Mossy Chiton

Mopalia muscosa

Order: 

Chitonida

Family: 

Mopaliidae

Physical attributes of the Mopalia muscosa include the distinct mossy-textured girdle that is composed of stiff long hairs.  The girdle also contains large plates that have the potential to be susceptible to erosion or coverage by other organisms.  Mossy chitons have an overall oval shape that can get up to 10 cm although the average length is 3cm.  When assessing location, the geographic distribution ranges from Alaska to Isla Cedros in Baja California.  The habitat includes the rocky intertidal zone in which the chiton remains within tidepools.  Unique characteristics of the mossy chiton involve the movement of the organisms which can only take place during night hours and submerged within water.  Many individuals have a non-overlapping home range (1).

(1) Freewill, K., Starzomski, B. “Mossy chiton - Mopalia muscosa.” Biodiversity of the Central Coast, https://www.centralcoastbiodiversity.org/mossy-chiton-bull-mopalia-musco...

Habitat:

  • Rocky Intertidal Zone