Valentine’s Epilogue

A brief update on the Atlantic/Pacific post. I noticed this afternoon that the barnacles all seemed especially active. One pair in particular seemed to be vigorously churning the water around them, one spitting out more than it seemed to consume.

I assumed what I was watching was barnacle’s mating, that each was pouring gametes into the water. How wrong I was. What I found under the microscope was not fertilizing eggs, but this little one swimming around with a few of its siblings.

I rescued at least two dozen from the main tank (and have set them in the more permanent gelato jar tank); they’re attracted to strong light sources, which makes them easy to catch.

I’ll be posting more of them in coming days, no doubt. It raises questions about whether barnacles typically engage in live births or whether these represent an attempted barnacle cannibalism, and of course, how to care for them long enough to see the fabled cyprid stage of their lives.

For now, this little newborn is swimming among its peers, and I have a lot more viewing to do before I send them back to the ocean.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Matthew Rossi says:

    An alternate theory presents itself. They may be brine shrimp naupilii. I have been feeding them brine shrimp eggs, which have not been completely eaten. What I caught might be one of the freshly hatched naupilii of the shrimp.

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