Placiphorella velata Carpenter in Dall, 1879
Common name(s): Veiled chiton
|Synonyms: Possibly conspecific with P. stimpsoni|
|(Placiphorella velata, about 3 cm long, in cave at Cape Flattery. Anterior veil is to the left)|
|(Photo by: Dave Cowles July 2004)|
How to Distinguish from Similar Species: Veiled chitons are unique--no other chiton has the large veil. Placiphorella rufa (Red-veiled chiton, Aleutians to Oregon) is mostly subtidal, up to 2 cm, and presumably has a red veil.
Geographical Range: Forester Island, Alaska to Isla Cedros, Baja California and upper Gulf of California
Depth Range: Very low intertidal and subtidal
Habitat: Usually in shaded depressions or crevices or under rocks on open coast, usually associated with crustose coralline algae.
Biology/Natural History: This species can be a grazer on microalgae or a carnivore. As a carnivore it traps small crustaceans and worms under the veil by lowering it rapidly, "stomping" on them when they crawl beneath it. Smaller crustaceans (2 mm and below) are swallowed whole. Larger prey including crabs up to 1 cm across are torn up by the radula before being eaten. Uncommon. Spawn in September in California.
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Morris et al., 1980
O'Clair and O'Clair, 1998