Giant Chiton

Plaxiphora obtecta

Description 5

A large chiton, up to 90mm (47 to 87mm long, 29 to 57mm wide). The plates are usually covered by algae etc but underneath it has smooth dark greenny-brown plates (Morton says with "blue zig-zag markings") with a white stripe along the centre ridge. The girdle is wide and fleshy, covered in a stubble of bristles, and has little "V" inroads covering the corners of the plates.

Distribution 5

Very common on exposed shores of the west coast of the Auckland area, from mid intertidal to about 15m deep. North Island and South Island.

Synonyms 5

Plaxiphora (Guildingia) obtecta (Carpenter in Pilsbry, 1893) (original combination)
Plaxiphora suteri (Pilsbry, 1894)

References 5

New Zealand Mollusca, Marine Land and Freshwater Shells, A W B Powell, 1979
The New Zealand Sea Shore, J Morton & M Miller, 1968

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) Tony Wills, all rights reserved, uploaded by Tony Wills
  2. (c) Tony Wills, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), uploaded by Tony Wills
  3. (c) Femorale, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC),,%201893
  4. Tony Wills, no known copyright restrictions (public domain), uploaded by Tony Wills
  5. (c) Tony Wills, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA)

More Info

iNaturalist NZ Map

Depth intertidal, offshore
Places North Island, South Island