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Family  Mopaliidae

Mopaliid Chitons




The Mopaliidae is a numerically small family found mainly in the Indo-Pacific Ocean, mostly living in the intertidal and shallow subtidal regions. In Australia, five species are known, only one of which occurs in NSW. The family includes the unusual species Palciphorella atlantica (Verrill & Smith, 1882) which has a world-wide deep water distribution. In Australia it occurs at depths of 200-1700 m south of Tasmania.

In this family, the girdle has hairs, spines and bristles, but never has scales.

Family References

  • Iredale, T. & Basset Hull, A.F. 1927. Family Plaxiphoridae Pp. 99-103 in A Monograph of the Australian Loricates. Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales, Sydney. 168 pp. (This is a consolidated and repaginated version of the same material that had been published in sections in The Australian Zoologist over the years 1923-1927).
  • Kaas, P. & Van Belle, R.A. 1994. Family Mopaliidae. Pp. 211-350 in Monograph of Living Chitons (Mollusca: Polyplacophora). E.J. Brill / Dr. W. Backhuys Leiden Vol 5 402 pp.
  • Gowlett-Holmes, K. 1998. Family Mopalidae. Pp. 184-185 in Beesley, P.L., Ross, G.J.B. & Wells, A. (eds) Mollusca: The Southern Synthesis. Fauna of Australia. Vol. 5. CSIRO Publishing: Melbourne. Part B. viii 565-1234 pp.
  • Gowlett-Holmes, K. 2001. Family Mopalidae. Pp 76-81 in Wells, A. & Houston, W.W.K. (eds) Zoological catalogue of Australia. Vol. 17.2 Mollusca: Aplacophora, Polyplacophora, Scaphopoda, Cephalopoda. Melbourne: CSIRO Publishing, Australia.


The only species known from NSW is detailed here.

Identification Notes

The descriptive terminology for chitons is given in the introduction to the Acanthochitonidae.


Copyright Des Beechey 2019