Barnacle cyprid (or cypris) larva

Barnacle cyprid (or cypris) larva Collected: North Inlet, SC (marsh creek) Collected using a 153 μm plankton net suspended from a dock during a moving tide. June 2005

Notes: The cypris larva is a non-feeding stage that follows the nauplius stage. The oil droplets seen inside are used for nutrition. The primary function of this stage seems to be to find a spot to settle where the adult can prosper.

Barnacle cyprids are extremely difficult to identify to species visually.


cyprid _sc_big copy

Barnacle cyprid with appendages extended


1. The eyespot (dark) senses light levels and is presumed responsible for the photopositive response seen in cyprids of intertidal species. This insures that settlement is in the intertidal zone.

2. The oil droplets seen inside are used for nutrition.

3. The two fleshy antennules can grasp the substrate and act like a pair of legs to move the cyprid about as it checks out prospective spots to settle.

4. The fine appendages at the lower right test both the physical and chemical attributes of prospective landing sites.

Collected by: W. S. Johnson
Goucher College