Abalone is a common name for any of a group of small to very large marine gastropod mollusks in the family Haliotidae. Other common names are ear shells, sea ears, and, rarely, muttonfish or mutton shells in parts of Australia, ormer in the UK, perlemoen in South Africa, and pāua in New Zealand. Abalones are marine snails. Their taxonomy puts them in the family Haliotidae, which contains only one genus, Haliotis, which once contained six subgenera. These subgenera have become alternative representations of Haliotis. The number of species recognized worldwide ranges between 30 and 130 with over 230 species-level taxa described. The most comprehensive treatment of the family considers 56 species valid, with 18 additional subspecies. The shells of abalones have a low, open spiral structure, and are characterized by several open respiratory pores in a row near the shell's outer edge. The thick inner layer of the shell is composed of nacre (mother-of-pearl), which in many species is highly iridescent, giving rise to a range of strong, changeable colors which make the shells attractive to humans as decorative objects, jewelry, and as a source of colorful mother-of-pearl. The flesh of abalones is widely considered to be a desirable food, and is consumed raw or cooked by a variety of cultures.

(REF: Geiger, Daniel L.; Groves, Lindsey T. (September 1999). "Review of Fossil Abalone (Gastropoda, Vetigastropoda, Haliotidae) with Comparison to Recent Species". Journal of Paleontology. 73) (REF:Linnaeus, Carl (1758). Systema Naturæ per Regna Tria Naturæ, Secundum Classes, Ordines, Genera, Species, cum Characteribus, Differentiis, Synonymis, Locis [The System of Nature Through the Three Kingdoms of Nature, According to Classes, Orders, Genera, Species, With the Characteristics, Differences, Synonyms, and Locations] ) (REF: Beesley, P. L.; Ross, G. J. B.; Wells, A. (1998). Mollusca: The Southern Synthesis: An Essential Reference. Melbourne, Australia:)

Most abalones vary in size from 1 inch (Haliotis pulcherrima) to 8 inches. The largest species, Haliotis rufescens, can grow to 12 inches

The shells of abalones are convex, rounded to oval in shape, and may be highly arched or very flattened. The shell of the majority of this species has a small, flat spire and two to three whorls. The last whorl, known as the body whorl, is auriform, meaning that the shell resembles an ear, giving rise to the common name "ear shell". Haliotis asinina has a somewhat different shape, as it is more elongated and distended. The shell of Haliotis cracherodii cracherodii is also unusual as it has an ovate form, is imperforate, shows an exserted spire, and has prickly ribs.

ovate shaped like an egg.

A mantle cleft in the shell impresses a groove in the shell, in which are the row of holes characteristic of the genus. These holes are respiratory apertures for venting water from the gills and for releasing sperm and eggs into the water column. They make up what is known as the selenizone, which forms as the shell grows. This series of eight to 38 holes is near the anterior margin. Only a small number is generally open. The older holes are gradually sealed up as the shell grows and new holes form. Each species has a typical number of open holes, between four and 10, in the selenizone. An abalone has no operculum. The aperture of the shell is very wide and nacreous.

convex is defined as curved or bowed outward like the outside of a bowl, circle, or sphere.

A mantle cleft in the shell impresses a groove in the shell, in which are the row of holes characteristic of the genus. These holes are respiratory apertures for venting water from the gills and for releasing sperm and eggs into the water column. They make up what is known as the selenizone, which forms as the shell grows. This series of eight to 38 holes is near the anterior margin. Only a small number is generally open. The older holes are gradually sealed up as the shell grows and new holes form. Each species has a typical number of open holes, between four and 10, in the selenizone. An abalone has no operculum. The aperture of the shell is very wide and nacreous.

operculum is a corneous or calcareous anatomical structure like a trapdoor.

Amantle refers to a robe or cloak, it is a significant part of the anatomy of mollusks: it is the dorsal body wall which covers the visceral mass and usually protrudes in the form of flaps well beyond the visceral mass itself.

The exterior of the shell is striated and dull. The color of the shell is very variable from species to species, which may reflect the animal's diet. The iridescent nacre that lines the inside of the shell varies in color from silvery white, to pink, red and green-red to deep blue, green to purple.

