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Callochiton crocinus (Reeve, 1847)

Description: Shell valves variable in shape and sculpture; girdle fairly wide. Median valves with lateral and pleural areas either not differentiated or with lateral areas slightly raised. Whole surface with minute pustules arranged in curved lines, variable in strength (not visible in Fig. 1, visible in Fig. 2). Entire girdle surface densely covered with elongate spicules, always laying flat on the girdle surface (Fig. 2). Colour varying with environment; often pink, mottled or splashed with white, otherwise patterned in browns or greens.

Size: Up to 47 mm in length.

Distribution: Australia and New Zealand. In Australia, from Caloundra, Qld, southwards and around southern Australia to south-western WA, including Tas.

Habitat: Low intertidal and subtidal on rocky shores.

Comparison: Among the NSW chitons, this species can be separated by the minute pustules over the whole valve surface, in conjunction with the extremely dense spicules lying flat on the girdle.

Synonymy: Iredale & Hull (1927) used the name Levicoplax platessa (Gould, 1846) for this species, but that was a misidentification.

Fig. 1: Long Reef, Collaroy, NSW. (C.156812).

Fig. 2: Same specimen as Fig. 1. Edge of valve and girdle detail.

Fig. 3: Same specimen as Fig. 1. Valve detail.


Copyright Des Beechey 2019