Sypharochiton pelliserpentis

Sypharochiton pelliserpentis

''Sypharochiton pelliserpentis'' is a species of chiton in the family Chitonidae. As the species name suggests, the surface of the girdle in this chiton has a pattern of overlaying scales resembling snakeskin.
Snakeskin Chiton (Sypharochiton pelliserpentis) This photo shows the chitons in their natural habitat on the sides of a rock on a rocky shore (inter-tidal zone), amongst barnacles and other moluscs. Australia,Fall,Geotagged,Sypharochiton pelliserpentis


''S. pelliserpentis'' can be distinguished from its sister taxa ''Sypharochiton sinclairi'' by a lack of longitudinal striping on the valves, a more olive colour and by radula length. ''S. sinclairi'' also occupies a different station, with ''S. pelliserpentis'' generally found on top of rocks above mid tide while ''S. sinclari'' is generally located under stones and in rock pools over the lower tidal and sub-tidal region.
Snakeskin Chiton (Sypharochiton pelliserpentis) A mollusc with a flattened body and eight distinctive overlapping plates that protect them from predators and crashing waves. This chiton was grey-green in colour, about 63 mm x 35 mm. The girdle encircling the plates had a snake-skin like appearance giving it the common name "snakeskin chiton".
These chitons were found attached to the side of a rock in an intertidal rocky shore (Cape Conran) off the south coast of Victoria facing the Bass Strait. 
This species is said to prefer rock surfaces in the mid-tide region, rather than under rocks in lower -or sub-tidal zones. Australia,Fall,Geotagged,Sypharochiton pelliserpentis


The snakeskin chiton, ''Sypharochiton pelliserpentis'', has a country-wide distribution around New Zealand – including the Chatham Islands, and is also distributed around the coasts of Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales in Australia. S. pelliserpentis is often extremely numerous on New Zealand shores, reaching densities of up to 228 individuals per square metre, and it has been shown to occupy a wide range of shore levels wherever there is a solid substrate available – from inner estuaries to high energy surf beaches. Generally it is located on rock surfaces rather than under stones, and is often found above neap high water mark.


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SpeciesS. pelliserpentis
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