Occurrence of the Barnacle (Xenobalanus globicipitis) on Coastal and Offshore Common Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Santa Monica Bay and Adjacent Areas, California
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Occurrence and distribution of pseudostalked barnacle (Xenobalanus globicipitis) on bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) were assessed during a 1997– 2007 study in Santa Monica Bay and nearby areas, California. During 425 surveys, 647 individuals were observed to assess presence and prevalence of barnacles; 92 barnacles on 56 individual (8.66%) were observed. On average, one barnacle was found on individuals, usually on top of dorsal fins (97.83%). No significant difference between barnacles’ numbers on coastal versus offshore sightings was recorded. A significant difference on their occurrence on dolphins was recorded between seasons and years. Barnacles affect a small portion of the dolphin population in the study area.