The type specimens of the common tropical intertidal barnacles Chthamalus malayensis and C. moro, were re-investigated and compared with other specimens of Chthamalus from the Indian Ocean, Indo-Malaya, northern Australia, Vietnam, China and the western Pacific, using ‘arthropodal’ as well as shell characters. Chthamalus malayensis occurs widely in Indo-Malayan and tropical Australian waters. It ranges westwards in the Indian Ocean to East Africa and northwards in the Pacific to Vietnam, China and the Ryukyu Islands. Chthamalus malayensis has the arthropodal characters attributed to it by Pope (1965); conical spines on cirrus 1 and serrate setae with basal guards on cirrus 2. Chthamalus moro is currently fully validated only for the Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan, the Xisha (Paracel) Islands, the Ryukyu Islands, the Mariana Islands, the Caroline Islands, Fiji and Samoa. It is a small species of the ‘challengeri’ subgroup, lacking conical spines on cirrus 1 and bearing pectinate setae without basal guards on cirrus 2. It may be a ‘relict’ insular species. Chthamalus challengeri also lacks conical spines on cirrus 1 and has pectinate setae without basal guards on cirrus 2. Records of C. challengeri south of Japan are probably erroneous. However, there is an undescribed species of the ‘challengeri’ subgroup in the Indian Ocean, Indo-Malaya, Vietnam and southern China and yet more may occur in the western Pacific. The subgroups ‘malayensis’ and ‘challengeri’ require genetic investigation. Some comments are included on the arthropodal characters and geographical distributions of Chthamalus antennatus, C. dalli and C. stellatus.