Lepidozona retiporosa (Carpenter, 1864)

Common name(s): Little lepidozona

Synonyms:  Lepidozona retiporosus Lepidozona retiporosa
Order Neoloricata
Suborder Chitonina
Family Ischnochitonidae
Lepidozona retiporosa,  12 mm long, captured at about 12-15 m depth near Rosario.  The head is to the right.
(Photo by: Dave Cowles, August 2007.  Aaron Baldwin helped with the identification)
Description:  The dorsal surface of the mantle has overlapping scales (photo)(photo), and there are spicules along the margin (photo).  The body length is less than half the width. The lateral areas of plates 2-7 are not conspicuously raised with pronounced tubercles, but they do have hemispherical or nearly globular nodules.  The central areas of plates 2-7 have longitudinal rows of shallow pits (photo) but the longitudinal ridges between the rows of pits are only faint.

How to Distinguish from Similar Species:   Several other Lepidozona species have distinct longitudinal ridges between the pits on the central areas of the plates.

Geographical Range:  Southern Alaska to northern Mexico

Depth Range:   (Usually < 15 m depth in California)

Habitat:  Rocks

Biology/Natural History:   This species is not often seen.



Dichotomous Keys:
  Kozloff 1987, 1996

General References:
  Lamb and Hanby, 2005 

Scientific Articles:

Web sites:

General Notes and Observations:  Locations, abundances, unusual behaviors:

I have encountered this species occasionally clinging to subtidal objects, especially from the 100 m depth trawls we do in the San Juan Channel. It is almost always quite small--I have rarely seen it over about 1.5 cm long.

Scales and spicules on mantle
This closeup of the mantle shows the scattered, oval scales on the dorsal surface, and the spicules which are visible along the mantle margin.

The central areas of the plates have more or less longitudinal rows of shallow pits but the ridges between the pits are not prominent.  This is a view of plates 3 (on right) to 7. 

An individual found in 2014

Girdle scales
This closeup shows the elongated, overlapping scales on the girdle.

This underside view, taken of an individual crawling across glass, shows the orange-red margins of the foot.

Authors and Editors of Page:
Dave Cowles (2007):  Created original page
CSS coding for page developed by Jonathan Cowles (2007)