The genus Acanthochitona (Mollusca: Polylacophora) in the Mediterranean Sea: morphological and molecular data


  • Antonio Bonfitto Dept. BES and Museum of Zoology, University of Bologna
  • Bruno Dell’Angelo Dept. BES and Museum of Zoology, University of Bologna
  • Francesca Evangelisti Dept. BES and Museum of Zoology, University of Bologna
  • Bruno Sabelli Dept. BES and Museum of Zoology, University of Bologna



SEM morphology, molecular systematics, Mediterranean Sea, Acanthochitona, Polyplacophora


This work represents an attempt to resolve the confused and contradictory taxonomy of Mediterranean chitons of the genus Acanthochitona by analysing morphological (SEM observations of aesthetes, radula and girdle) and molecular data (COI, 12S, ITS1). Both analyses support the validity of the three species, Acanthochitona fascicularis, A. crinita and A. oblonga, the latter two of which were previously considered as synonymous.


Download data is not yet available.


Anistratenko, V.V. and O.Y. Anistratenko. – 2001. Fauna Ukraine. Class Polyplacophora, Class Gastropoda- Cyclobranchia, Scutibranchia and Pectinibranchia (part). Volume 29: Mollusca. Fasc. 1. (in Russian)

Baschieri, L. – 1994. Un’insolita concentrazione di due specie di Poliplacofori. La Conchiglia, 26(270): 40-42.

Baschieri, L., B. Dell’Angelo and S. Palazzi. – 1992. Recenti ritrovamenti di Polyplacophora anomali nel Mediterraneo. Boll. Malacol., 28: 65-68.

Cecalupo, A., G. Buzzurro and M. Mariani. – 2008. Contributo alla conoscenza della malacofauna del Golfo di Gabès (Tunisia). Quad. Civ. Staz. Idrobiol. Milano, 31: 1-177.

Dell’Angelo, B. and S. Cuppini. – 1983. Prima segnalazione di Acanthochitona oblonga Leloup, 1981 lungo le coste italiane. Boll. Malacol., 19: 77-78.

Dell’Angelo, B. and C. Smriglio. – 1999. Chitoni viventi del Mediterraneo. Evolver, Roma. (English edition, 2001, Living Chitons from the Mediterranean Sea).

Folmer, O., M. Black, W. Hoeh, R. Lutz and R. Vrijenhoek. – 1994. DNA primers for amplification of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I from diverse metazoan invertebrates. Mol. Mar. Biol. Biotechnol., 3: 294-299. PMid:7881515

Gaglini, A. – 1985. Classe Amphineura. In: F. Settepassi (ed.), (1972), Atlante Malacologico. I Molluschi Marini viventi nel Mediterraneo. Vol. III, 19 pp. INIVAG, Roma.

Gaglini, A. – 1989. I Polyplacophora delle coste italiane. Quad. Malacol., 1: 3-16.

Hall, T.A. – 1999. BioEdit: a user-friendly biological sequence alignment editor and analysis. Department of Microbiology. North Carolina State University.

Hillis, D.M. and M.T. Dixon. – 1991. Ribosomal DNA: molecular evolution and phylogenetic inference. Quart. Rev. Biol., 66: 411-453. doi:10.1086/417338 PMid:1784710

Holder, M. and P.O. Lewis. – 2003. Phylogeny estimation: traditional and Bayesian approaches. Nature Rev. Gen., 4: 275-284. doi:10.1038/nrg1044 PMid:12671658

Huelsenbeck, J.P. and F. Ronquist. – 2001. MrBayes: Bayesian inference of phylogeny. Bioinformatics, 17: 754-755. doi:10.1093/bioinformatics/17.8.754 PMid:11524383

Huson, D.H., D.C. Richter, C. Rausch, T. Dezulian, M. Franz and R. Rupp. – 2007. Dendroscope-an interactive viewer of large phylogenetic trees. BMC Bioinformatics, 8: 460. doi:10.1186/1471-2105-8-460 PMid:18034891    PMCid:2216043

Kaas, P. – 1985. The genus Acanthochitona Gray, 1821 (Mollusca, Polyplacophora) in the north-eastern Atlantic Ocean and in the Mediterranean Sea, with designation of neotypes of A. fascicularis (L., 1767) and of A. crinita (Pennant, 1777). Bull. Mus. Nat. Hist. Nat., (4)7(A3): 579-609.

Kimura, M. – 1980. A simple method for estimating evolutionary rate of base substitutions through comparative studies of nucleotide sequences. J. Mol. Evol., 16: 111-120. doi:10.1007/BF01731581 PMid:7463489

Kocher, T.D., W.K. Thomas, A. Meyer, S.V. Edwards, S. Paabo, F.X. Villablanca and A.C. Wilson. – 1989. Dynamics of mitochondrial DNA evolution in animals: Amplification and sequencing with conserved primers. PNAS, 86: 6196-6200. doi:10.1073/pnas.86.16.6196

Larget, B. and D.L. Simon. – 1999. Markov Chain Monte Carlo algorithms for the Bayesian analysis of phylogenetic trees. Mol. Biol. Evol., 16: 750-759.

