RNA interference (RNAi) provides an efficient and specific technique for functional genomic studies. Yet, no successful application of RNAi has been reported in barnacles. In this study, siRNA against p38 MAPK was synthesized and then transfected into A. amphitrite larvae at either the nauplius or cyprid stage, or at both stages. Effects of siRNA transfection on the p38 MAPK level were hardly detectable in the cyprids when they were transfected at the nauplius stage. In contrast, larvae that were transfected at the cyprid stage showed lower levels of p38 MAPK than the blank and reagent controls. However, significantly decreased levels of phosphorylated p38 MAPK (pp38 MAPK) and reduced settlement rates were observed only in ‘double transfections’, in which larvae were exposed to siRNA solution at both the nauplius and cyprid stages. A relatively longer transfection time and more larval cells directly exposed to siRNA might explain the higher efficiency of double transfection experiments.