Toward a Characterization of the Chemical Cue to Barnacle Gregariousness

  • Anthony S. Clare


Many barnacle species are gregarious. This is an essential behavior for those species that can only reproduce by mating with a neighboring barnacle. Proximity of adult barnacles is achieved by gregarious settlement of the cypris larva. The chemical basis of this behavior was established 60 years ago, but attempts to characterize the cue to settlement met with limited success. This chapter presents evidence obtained in recent years that the cue is an α2-macroglobulin-like cuticular protein, detected by cyprids using a tactile chemical sense as they explore the substratum for a suitable settlement site.


Larval Settlement Cuticular Protein Cement Gland Attachment Disc Methyl Farnesoate 
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ASC gratefully acknowledges Dr Jim Nott for Fig. 22.3. Publications from the author’s laboratory on the SIPC would not have been possible without the invaluable contributions of many colleagues, including Drs Kiyotaka Matsumura, Hiroshi Hirota, Richard Kirby, Catherine Dreanno, and Margaret Kirby. Dr Graham Walker, Professor Dan Rittschof and the late Professor Denis Crisp provided much inspiration. This work was funded by the Natural Environment Research Council of the UK (GST/02/1436 and NER/A/S/2001/00532). Research on temporary adhesion and cyprid settlement behavior was funded by the NERC (NER/B/S/2003/00273), the US Office of Naval Research (N00014-02-1-0311; N00014-05-1-0767; N00014-08-1-1240) and EC Framework 6 Integrated Project “AMBIO” (NMP-CT-2005-011827). The views expressed in this publication reflect only those of the author and the Commission is not liable for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Marine Science and TechnologyNewcastle UniversityNewcastle upon TyneUK

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