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Mopalia mucosa

Domain Eukarya
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Mollusca
Class Amphineura
Order Neoloricata
Family Mopalidae
Genus Mopalia
Species mucosa
Common Name: mossy chiton
shell mossy chiton
Raisa inspects a Mopalia shell A close up of the Mopalia shell. Note dried coralline algae attached on shell
(photos by Garry Fletcher )
mopalia ventral mossy chiton inside of mossy chiton shell
The foot and mantle on the ventral side. Also note algae attached as camouflage. In this closeup, the distinctive bristles growing from the girdle are shown. This Mopalia, found in the intertidal zone, has had its soft underparts removed, revealing the turquoise shell plates. It was probably eaten by a Black Oystercatcher

Size: Can range between 5 cm to 9 cm in width.

Description: Oval shaped and low and dome shaped shell. It is covered by small interlacing plates which are covered by stiff mossy dark brown hairs. The inside of the shells are of a turquoise colour. Chitons have a broad flat foot” which it uses to move and to stick to its rocky homes.

Habitat: They are usually found on rocks and in tidepools located in the middle to low intertidal zones where they are protected from heavy wave action. They can be found from the Queen Charlotte Islands in British Columbia down to California.

Diet: Red or Green algae

Activity: They can usually be found clinging to rocks. If they are somehow displaced from these, they roll into balls in order to protect their soft insides. Their foot can secrete small amounts of mucous which, along with muscular contractions, allows it to move. However, it prefers to move as little as possible and will only do so at night and when it is covered by water.

Predators: Mostly glaucous-winged gulls and black oystercatchers

Websites Consulted:
http://www.manandmollusc.net/advanced_introduction/moll101polyplacophora.html [Sep 22, 05]
http://faculty.northseattle.edu/ecauldwell/bio125/intertidal_lecture4.htm [Sep 22, 05]
+Mossy+Chiton+predators&hl=en [
Sep 22, 05]

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The Race Rocks Taxonomy
This file is provided as part of a collaborative effort by the students of
Lester B. Pearson College
Raisa Mirza
Lester B. Pearson College