The dorsal surface of
of this chiton
is not granular but has numerous soft, flexible, usually brown,
hairs which are arranged randomly. The hairs are scattered
and up to 3 mm long, not as long as the girdle
is wide. Magnification of the girdle
hairs shows that they have whitish, glassy spicules along one side and
side hairs which are usually restricted to the basal 1/3 of the
between the plates. The plates have low tubercles.
The head plate (to the right in the photo above) has 10 radiating
The lateral areas of plates 2-7 are often separated from the central
by a ridge of enlarged tubercles.
Plate 8 is not unusually long. There is a cleft at the
end of the chiton. Plate color variable and often bright or
blotches and streaks; often greenish with red, orange, blue, or white
The interior of the plates are usually whitish with a pink and blue
Length to 7.5 cm and may be proportionally broader than many chitons.
ciliata (Sowerby, 1840)
Common name(s): Hairy chiton
ciliata, about 3 cm
long, under a rock overhang at Cape Flattery
|(Photo by: Dave Cowles,
July 2010 )
How to Distinguish from
The mossy chiton Mopalia
has thicker, stiff hairs and is not so brightly colored.
to Baja California. Common in Puget Sound and the open coast,
is the most common Mopalia near Juneau, Alaska.
Mid to low intertidal
Rocky intertidal and floats.
Most common in crevices or on the bottom or downward-facing slopes of
Sometimes among mussels.
This species grazes on algae and also on hydroids, bryozoans, sponges,
and other small animals. It feeds mainly at night and on
cloudy days. Eggs are about 0.2 mm diameter and
Larvae swim freely after hatching, developing all 8 valves.
they settle about day 8 and metamorphose to miniature adults by day
Adults grow about 11-40 mm per year. Predators include the
and Snook, 1955
and McConnaughey, 1985
et al., 1980
and O'Clair, 1998
et al, 1985
General Notes and
abundances, unusual behaviors:
Authors and Editors of Page:
Dave Cowles (2010): Created original page
CSS coding for page developed by Jonathan Cowles (2007)
Rosario Invertebrates web site provided courtesy of Walla