Brown Barnacle

Chamaesipho brunnea

How to Recognise It 3

This is the brown barnacle, easily identified by the brown colour as well as "jigsaw" puzzle lines between the top and bottom plates which are devided down the middle. It often grows in clusters.

It grows in the splash zone and is generally not found below mean high tide level.

Can Be Confused with C.columna 3

C.brunnea is a northern species, unlikely to be found south of Cape Foulwind / Banks Peninsula. Also it occupies the spray zone, and does not occur below mean high tide.

C.columna is found throughout NZ, and lives in the upper half of the tidal zone.

Both species look very similar, but C.columna is narrower and the jigsaw shaped joint between the scuta and terga is less pronounced and not as central as in C.brunnea (IE. about 1/3 in brunnea and 1/4 in columna).

Another key difference is that when C.columna crowd together they merge throughout the length of the shells, whereas C.brunnea abut only at the bases of their shells.

Chamaesipho columna page

Summary 4

Chamaesipho brunnea is an intertidal barnacle common in New Zealand, on North Island and South Island north of Stewart Island. Juveniles have six shell wall plates, reducing to four in adults, and with age, all plates become concrescent, with no trace of sutures inside or out. Shell is brown colored. The related, and sometimes associated Chamaesipho columna is much smaller in size, by nearly half, while Elminius, which can associate with both species, also has four...

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  3. (c) tangatawhenua, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA)
  4. Adapted by tangatawhenua from a work by (c) Wikipedia, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA),

More Info

iNaturalist NZ Map

Location Aupourian, Cookian, Moriorian
Depth High Tide, Splash Zone