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Chiton coxi Pilsbry, 1894

Description: Animal elongate ovate, jugum rounded, surface polished, girdle moderately broad. Median valves with lateral and pleural area distinct; lateral areas raised, smooth, pleural areas with about 8 strong horizontal grooves. Girdle covered with small very finely striated scales, up to 0.19 mm wide. Shell colour variable, patterned within a restricted range that is unique to the species; olive green streaked with cream (Fig. 1), sometimes with a white streak along the jugum, or some valves black or brown (Fig. 2).

Size: Up to 21 mm in length.

Distribution: Endemic to Australia: most specimens in the Australian Museum collection are from Sydney Harbour and Shell Harbour, but there are a few specimens from SA and Tas.

Habitat: Iredale & Hull (1927) reported the habitat as under stones below low water mark.

Comparison: The coarse horizontal grooves in the pleural areas readily identify this species.

Remarks: It appears that this species is, or has been, common in Sydney Harbour, judging by the number of specimens collected in the early 20th century. Very few specimens have been collected since then.

Fig. 1:  Shell Harbour, NSW (C.367034).

Fig. 2: Shell Harbour, NSW (C. 367034). Colour variations.

Fig. 3: Shell Harbour, NSW (C. 367034). Valve sculpture and girdle detail.


Copyright Des Beechey 2019