. They filter feed on plankton and detritus.

How to identify

Unmistakeable. Bluish-white plates with black edges cover the animal. A similar species, Lepas fascicularis, floats attached to a spongy 'buoy' that it makes itself.

Where to find it

Often washed up in the western of the UK, especially after storms.


When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

Our seas and coastline are in need of protection if we are to keep our marine wildlife healthy. The Wildlife Trusts are working with fishermen, researchers, politicians and local people towards a vision of 'Living Seas', where marine wildlife thrives. This work has recently had a massive boost with the passing of the Marine Bill, promising sustainable development of the UK's marine environment. Do your bit for our Living Seas by supporting your local Wildlife Trust.

Species information

Common name
Goose Barnacle
Latin name
Lepas anatifera
Barnacles, crabs, shrimps and lobster
Length of shell: 5cm
Conservation status