|Katharina tunicata; taken at low tide at Swirl Rocks|
|Photo by: Ryan Lunsford 2002|
How to Distinguish from Similar Species: The black chiton is easily distinguished from other chitons by the texture and color of the girdle.
Geographical Range: Alaska to Santa Barbara, Ca and in Kamchatka
Depth Range: Very common in the middle and low inertidal zones
Habitat: They attach to rocks where they are exposed to heavy wave action.
Biology/Natural History: There is
a large amount of molecular and genetic research done on Katharina.
The K. tunicata is diploid and has a haploid number of 24.
The changes in organic composition of the tissues and systems along with
the life cycle of the chiton have also been studied. Lipids and blood
proteins levels are high through the majority of the life cycle, but both
decrease dramatically prior to spawning. The organic compositions
of most other systems remain fairly constant seasonally. Damaged
plates can be repaired in just a few weeks. The diet of the black
chiton includes brown and red algae as well as benthic diatoms. Reproduction
is sexual and full maturity just over a year. The entire life span
averages 3 years.
|Main Page||Alphabetic Index||Systematic Index||Glossary|
Morris, Abbott, and Haderlie, 1980. Intertidal Invertebrates of California. Stanford Univ. Press.