PORT PHILLIP BAY


Chiton 

Rhyssoplax diaphora Iredale & May, 1916

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Suborder and Family level characters:
Tegmentum always present.
Anterior valve with 6 or more slits.
Insertion plates pectinate

Species level characters:
Anterior valve smooth and with coloured concentric lines in the edge areas (lateral areas). Middle valves with longitudinal ridges in the central area (many not extending to the edge), and smooth outer edges with coloured concentric lines (lateral areas). Posterior valve smooth. Raised section (keel) along middle of valves from anterior to posterior. Girdle covered with large scales, each scale with 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:
Chitonidae
Subfamily:
Chitoninae
Genus:
Rhyssoplax
Species:
diaphora

General Description

Flattened oval shaped body with 8 shell sections (valves) surrounded by a fleshy girdle. Colour variable, often brightly so with second and third valves partly or fully red, or second to seventh valves white. Up to 4 cm long.

Biology

This is one of the more colourful chiton species on Victoria's rocky shores. A similar species, which is also spectacularly coloured, occurs in far eastern Victoria.

Habitat

Under rocks, below low tide level to depth of about 5 m.

Reefs

Coastal shores

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

4 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, Rhyssoplax diaphora, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 18 Nov 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/5691

Text: creative commons cc by licence