We found this on a beach in North Devon, UK. I've never seen anything like it.

There's a yellowy-ball in the middle with 5 pointed shells attached to it, each of which seems to have a single "leg" coming out of the bottom. It almost looks like it's 5 separate creatures feeding on something, but they're pretty firmly attached. Perhaps it's some sort of egg-sac that they're growing from?

Does anyone know what this is?



1 Answer 1


You have a Dosima: Also known as a Buoy Barnacle. A gallery of observations of these can be found here:


They are found in the coastal UK and Spain area, New Zealand, and east and west N.America:

enter image description here (source: iNaturalist observations)

These barnacles attach themselves to things that float, and if they don't have access to one, they will grow one themselves. Your image looks like five individuals attached to a central float that one of them (or a dead relative) constructed.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Wow these things are fascinating! $\endgroup$ Sep 6, 2020 at 23:27

You must log in to answer this question.

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