As the species name suggests, the surface of the girdle in this chiton has a pattern of overlaying scales resembling snakeskin.
e snakeskin chiton, Sypharochiton pelliserpentis, has a country-wide distribution around New Zealand – including the Chatham Islands, and is also distributed around the coasts of Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales in Australia. S. pelliserpentis is often extremely numerous on New Zealand shores, reaching densities of up to 228 individuals per square metre, and it has been shown to occupy a wide range of shore levels wherever there is a solid substrate available – from inner estuaries to high energy surf beaches. Generally it is located on rock surfaces rather than under stones, and is often found above neap high water mark.

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