Plaxiphora caelata

Description 6

Medium sized chiton, 25 to 43mm long, 14 to 22mm wide. Front plate covered by 8 radiating ridges, the following plates only have a single radial ridge from the back centre to front edge of each plate. There is a pattern of parallel lines that run from the back edge, flowing across at right angle to the ridge towards the front edge of each plate. The colour of the plates varies from off-white, though mottled and streaky patterns of dark green or brown. Often there are wedge shaped patterns along the crest. It has a darkbrown skirt/girdle.

(Morton describes Maorichiton vaelatus having a "wedge shaped streak with a darker line within it" along the crest of the plates, and it having a "finely bristly" girdle)

Distribution 6

Common in intertidal zones on rocky shores. North Island and South island.

References 6

New Zealand Mollusca, Marine Land and Freshwater Shells, A W B Powell, 1979

Synonyms 6

Chiton (Chaetopleura) plumosus (Gould, 1859)
Chiton (Plaxiphora) terminalis (E. A. Smith, 1874)
Chiton (Plaxiphora) terminalis var. zigzag (Pilsbry, 1893)
Chiton caelatus (Reeve, 1847) (original combination)
Maorichiton metonomazus (Iredale and Hull, 1932)
Plaxiphora (Maorichiton) lyallensis (Mestayer, 1921)
Plaxiphora (Maorichiton) mixta (Iredale, 1914)
Plaxiphora schauinslandi (Thiele, 1909)
Tonicia zigzag (Hutton, 1872)

http://www.marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=taxdetails&id=848055

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) Tony Wills, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA), https://inaturalist.nz/photos/5637222
  2. (c) Peter Poortman, www.nzshells.net.nz, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), uploaded by Tony Wills, http://www.nzshells.net.nz/Images/026B2.jpg
  3. (c) sea-kangaroo, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-ND), http://www.inaturalist.org/photos/2729892
  4. (c) Te Papa, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-ND), uploaded by Tony Wills, http://collections.tepapa.govt.nz/Object/145015/download
  5. (c) Te Papa, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-ND), uploaded by Tony Wills, http://collections.tepapa.govt.nz/Object/145082/download
  6. (c) Tony Wills, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA)

More Info

iNaturalist NZ Map

Depth intertidal
Places North Island, South Island