|Researched by||Sonia Rowley||Refereed by||This information is not refereed|
|Other common names||Velvety mail chiton||Synonyms||-|
Acanthochitona fascicularis is an oval-shaped chiton with a flattened elongated body 6 cm in length. Its width is half that of its length. The body is protected by a shell composed of eight interlocked transverse, coarsely keeled plates or valves. The valves on the shell are strongly arched and, when viewed under a hand-lens, appear coarsely granular due to densely packed and evenly arranged dorsal papillae. The colour varies; marbled with off-white, grey, yellowish or brown. This species has a broad and spiny girdle with 18 dense tufts of long bristles (up to 1.5 mm long), four of which are in an arc around the head valve. The surface is covered with recumbent spines, making it feel velvety to the touch. The girdle is fringed with spines, up to 1 mm in length.
'Coat-of-mail' shells (chitons) get their name from the armoured appearance of the valves like links in chain mail. This species is larger than Acanthochitona crinita but the two are very similar and therefore easily confused. Acanthochitona fascicularis has finer shell valves with more regular granulation. This species is a grazer, feeding on encrusting or filamentous algae and possibly bryozoans.
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Last Updated: 03/06/2008