May browse on encrusting sponges and algae, scraping the rocks with radula like other chitons, or acts as a predator, an unusual feeding mode among chitons. Captures worms and small crustaceans by clamping down on them quickly (within one second) with the extended "head flap," which is a very large anterior expansion of the mantle that is lifted to form a trap for unsuspecting prey. Flap is pigmented on both sides and fringed with bristles, and thus resembles a blade of red algae. The rest of the body is often overgrown with bryozoans and algae, making it highly camouflaged as well.
Was this article helpful?