Stenoplax heathiana Berry, 1946
|Stenoplax heathiana, San Simeon, CA. Head and plate 1 are to the left|
|(Photo by: Dave Cowles, 1997)|
How to Distinguish from Similar Species: The wide plate 8 distinguishes from most. Stenoplax chitons are narrower than most chitons for their length.
Geographical Range: Mendocino County, Northern CA to Puerto Santo Tomas, Baja CA. Not likely to be found north of California.
Depth Range: Middle and low intertidal
Habitat: Lives under rocks on open coast, especially rocks partly embedded in sand or gravel.
Biology/Natural History:_Mostly nocturnal. Remains buried in sand on the undersides of rocks during the day. May be still exposed at dawn. Feed on drift algae that lodge at the bases of the rocks. Named for Stanford professor Harold Heath, who made a detailed study of the development of this species in 1899.
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Morris et al., 1980