Red Chiton

Scientific Name: Ischnochiton ruber

Phylum: Mollusca

Class: Polyplacophora

Description : Chitons are flattened, elongated molluscs with broad ventral foot and 8 dorsal shell plates. They have thick marginal girdle. Valves are reddish, irregularly patterned with whitish and brown marks

Distribution: Primarily in the rocky inter-tidal, marine environment.

Locomotion: Foot with pedal retractor muscles that are attached to shell and dorsal mantle and used to raise, lower or shorten the foot. They have very broad foot that can adhere tightly to hard substrata. They create vacuum by clamping down tightly and using inner margin of the mantle.

Food gathering/digestion: Grazing herbivores that feed on algal films and other vegetation. Adults develop radular mouth parts (recurved chitinous teeth stretched over a supportive base). The radula serves as a scraping apparatus. Have a complete gut.

Gas Exchange: Mantle cavity forms a groove extending along the body margin, encircling the foot. A large number of simple gills lie laterally in the pallial groove. Water enters and flows along the inhalant region of the pallial chamber lateral to gills, then passes between the gills to exhalent region along the sides of the foot.

Reproduction: The sexes are separated, but indistinguishable. They are fertilized externally in the water followed by larvae known as trochophores.

OSC Research

Mercier Lab - Research on reproduction, larval development, ecology and growth is carried out on a wide variety of marine invertebrates in this lab.