Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK

Research Article

A cold seep barnacle (Cirripedia: Neolepadinae) from Japan and the age of the vent/seep fauna

Toshiyuki  Yamaguchi a1, William A.  Newman a2 and Jun  Hashimoto a3
a1 Marine Biosystems Research Center, Chiba University, 1-33, Yayoi-cho, Inage, Chiba 263-8522, Japan, e-mail:
a2 Marine Biological Research Division, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA 92093-0202, USA, e-mail:
a3 Faculty of Fisheries, Nagasaki University, 1-14 Bunkyo-machi, Nagasaki 852-8521, Japan, e-mail:

Article author query
yamaguchi t   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
newman wa   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
hashimoto j   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


A new pedunculate barnacle, Ashinkailepas seepiophila gen. and sp. nov. has been recovered from a hydrothermal cold seep at 1175 metres of depth off Hatsushima Island, Sagami Bay, central Japan. It is the second record of a Neolepadinae, otherwise known from vents, from a seep, but the two are not closely related. Its coarsely ornamented capitular plates, and primary peduncular armament being in whorls of six plates, distinguish it from all previously known neolepadines, not only as a new genus and species, but also as a distinct clade, and therefore a new tribe is proposed to accommodate it. There is a slight bilateral asymmetry in the proportions of the capitular plates as well as a marked bilateral asymmetry in the arrangement of the peduncular scales related to bending over to one side. This apomorphic characteristic distinguishes the new species from all other Scalpellomorpha. While leaning over to one side is suggestive of verrucomorphs, it is not judged a sign of affinity. Ashinkailepas is apparently the most primitive of the vent/seep barnacles, which are considered relics largely of the Mesozoic age.

(Received May 29 2003)
(Accepted November 5 2003)