Violet Chiton

Notoplax violacea

Description 4

Medium to large sized chiton, 50 to 60mm long (dehydrated 35-60mm long, 23-35mm - Powell). It has a wide girdle on either side, but narrow at the head and tail ends, and the girdle becomes very thin at the outer edges. The girdle is of variable colour, often red or mottled red-brown (also described as orange-vermillion and dark purple-brown). Between the plates, where the corners meet the girdle, are tufts of bristles, with another 4 tufts around the head plate, The plates are partially covered by the girdle, the visible portions of each are all about the same width, except for the tail plate which is noticably narrower. Each plate is seen as having narrow fans of flattened beads on either side of a central "V" that is usually violet in colour with a pale ridge. The rest of the plate tends to be a purply-brown. The front plate is covered in flattened beads and has 5 radial ridges deliniated by larger beads.

Distribution 4

Found under boulders in the intertidal zone. North Island, South Island, Chatham Islands.

Synonyms 4

Acanthochiton violaceus (Quoy and Gaimard, 1835)
Acanthochiton violaceus var. papillio (Ashby, 1922)
Chiton porphyreticus (Reeve, 1847)
Chiton violaceus (Quoy and Gaimard), 1835 (original combination)
Loboplax violaceus (Quoy and Gaimard, 1835)
Loboplax violaceus var. dunedinensis (Ashby, 1926)

References 4

New Zealand Mollusca, Marine Land and Freshwater Shells, A W B Powell, 1979
The New Zealand Sea Shore, John Morton and Michael Miller, 1968.
Subtidal Invertebrates of New Zealand, Stephen Wing, 2008.
Manual of the New Zealand Mollusca. Henry Suter, 1913

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) Tony Wills, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), uploaded by Tony Wills
  2. (c) tangatawhenua, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), uploaded by tangatawhenua
  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

Places Chatham Islands, North Island, South Island
Depth intertidal