4
$\begingroup$

I have no idea how to explain it. It looks like mini white volcanoes growing on a lobster shell. Is it bacteria or parasite?

enter image description here

$\endgroup$

1 Answer 1

9
$\begingroup$

These are barnacles, which are interestingly related to lobsters. See the image for comparision (from here):

enter image description here

They have a mobile larval stadium, but once they mature, they attach to a hard surface. They can be found on ships, surfaces in harbours, on whales and obviously on lobster shells. See here and here for some more details.

$\endgroup$
4
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ ah, even more creepy in your up-close image! $\endgroup$
    – 001001
    Commented Aug 8, 2020 at 19:28
  • $\begingroup$ The question also asked if they were parasitic - do they do any harm to the animal in question? Given that lobsters are food animals, would the lobster be safe to eat? $\endgroup$
    – nick012000
    Commented Aug 9, 2020 at 9:23
  • $\begingroup$ @nick012000: It's arguably a form of parasitism, since the barnacle gains (a surface to attach, and one that is usefully mobile for defence and food collection) whilst the lobster loses by having to carry the barnacles, and appears to have no benefit. But it is a surface contamination only, and AFAIK the types of barnacle pictured are harmless to us on outside of food, they can simply be ignored or removed. There is a different barnacle that has evolved to feed on the host directly - theconversation.com/… $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 9, 2020 at 10:18
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ There's a Disney movie waiting to be written about Larry Lobster and his frenemies Barry, Bill, Bud, and Barney Barnacle. $\endgroup$
    – davidbak
    Commented Aug 9, 2020 at 16:54

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .