Marine Biology

, Volume 157, Issue 12, pp 2783–2789

Effects of crowding and wave exposure on penis morphology of the acorn barnacle, Semibalanus balanoides

Original Paper


Wave action and low population density can strongly reduce the ability of sessile acorn barnacles to find mates and copulate. For Semibalanus balanoides, penis morphology varies with wave exposure and with characteristics of the mating neighborhood. Field experiments were conducted at five intertidal sites on Long Island, New York, USA from July to December 2005 to determine how wave exposure and aggregation structure influence the length, diameter, mass, and number of annulated folds of the penis. Sparsely crowded barnacles had more annulations in the penis and are inferred to have greater ability to stretch. At higher wave exposure, the diameter of the penis was greater, but the mass was not. This study identifies density of crowding as the most important cue that barnacles respond to when perceiving their mating group and details how penis morphology varies in response to wave exposure.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (TIFF 2594 kb)
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Supplementary material 2 (TIFF 5404 kb)
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Supplementary material 3 (TIFF 3077 kb)
227_2010_1536_MOESM4_ESM.doc (74 kb)
Supplementary material 4 (DOC 73 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Ecology and EvolutionStony Brook UniversityStony BrookUSA
  2. 2.Southeast Environmental Research CenterFlorida International UniversityMiamiUSA

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