Acanthopleura granulata

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.

Chitonidae - Acanthopleura granulata
Museum specimen of Acanthopleura granulata from Barbados
Acanthopleura granulata
Acanthopleura granulata
Live individual on a rock in Guadeloupe
Scientific classification
A. granulata
Binomial name
Acanthopleura granulata
(Gmelin, 1791)

Chiton granulatus Gmelin, 1791, Chiton blauneri Shuttleworth, 1856


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 feeds on several species of algae.[4]


Acanthopleura granulata plates

Two valves of A. granulata, an intermediate plate (32 mm) and a tail plate (21 mm)

Acanthopleura granulata with Nerita tessellata

Two individuals of A. granulata in their natural habitat on a rock in Guadeloupe

Acanthopleura granulata (West Indian fuzzy chitons) (San Salvador Island, Bahamas) 1 (16131898481)
La Cienaga de Ocumare Aragua - Venezuela 015


  1. ^ a b Malacolog info
  2. ^ Catalogue of life
  3. ^ SeaLifeBase
  4. ^ Glynn, Peter William On the Ecology of the Caribbean Chitons Acanthopleura Granulata Gmelin and Chiton Tuberculatus Linni: Density, Mortality, Feeding, Reproduction, and Growth Smithsonian Libraries
  • 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

External links


Acanthopleura is a genus of chitons in the family Chitonidae. In this genus the girdle is spiny or spiky. It has eight described species at present.

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