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Lined Chiton, Tonicella lineata

[Lined Chiton, Tonicella lineata, mistonicella.jpg=47KB]

The lined chiton, Tonicella lineata, ranges from the Bering Sea and the Aleutian Islands to southern California. It is found both in the intertidal and subtidal zones, common on rocky surfaces. Their pink color camouflages them in their preferred habitat on rocks with encrusting coralline algae. They graze the encrusting coralline algae removing diatoms and other organisms, including bryazoans and crustaceans, along with the upper layer of the coralline. Predators of these chitons include the seastars, Pisaster ochraceus and Leptasterias hexactis, harlequin ducks, and river otters. The lined chiton is in the Phylum Mollusca and the Family Tonicellidae.

Scientific name: Greek tonos (something stretched, a brace, a strain) and cell (diminutive); and the Latin lineatus (lined, marked with lines).

 

Photo by Dr. Bradley Stevens. References (a complete list) in the text include: O'Clair (1998), Gotshall (1994), Kessler (1985) or Barr (1983).

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