Saturday, August 22, 2009

Another goose barnacle species - Smilium peronii

A pretty goose barnacle species that I found washed up the South Cottesloe shore last weekend - Smilium peronii.

I was lucky to have contacted Diana Jones, who works for the Western Australian Museum. She immediately identified the barnacle species and provided me with additional information about the animal.

Below is what I could make out from her reply:

Australian Distribution
Western Australia (4-31 m); South Australia, East Bass Strait, Victory (15-46 m); New South Wales (sublittoral-9 m); Queensland (4-48 m).

General Distribution:
Indo-Malaya-Australia, Kai Islands, Amboina Bay, Jedan Island.

Attached to organic substrata, e.g. seagrass (Cymodocea sp.), corallines, ascidians (e.g. Pyura pachydermatina Herdman var. gibbosa Kott)(Chai's note: Pyura pachydermatina is a sea tulip); wooden stakes.

  1. First records from Australia are by Darwin (1851), who recorded specimens from Bass Strait, and the Swan River, Western Australia, which had been collected by Astrolabe. (Chai's note: I have yet to find out what/who is Astrolabe.)
  2. The species occurs off the west coast of Western Australia in shallow water and is commonly found stranded on the shore during the winter months after storm activity.

This last photo, taken from an earlier post on this blog, shows a bunch of the goose barnacles (blue arrows) attached to the stalk of a sea tulip (pink arrows).

UPDATE (23 August 09): Fellow nature blogger Denis has provided me with some information about "the The Astrolabe". See the COMMENTS section below.


Denis Wilson said...

Hi Chai
I can help with "The Astrolabe".
It was a popular name for French naval explorers' ships.
The first one was La Perouse's ship - but he explored the east coast of Australia and the Pacific (not the west coast).
The next one was captained by Dumont D'Urville (1780 - 1842) who explored as far south as Antartica and visited Tasmania. He intended to visit the British settlement on the west coast. It is not clear (in the brief report I have seen) that he actually did that. He did travel from the "East Indies to Hobart". He travelled widely in the southern seas between 1837 and 1840.
See second voyage of the Astrolabe
D'Urville was a truly great navigator by all accounts - but not as famous as La Perouse and d'Entrecasteaux, the earlier French explorers of the southern and Pacific oceans.

Tsun-Thai Chai said...

Thanks, Denis. Now I know what "The Astrolabe" is.


Steve Reynolds said...

Hi Chai
I prefer to say the "Astrolabe", not "The Astrolabe", if you see what I mean. Sure, the French name was L'Astrolabe, but I say that it only means 'the Astrolabe'. There is, ofcourse, much debate over whether it should be the Beatles or The Beatles, for example.

Tsun-Thai Chai said...

Hi Steve,

Err.. thanks?

Anyway, did you see my earlier post which refers to your articles in the MLSSA newsletter?


Snail said...

Fantastic barnacles, Chai. Now I know more about them!

Just to add a little bit about L'Astrolabe. Quoy & Gaimard, who described a lot of the marine species along the south coast, were naturalists on the vessel under D'Urville. They stuck names on an awful lot of molluscs (among other groups)!

Tsun-Thai Chai said...

Thanks, Snail.