Palmer, A. Richard Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.
- Reproductive modes and anatomy
- Mating behavior, fertilization, and development
- Egg size, fecundity, and energetics
- Reproduction in non-thoracican barnacles
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
Barnacle reproduction involves the transfer of sperm from one individual barnacle to another to produce embryos that develop into planktonic larvae for recolonization and dispersal. Barnacles (infraclass Cirripedia) are crustaceans, which constitute a large group of arthropods, including familiar animals such as shrimps, lobsters, and crabs and less familiar (although no less common) ones such as ostracods (seed shrimp), branchiopods (fairy shrimp and water fleas), and copepods. Despite their crustacean heritage, barnacles differ from other crustaceans in two important ways. First, the most familiar barnacles (the stalked and acorn barnacles belonging to the superorder Thoracica) are typically hermaphrodites, whereas a separation of sexes is the norm for other higher taxa of the crustaceans and for primitive barnacle groups. Second, the Cirripedia (class Maxillopoda, subclass Thecostraca) is the only higher taxon of free-living (nonparasitic) crustaceans characterized by sessile (permanently attached) adults. Both of these differences greatly influence barnacle reproductive biology.
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