Reproductive Biology

Females release eggs into the water column in April along the coasts of California and central Oregon, whereas populations on San Juan Island (off the Washington coast) release eggs in May and June. Cleavage divisions and gastrulation lead to the formation of a trochophore larvae 16-24 hours post-fertilization (depending on temperature), and they hatch roughly 43-44 hours after fertilization. Development of the trochophore larva stops sometime within 150-160 hours post-fertilization, and further development depends on contact with crustose coralline algae (or an extract thereof). Larvae undergo metamorphosis to the adult within 12 hours of settlement, becoming juvenile chitons that begin to feed around 30 days after settlement.

CONSERVATION STATUS Not listed by the IUCN.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

Black katy chiton

Katharina tunicata

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