The animal has fimbriated head lobes and side lobes that are fimbriated and cerrated. The radula has small median teeth, and the lateral teeth are single and beam-like. They have about 70 uncini, with denticulated hooks, the first four very large. The rounded foot is very large in comparison to most mollusks. The soft body is coiled around the columellar muscle, and its insertion, instead of being on the columella, is on the middle of the inner wall of the shell. The gills are symmetrical and both well developed.

These snails cling solidly with their broad, muscular foot to rocky surfaces at sublittoral depths, although some species such as Haliotis cracherodii used to be common in the intertidal zone.

Abalones reach maturity at a relatively small size. Their fecundity is high and increases with their size, laying from 10,000 to 11 million eggs at a time. The spermatozoa are filiform and pointed at one end, and the anterior end is a rounded head.

The adults provide no further assistance to the larvae and they are described as lecithotrophic. The adults are herbivorous and feed with their rhipidoglossan radula on macroalgae, preferring red or brown algae.

radula is an anatomical structure used by mollusks for feeding, sometimes compared to a tongue. It is a minutely toothed, chitinous ribbon, which is typically used for scraping or cutting food before the food enters the esophagus. The radula is unique to the mollusks, and is found in every class of mollusk except the bivalves, which instead use cilia, waving filaments that bring minute organisms to the mouth.

(REF: Hoiberg, Dale H., ed. (1993). "The New Encyclopaedia Britannica". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 1) (REF: Anderson, Jenny (2003). "Abalone Introduction") (REF: Tryon, George W. Jr. (1880). Manual of Conchology; Structural and Systematic With Illustrations of the Species)

The haliotid family has a worldwide distribution, along the coastal waters of every continent, except the Pacific coast of South America, the Atlantic coast of North America, the Arctic, and Antarctica. The majority of abalone species are found in cold waters, such as off the coasts of New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, Western North America, and Japan.

(REF: Anon (2014). "Abalone Viral Ganglioneuritis". Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment. Tasmanian Government.) (REF: Leatherman, Stephen (2012). National Geographic Field Guide to the Water's Edge. National Geographic Field Guides

The shell of the abalone is exceptionally strong and is made of microscopic calcium carbonate tiles stacked like bricks. Between the layers of tiles is a clingy protein substance. When the abalone shell is struck, the tiles slide instead of shattering and the protein stretches to absorb the energy of the blow. Material scientists around the world are studying this tiled structure for insight into stronger ceramic products such as body armor. The dust created by grinding and cutting abalone shell is dangerous; appropriate safeguards must be taken to protect people from inhaling these particles

(REF: Lin, Albert; Meyers, Marc André (15 January 2005). "Growth and Structure in Abalone Shell". Materials Science and Engineering: ) (REF: Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis".

Scientific classification

Domain: Eukaryota

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Mollusca

Class: Gastropoda

Subclass: Vetigastropoda

Order: Lepetellida

Family: Haliotidae

Rafinesque, 1815

Genus: Haliotis

Linnaeus, 1758[2][3]

Type species: Haliotis asinina

Linnaeus, 1758

Paua Abalone 8/3/13


Paua Abalones in there natural habitat attach to rocks on the sea floor. They are pride off the rock and highly polished. The part of the Abalone that was attached will show some discoloring. Each shell is different and coloration may vary.

Abalone are permanently attached to their shell in the center at a location called the muscle attachment. The Muscle atttachment produces a scar on most paua abalones.. The scarring is polished over and becomes part of the out side shell's striking color presentation.

The shell begins in the larval form and abalone can only add to an existing shell after their larval stage. If they are removed from their shell, without injury, they can remain alive but cannot make a new shell – nor can they reattach to their old shell if it has been removed. Abalone rely on their shells for protection, so an animal without a shell would be easily eaten by a predator in nature. Inside the shell, the location under the spiral is called the apex just as it is on the outside of the shell. It is under a small, hard shelf at the end of the shell. A portion of the abalone body rests in the apex but there is no substantial attachment here.


