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Volcano barnacle


maximum 50 millimeters in diameter


broken white, light brown, purplish




worms, snails, some fish



  • Dut: Vulkaantje
  • Lat: Balanus perforatus
  • Eng: Volcano barnacle, perforated, rock or rough barnacle
  • Ger: Große Seepocke
  • Dan: Vulkan-formet rur
Balanus perforatus, Ecomare

Volcano barnacle

The volcano barnacle is a relatively tall barnacle which can grow quite large in southern waters. For a long time, this species was only found attached to washed up objects originating from more southerly seas. Since 1990, it has also been found living directly on hard substrate along the Dutch coast. The Dutch version of the volcano barnacle is smaller (up to 15 mm) than its southern brothers. The volcano barnacle has various names in English: perforated, rock and rough barnacle all refer to the same volcano barnacle. To make it even more confusing, being one of the various acorn barnacles, you may even run into this name. However, the most common (and native) barnacle in the North Sea is also called the acorn barnacle!

  • Distribution and habitat

    The volcano barnacle prefers to attach itself just above the low-tide waterline, but it can also be found down to 20 meters deep. It is found along the European coasts, in the North Sea, Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea and down to West Africa. This species has a calcified base, meaning that it leaves a trace of its house if ever removed from its underground. Volcano barnacles breed in the summer so that the young barnacles start to settle in August and September.