Hopkins Marine Station Student Paper

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(full paper is archived in the Miller Library)

Title: The diet of the chiton Mopalia lignosa (Goul, 1846) (Mollusca: Polyplacophora)
Student Author(s): Fulton, Frances T.
Faculty Advisor(s): Abbott, Isabella
Pages: 18
Location: Final Papers Biology 175H
Date: June 1974
Keywords: chiton
Abstract: Mopalia lignosa on the Monterey Peninsula appear to be herbivores; an average of 68% of the gut contents is of plant origin, consisting principally (11-20%) of green algae (Ulva spp.) and several species of diatoms, with a variety of other algal species in smaller amounts. Small plant particles in the small and large intestine were without pigment or protoplasm, only the cell walls remaining. On the other hand, if pieces were large, they were often passed through the gut unchanged in color or cell shape. Animal material found in the gut consisted of small crustacea, or fragments of them, foraminifera and bryozoans of sizes and shapes suggestive of inadvertent feeding. These never averaged more than 3.3% of the bulk of the total contents. Full stomachs in freshly dissected chitons and trails of fecal pellets upon collection of these animals suggests early morning or nocturnal feeding.
Notes: Publ 1975, Veliger 18 (Suppl): 38-41