The influence of food concentrations (0.5, 1 and 2×105 cells ml−1) and temperatures (20 and 30°C) on the survival, development, organic carbon and nitrogen content of Balanus albicostatus larvae was evaluated. The effect of food concentration on the subsequent ageing and metamorphosis of cypris larva was also determined. At lower food concentration and temperature, naupliar development duration was prolonged and the rate of metamorphosis of nauplius to cyprid was low. The rearing food concentration affected organic carbon and nitrogen content of the nauplii, which was also reflected in non-feeding cyprids. A decrease in the carbon content was observed with cyprid ageing at 5°C. Metamorphosis was higher in 8-d aged cyprids when compared to 2-d aged cyprids, and was positively influenced by the natural biofilm.