Family Haliotidae


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Home > Northwest Shells & Marine Life > PNW Shells & Marine Life Photos > Gastropods >  Gastropods - Haliotidae

Click on photo to enlarge.  Scale line in photo equals 1cm unless otherwise specified.
* Species which are commonly encountered on the beach.

Haliotis kamtschatkana
Victoria, BC

Haliotis kamtschatkana Haliotis kamtschatkana
                                                      color variations - Alaska                                                       CA-southern form - formerly H. assimilis

Haliotis rufescens Haliotis rufescens Haliotis rufescens
                                      Moro Bay, CA                                                                      in an aquarium                            Cape Arago, OR, intertidal
Haliotis rufescens Swainson, 1822
Red Abalone
very low intertidal to at least 180m          northern Mexico to central BC          size to 30cm
This species can get very large.  The shell is reddish and the body of the animal is black and smooth.  Isolated specimens have been found in BC, but it is primarily found in California and Mexico and occasionally into Oregon.
See article on BC specimens here.

Haliotis walallensis
Point Conception, CA
This page last revised: 8-19-2019

Haliotis kamtschatkana
Nootka Sound, BC, subtidal

Haliotis kamtschatkana Jonas, 1845
Pinto or Northern Abalone
very low intertidal to 35m          northern Mexico to southern Alaska; Japan; Siberia          size to 18cm
This is an endangered species in Washington where it has been severely overharvested and is still illegally poached.  It is now rarely seen except by divers.  The color can range from orange to red to green which reflects what it has been eating.  It has a pronounced spire and an irregular, wavy/knobby sculpture.  It is the most northerly occurring abalone. The southern species, Haliotis assimilis, the Threaded Abalone, was found to be genetically identical.  The sculpture on the assimilis form is dominated by low ribs and occurs in the southern part of the range - northern Mexico to southern California.  (Our specimens were collected many decades ago when harvesting was still allowed.)
(synonyms - Haliotis kamtschatkana assimilis, Haliotis assimilis)

Haliotis walallensis Haliotis walallensis Haliotis walallensis
Cape Arago, OR, intertidal, a specimen which fell from its perch      close-up of body                                underside    

Haliotis walallensis Stearns, 1898
Flat Abalone
very low intertidal to 21m          southern California to Oregon          size to 17.5cm
Some historic reports record this species from BC but it has not been seen recently and previous records are unconfirmed.  It is generally dark red with green markings.  It has a flat spire and low profile with low ribs for sculpture.  The body of the animal is light in color with a nubby surface.

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