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Semibalanus balanoides
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Crustacea
Class: Maxillopoda
Subclass: Thecostraca
Infraclass: Cirripedia
Superorder: Thoracica
Darwin, 1854

Thoracica is a superorder of crustaceans which contains the most familiar species of barnacles found on rocky coasts, such as Semibalanus balanoides and Chthamalus stellatus. They have six well-developed limbs, and may be either stalked or sessile. The carapace is heavily calcified. The group includes free-living and commensal species.[1]


This article follows Martin and Davis in placing Thoracica as a superorder of Cirripedia and in the following classification of thoracicans down to the level of families:[2]

Superorder Thoracica Darwin, 1854

Gooseneck barnacles (Lepas anatifera)


  1. ^ Robert D. Barnes (1982). Invertebrate Zoology. Philadelphia, PA: Holt-Saunders International. p. 706. ISBN 0-03-056747-5. 
  2. ^ Joel W. Martin & George E. Davis (2001). An Updated Classification of the Recent Crustacea (PDF). Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. pp. 132 pp.