To reveal how limpets maintain barnacle-free patches on man-made substrata, we transplanted intertidal Patella coerulea L. (19–27 mm shell length) to experimental glass and steel panels, and compared these panels with control panels, free of limpets. All panels were submerged
at 1-m depth in the port of Ashdod, Israel, during the time of peak recruitment of Balanus amphitrite (Darwin). Observations through the glass on limpets moving over barnacle-infested glass panels showed that they do not bulldoze young recruits with the front edge of their shell. Stomach
analyses did not implicate limpets as barnacle predators. But enclosing the steel panels with a fine net that collected all objects detached from the panel surfaces, revealed that limpets accelerated barnacle detachment and mortality. This presumably is achieved by repeatedly running over
the barnacles by the foot of the limpet, thus undermining the barnacles hold. Barnacles attaining a rostro-carinal diameter >ca. 1.5 mm were not detached by limpets.
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