Mysterious Chiton Cryptoplax mystica
Although the valves are in contact in juvenile specimens, they grow apart in adults. In larger adults, the shell valves are so small that they seem to disappear. The valves are sculptured with coarse blister-like bumps or crumpled wavy lines. Most of the upper surface consists of a fleshy girdle, with small spines.
The colour of the Mysterious Chiton ranges from fawn to orange.
The Mysterious Chiton appears to be restricted to New South Wales.
It is found under stones at and below low tide level.
This chiton is able to bend more than other chitons so that it can bend itself around a rock to match its habitat.
Why can this chiton bend more than other chitons ?
Why might this chiton be named the Mysterious Chiton ?
Bennett, I. (1987) W.J. Dakin's classic study: Australian Seashores. p.364, Angus & Robertson, Sydney.
Davey, K. (1998) A Photographic Guide to Seashore Life of Australia. p.73, New Holland, Sydney.
Edgar, G.J. (1997) Australian Marine Life: the plants and animals of temperate waters. p.226, Reed Books, Kew.