West Indian fuzzy chiton

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West Indian fuzzy chiton
Acanthopleura granulata.jpg
A live individual of Acanthopleura granulata on a rock in Guadeloupe
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Polyplacophora
Order: Neoloricata
Family: Chitonidae
Genus: Acanthopleura
Species: A. granulata
Binomial name
Acanthopleura granulata
(Gmelin, 1791)

Chiton granulatus Gmelin, 1791, Chiton blauneri Shuttleworth, 1856

Acanthopleura granulata, common name the West Indian fuzzy chiton, is a medium-sized tropical species of chiton.

This species is common within its range in the tropical Western Atlantic, but it is often not noticed, because its color and texture are similar to the rocks on which it lives.

In countries that used to be part of the British West Indies, these and other common intertidal chitons are known as "curb"; the foot of the animal is eaten by people and is also used as bait for fishing.

Museum specimen of Acanthopleura granulata from Barbados


This species of chiton grows to be about 7 cm (2.8 in) in length. [1] The girdle is densely spiky and usually has a few black bands.

The surface of the valves (or plates) in this species is almost always heavily eroded in adults, but when not eroded, the valve surface is granulated. The valves are thick and heavy.


This chiton occurs from southern Florida to Mexico, south to Panama, and in the West Indies.[1][2]


This species lives on rocks very high in the intertidal zone. [3] It can tolerate a lot of sun. Feeding is primarily nocturnal. It feed on several species of algae.[4]



  • Gmelin, J.F., (1791). Caroli a Linné, Systema naturae per regna tria naturae. Editio decima tertia. Leipzig, Germany: 1(6) class 6, Vermes: 3021-3910
  • Abbott, R Tucker (1954). American Seashells. D. Van Nostrand Company Inc. xiv + 541 p. N.York.
  • Warmke, Germaine L. & Abbott, R Tucker. 1961. Caribbean Seashells. Livingston Publishing Company. Narbeth. Pennsylvania.
  • Speiser, Daniel I., Douglas J. Eernisse & Sönke Johnsen. 2011. A chiton uses aragonite lenses to form images. Current Biology, 21(8):665-670
  • Rodríguez, G. 1959. “The marine communities of Margarita Island, Venezuela”. Bulletin of Marine Science of the Gulf and Caribbean, Coral Gables, FL, 9(3): 237-280
  • Daniel I. Speiser, Daniel G. DeMartini & Todd H. Oakleya The shell-eyes of the chiton Acanthopleura granulata (Mollusca, Polyplacophora) use pheomelanin as a screening pigment

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