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Species index
Species index
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Gumboot Chiton
Cryptochiton stelleri
Typical size:  6-12 length
ID:
Red to brown rough shell.  Massive size.
Comments: The gumboot chiton often looks like an old  discard mount of leather clinging to the reef.  I often noted these giant chitons on rocky reefs throughout Washington waters.

Lined Chiton
Tonicella lineata
Typical size:  1-2 length
ID:
Color varies greatly.  Fine wavy lines on shell plates (valves).  Smooth girdle with colorful blotches.
Comments:
I commonly note the lined chiton when diving Washington waters.  I often find dense populations of these chitons clinging to old discarded appliances at Three Tree Point.  This species is difficult to distinguish from the blue-lined chiton.

Gumboot Chiton

Gumboot Chiton

Lined Chiton

Lined Chiton

Smooth Mopalia
Mopalia vespertina
Typical size:  1-2 length
ID:
Brown or green shell plates (valves).  Small hairs along girdle.
Comments:
I commonly note the lined chiton when diving Washington waters.  I often find dense populations of these chitons clinging to old discarded appliances at Three Tree Point.  This species is difficult to distinguish from the blue-lined chiton.  Photo taken at KVI Tower Reef in Puget Sound.

Smooth Mopalia

Smooth Mopalia

Black Leather Chiton
Katharina tunicata
Typical size:  4-6 length
ID:
Thick "padded" black or brown shell with indents white patches running down the middle.
Comments: I often note this aptly named chiton when I snorkel around exposed rocks exposed.  I took this photo while snorkling around Mushroom Rock at Cape Flattery.  A group of these chtions were foraging just below the surface.

Black Leather Chiton

Black Leather Chiton

Blue Lined Chiton
Tonicella undocaerulea
Typical size:  2 length
ID:
Distinctive blue zig-zag lines on shell.  Smooth girdle with colored blotches.
Comments: This species is very similar in appearance to the lined chiton.  The blue zig-zag lines are the only visual identifier that I know of to distinguish this species in the field.  Photography taken at Long Island in the San Juan Islands.

Blue Lined Chiton

Blue Lined Chiton

White Line Chiton

White Line Chiton

White Line Chiton
Tonicella insignis
Typical size:  1-2 length
ID:
Thin, wavy white lines on each plate.  White lines form a triangle pattern.  Smooth girdle.
Comments:
This chiton almost looks cartoonish with billiant and orange and white color.  Photographed in God's Pocket Bay, Hurst Island.