Noble Chiton

Eudoxochiton nobilis

Description 4

A large uncommon oval chiton, 65 to 110mm long (Suter mentions measurements up to 123mm), up to 62mm wide.

Smooth brown or reddish or olive plates often pinkish towards the crest. The colour often hidden by algae, or eroded away altogether to leave white.

The girdle is leathery and rust/brown coloured or sometimes green, with a stubble of short dark bristles sticking out and often a distinct notch at the rear end. The underside of the foot is orange in colour.

The front plate is crescent shaped and has about 15 radial ridges. The rear plate is semi circular with a wedge shaped front edge (ie a pie sector). The other plates are much larger than the front or rear plates. They well arched, wide flat "V" shaped, have no beak and have 3 to 5 faint radial ridges.

The Batham's card (1638) for it has a note that 'juveniles have large bristles at sutures'. The Marine Life Database states that 'Juvenile forms have bright mottled colouration of pink, brown, yellow and green'. De Cook also notes that Juveniles are quite different from adults - "extremely flat", plates "appearing almost concave". He agrees on the colour of plates, but says there are a few colourless bristles.

Distribution 4

Found on rocks or under boulders from intertidal to about 10m deep. Juveniles usually at about low tide level, adults sub-tidally. North Island, South Island, Chatham Islands, Kermadec Islands, Stewart Island.

Synonyms 4

Acanthopleura nobilis (Gray, 1843) (original combination)
Eudoxochiton huttoni (Pilsbry, 1893)
Eudoxochiton imitator (Iredale, 1914)
Eudoxochiton perplexus (Iredale, 1914)
Eudoxochiton perplexus imitator (Oliver, 1915)
Eudoxochiton perplexus typica (Oliver, 1915)

References 4

New Zealand Mollusca, Marine Land and Freshwater Shells, A W B Powell, 1979
Manual of the New Zealand Mollusca. Henry Suter, 1913
NZ Coastal Marine Invertebrates Vol 1 by Steve de C. Cook, p301, 302

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) d_kluza, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-ND), uploaded by d_kluza
  2. (c) Lisa Bennett, some rights reserved (CC BY), uploaded by Lisa Bennett
  3. Tony Wills, no known copyright restrictions (public domain), uploaded by Tony Wills
  4. (c) Tony Wills, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA)

More Info

iNaturalist NZ Map

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