PORT PHILLIP BAY


Chiton 

Ischnochiton virgatus (Reeve, 1847)

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:
Valves covered with fine spots (punctate). Girdle covered with small, overlapping (imbricating) scales, each scale with fine lines (striate).

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:
virgatus

General Description

Flattened oval shaped body with 8 shell sections (valves) surrounded by a fleshy girdle. Patterned with orange, green and cream, girdle cream with dark stripes. Up to 1 cm long.

Biology

This small chiton is one of the more colourful species living in Victorian waters.

Habitat

Under rocks, in tidal pools to below low tide level, to depth of 6 m.

Reefs

Coastal shores

Soft substrates

Distribution guide

South-eastern Australia, including western and central Victoria.

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

1 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 virgatus, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 22 Aug 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/5688

Text: creative commons cc by licence