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Key to Irish Chitons
Species Description



Lepidochitona cinerea (Linnaeus 1767) [back to the Key] | [next] | [previous]

Lepidochitona cinerea is the most commonly found species in Ireland (and throughout Northern Europe). Animals are found in the low intertidal and specimens can display a wide range of dorsal shell colour.

Length: 12 to 16 mm (up to 25 mm)

Tegmentum colour: a wide range of colours, but generally olive with fine brown patterning. Some specimens can be reddish, brown, or green, with blotches of colour in random patterns.

Sculpture: evenly sculptured all over with granules, forming longitudinal rows towards the side margins.  Adult specimens will have a few concentric growth lines visible.

Girdle: Usually with an alternating pattern of lighter and a darker bars. The girdle is covered with small, scales which are oblong but with rounded ends.  There is a visible marginal fringe of broad spicules.

Bathymetric range:intertidal and sublittoral, down to 70m

Geographic range: Lepidochitona cinera is the most commonly found species in the intertidal.  It is found along all European coasts from Norway to the Mediterranean Sea. It has also been recorded in the southwestern Baltic Sea, in the Black Sea, and on the northern and northwestern coast of Morocco.

Similar species: small specimens may be confused with Leptochiton spp. or Ischnochiton albus.

Taxonomy and Synonymy:

FAMILY: ISCHNOCHITONIDAE
Ischnochitonidae Dall 1889

SUBFAMILY: LEPIDOCHITONINAE

GENUS: LEPIDOCHITONA Gray 1821

Lepidochitona cinerea  (Linné 1767 : Chiton)

= Chiton marginatus Pennant 1777
= Chiton quinquivalvis Brown 1823
= Chiton variegatus Philippi 1836
= Lepidopleurus carinatus Leach 1852
= Chiton variegatus Leach 1852
= Ischnochiton marginatus var. adumbrata Dautzenberg & Durouchoux 1906
= Ischnochiton marginatus var. albocarinata Dautzenberg & Durouchoux 1906
= Ischnochiton marginatus var. miniata Dautzenberg & Durouchoux 1906
= Ischnochiton marginatus var. nigrescens Dautzenberg & Durouchoux 1906
= Ischnochiton marginatus var. rubrocarinata Dautzenberg & Durouchoux 1906
= Ischnochiton marginatus var. straminea Dautzenberg & Durouchoux 1906
? Chiton cimex Gmelin 1791
? Chiton cimicinus Spengler 1797
? Chiton fuscatus Brown 1827

Synonyms (=); Dubious synonyms (?); Mis-identifications (!)