PORT PHILLIP BAY


Chiton 

Ischnochiton versicolor (Sowerby, 1840)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Suborder and Family level characters:
Tegmentum always present.
Anterior valve with 6 or more slits.
Insertion plates not pectinate.
Posterior valve without terminal sinus.

Species level characters:
Middle valves with fine wavy ridges in the centre, with 3 or 4 ribs at the edges (lateral areas). Posterior valve with a small convex section on the anterior edge (mucro). Girdle covered with large, round to oval scales, each scale with 6-8 deep grooves.

Sources:
Macpherson, J. H. and Gabriel, C. J. (1962) Marine Molluscs of Victoria.
Kass, P., Jones, A. M. and Gowlett-Holmes, K. L. (1998) Polyplacophora, in: Mollusca: the southern synthesis, Australian Biological Resources Study.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Mollusca
Class:
Polyplacophora
Order:
Neoloricata
Suborder:
Ischnochitonina
Family:
Ischnochitonidae
Subfamily:
Ischnochitoninae
Genus:
Ischnochiton
Subgenus:
Ischnochiton
Species:
versicolor

General Description

Flattened oval shaped body with 8 shell sections (valves) surrounded by a fleshy girdle. Colour variable, including dark green, brown, or white, with or without a pale stripe along the middle. Up to 7 cm long.

Biology

One author saw a difference in how coarse the ridges are on the shell of this species and as a result split it into two sub species: one that occurs in western Victoria, and one that lives in eastern Victoria.

Habitat

Under rocks in sheltered tidal pools, below mid tide level to depth of 28 m.

Reefs

Coastal shores

Distribution guide

South-eastern Australia.

Species Group

Sea snails and shells Chitons

Depth

Shore (0-1 m)
Shallow (1-30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

7 cm

Diet

Herbivore

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Identify

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Not listed

Author

article author Patullo, B.

Blair Patullo is Online Producer for marine projects at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
Patullo, B., 2011, Chiton, Ischnochiton versicolor, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 25 Sep 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/5687

Text: creative commons cc by licence