Leloup, E. – 1941. A propos de quelques Acanthochitons peu connus ou nouveaux. II. Region Atlantique. Bull. Mus. R. Hist. Nat. Belgique, 17(43): 1-15.

Leloup, E. – 1968. Acanthochitons de la côte atlantique africaine. Mem. Junta Investigações Ultramar, 54: 55-84.

Leloup, E. – 1981. Acanthochiton oblongus sp.nov. Bull. Inst. Royale sci. Nat. Belgique, 53(5): 1-3.

Librado, P. and J. Rozas. – 2009. DnaSP v5: A software for comprehensive analysis of DNA polymorphism data. Bioinformatics, 25: 1451-1452. doi:10.1093/bioinformatics/btp187 PMid:19346325

Nichols, R. – 2001. Gene trees and species trees are not the same. Trends Ecol. Evol., 16: 358-364. doi:10.1016/S0169-5347(01)02203-0

Okusu, A., E. Schwabe, D.J. Eernisse, and G. Giribet. – 2003. Towards a phylogeny of chitons (Mollusca, Polyplacophora) based on combined analysis of five molecular loci. Org. Diversity Evol., 4: 281-302. doi:10.1078/1439-6092-00085

Özturk, B., G. Buzzurro, and A. Benli. – 2004 (2003). Marine molluscs from Cyprus: new data and checklist. Boll. Malacol., 39: 49-78.

Özturkrk, B., Z. Ergen, and M. Önen. – 2000. Polyplacophora (Mollusca) from the Aegean coast of Turkey. Zool. Middle East, 20: 69-76.

Penas, A., E. Rolán, A.A. Luque, J. Templado, D. Moreno, F. Rubio, C. Salas, A. Sierra and S. Gofas. – 2006. Moluscos marinos de la isla de Alborán. Iberus, 24: 23-151.

Ronquist, F. and J.P. Huelsenbeck. – 2003. MrBayes 3: Bayesian phylogenetic inference under mixed models. Bioinformatics, 19: 1572-1574. doi:10.1093/bioinformatics/btg180 PMid:12912839

Savona, S. and E. Carnieri. – 1985 (1983). Prima segnalazione di Acanthochitona oblonga Leloup, 1981 nelle acque toscane (Amphineura: Acanthochitonidae). Notiziario CISMA, 5: 36-38.

Sigwart, J.D. – 2005. Hidden biodiversity: Chitons in Ireland. Proc. ESAI ENVIRON, pp. 18-20.

Tamura, K., J. Dudley, M. Nei and S. Kumar. – 2007. MEGA4: Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis (MEGA) software version 4.0. Mol. Biol. Evol. 24:1596-1599. doi:10.1093/molbev/msm092 PMid:17488738

Thompson, J. D., D.G. Higgins and T.J. Gibson. – 1994. CLUSTAL W: improving the sensitivity of progressive multiple sequence alignment through sequence weighting, positions-specific gap penalties and weight matrix choice. Nucleic Acids Res., 22: 4673-4680. doi:10.1093/nar/22.22.4673 PMid:7984417    PMCid:308517

Trono, D. – 2006. Nuovi dati sulla malacofauna del Salento (Puglia meridionale). Boll. Malacol., 42: 58-84.

Wilson, N.G., G.W. Rouse and G. Giribet. – 2010. Assessing the molluscan hypothesis Serialia (Monoplacophoa + Polyplacophora) using novel molecular data. Mol. Phyl. Evol., 54: 187-193. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2009.07.028 PMid:19647088

Winnepenninckx, B., T. Backeljau and R. De Wachter. – 1993. Complete small ribosomal subunit RNA sequence of the chiton Acanthopleura japonica (Lischke, 1873) (Mollusca, Polyplacophora). Nucleic Acids Res., 21(7):1670. doi:10.1093/nar/21.7.1670 PMid:8479923    PMCid:309383

Yang, Z. and B. Rannala. – 1997. Bayesian phylogenetic inference using DNA sequences: a Markov Chain Monte Carlo method. Mol. Biol. Evol., 14: 717-724. PMid:9214744




How to Cite

Bonfitto A, Dell’Angelo B, Evangelisti F, Sabelli B. The genus Acanthochitona (Mollusca: Polylacophora) in the Mediterranean Sea: morphological and molecular data. scimar [Internet]. 2011Mar.30 [cited 2022Sep.27];75(1):171-80. Available from: