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Lined chiton

Tonicella lineata


This was an extraordinary colorful chiton that was about 3.5 cm long (they grow to 5cm). Each of the eight valves had a brownish background with thin blue zig-zag lines. The hairless girdle was purple with yellow patches. These colors can vary from individual to individual depending on their diet.


Spotted in a tide pool in the low tide zone (pic 3) at the Tongue Point Marine Life Sanctuary along the Strait of Juan de Fuca in Washington State. They range in the North Pacific Ocean. I usually find them in the low intertidal zone at very low tides on rocks that are encrusted by coralline algae, their main food source.


According to Wikipedia, they are preyed upon by the sea stars Pisaster ochraceus and Leptasterias haxactis.

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DrNamgyalTSherpa 10 months ago

Congratulations Brian for the SOTW nomination, and my best wishes!

Brian38 10 months ago

Thank you Leuba. This is about the fourth or fifth one I've found there and they all had a different color girdle ranging from pink to purple, which is the same range of colors of the coralline algae there. This allows them to camouflage with their surroundings.

Leuba Ridgway
Leuba Ridgway 10 months ago

Lovely shot of the habitat. Interesting to note that the colour of the girdle depends on their diet. Thanks Brian.

Brian38 10 months ago

Thank you so much, Mark. It's always an honor to be nominated.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 10 months ago

Your spotting has been nominated for the Spotting of the Week. The winner will be chosen by the Project Noah Rangers based on a combination of factors including: uniqueness of the shot, status of the organism (for example, rare or endangered), quality of the information provided in the habitat and description sections. There is a subjective element, of course; the spotting with the highest number of Ranger votes is chosen. Congratulations on being nominated!

Spotted by

Port Angeles, Washington, United States

Spotted on Jul 19, 2020
Submitted on Aug 30, 2020

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