Butterfly Chiton

Cryptoconchus porosus

Description 9

Up to 90mm long. The usual chiton skirt/girdle is expanded into tough skin that entirely covers the eight plates of its shell. Most plates have a tuft on either side of the crest, the front plate has four tufts. A wide variety of colours from simple bright orange to brown, green or black to mottled/flame patterns of two colours. The hidden plates may be light blue or sometimes pink or orange, each looking like a small butterfly. The underside of the foot is orange.

Distribution 9

Found from intertidal down to about 30m deep. North Island, South Island, Stewart Island and Chatham Islands.

Synonyms 9

Chiton leachi (Blainville, 1825)
Chiton monticularis (Quoy & Gaimard, 1835)
Chiton porosus (Blainville MS, Burrow, 1815) (original combination)
Cryptoconchus stewartianus (Rochebrune, 1882)
Cryptoplax depressus (Blainville, 1818)

http://www.marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=taxdetails&id=220211

References 9

New Zealand Mollusca, Marine Land and Freshwater Shells, A W B Powell, 1979
Manual of the New Zealand Mollusca. Henry Suter, 1913

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) Jon Sullivan, some rights reserved (CC BY), http://www.flickr.com/photos/mollivan_jon/11182416546/
  2. (c) tangatawhenua, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), https://inaturalist.nz/photos/3725049
  3. (c) Tony Wills, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA), https://inaturalist.nz/photos/2703461
  4. (c) Tony Wills, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA), https://inaturalist.nz/photos/2703468
  5. anonymous, no known copyright restrictions (public domain), http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cryptoconchus_porosus_(butterfly_chiton).JPG
  6. (c) Jon Sullivan, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), https://www.flickr.com/photos/mollivan_jon/11182359745/
  7. (c) Peter Poortman, www.nzshells.net.nz, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), uploaded by Tony Wills, http://www.nzshells.net.nz/Images/031A.jpg
  8. Dumont d'Urville, Jules-Sébastien-César, no known copyright restrictions (public domain), uploaded by Tony Wills, http://biodiversitylibrary.org/page/46490964
  9. (c) Tony Wills, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA)

More Info

iNaturalist NZ Map

Depth intertidal, offshore
Places Chatham Islands, North Island, South Island, Stewart Island