One Polished Paua Abalone from Northern shores of New Zealand 4 to 5 inches...$14.95


Highly polished Scareface Paua Abalones from the Coral Sea


One highly polished Scareface Paua Abalone 4 to 5 inches.... $10.95

Baby Pearl Abalones Polished


  • L2-14

  • One Polished Pearl Abalone 1 7/8 inches or more .... .49

  • L1-14

  • One Polished Pearl Abalone 2 7/8 inches or more...... .59

  • Baby Green Abalones


  • K1-14
  • One Green Abalones 2 to 3  inches ...... .31
    Rainbow Abalone 5.22.2023

    Rainbow Ruff Back Abalone

  • Rainbow Ruff Backs are found near the Mexican coast. They are naturally rough on the outside and pearlized inside.

  • PAB1-5
  • One Ruff Back Rainbow Abalone 4 to 5 inches....$4.95

  • PAB2-5 One Ruff Back Rainbow Abalone 5 to 6 inches....$5.95

    Silver Ruff Back Abalone

    Silver Rainbow colors inside,ruff back outside.


    One Silver Ruff Back Abalone 3 6/8 to 5 5/8 inches..... $3.95

    Silver Pearl Green Abalone PAP7-4



    One polished Silver Pearl Green Abalone 3 1/2 to 4 inches ..... $4.95


    One polished Silver Pearl Green Abalone 5 to 5 6/8 inches ..... $11.95

    Assorted Abalone Tear Drops ADT1

    Assorted Abalone Tear Drop

    These are approximately 2 inch assorted tear drops cut from varius Abalone shells


    One approximately 2 inch Tear Drop cut from assorted Abalone shells.... .75

    Red Green Baby Abalone RGA0



    One 2 to 3 inch Red Green Baby Abalone..... OUT OF STOCK

    Red Abalone RA1-5


    Shell exterior is brick red to pink and commonly overgrown with epiphytes reaching a maximum of 8 to 9 inches. There are usually 3-4 oval, open respiratory pores which are externally raised above the shell’s surface. The shell interior is iridescent with a large, oval muscle scar. (Morris et al. 1980). The mantle and tentacles are black and the underside of the foot is yellowish.

    Red abalone live in rocky areas with kelp. They are rarely found in the low intertidal zone but more often seen in subtidal zones to around 132 feet to depths of 591 feet. Their current range is from Oregon to Baja (California Fish and Game Commission 2005).

    Most California abalones mature at between 3 and 7 years of age and may live for 35 to 54 years (Haaker et al., 1986). They are slow-growing herbivores, feeding mostly on drift kelp. Sea otters and humans are the main predators of adults. Where sea otters are present red abalone stay mostly in deep cracks and crevices, but they may be seen out in the open in regions lacking sea otters (Hines and Pearse 1982).

    Abalone broadcast spawn, releasing their eggs and sperm into the ocean. Fecundity (number of gametes produced) is directly related to adult size, with older, larger individuals producing significantly higher numbers of gametes than newly mature, smaller animals. Because gametes are broadcast into the nearshore environment, successful fertilization relies on large adult populations living in close proximity (Prince et al. 1987). Warm water was shown to have deleterious affects on sperm production of red abalone suggesting the importance of considering ocean warming trends in recovery and management plans (Rogers-Bennett et. al. 2010).

    Red abalone populations have declined mainly due to overharvesting, predation by sea otters and disease.

    Human uses of red abalone dates to prehistoric times with shells found in Channel Island archaeological sites dated to between 11,500 and 12,000 years before present (Braje et. Al. 2009). Red abalone shells are abundant in Chumash middens (refuse deposits) of the Northern Channel Islands dated between about 7500 and 3300 years ago. The modern Californian fishery for abalone peaked in the 1950s and '60s with a subsequent decline in populations. Due to drastic population declines, the commercial fishery of red abalone was closed in 1997. An Abalone Recovery and Management Plan (ARMP) was adopted in 2005 by the Fish and Game Commission to manage the recreational fishery in Northern California and aid in the recovery of the depleted abalone in the rest of California (California Fish and Game Commission 2005). Until 2017, red abalone were legally harvested on a restricted, recreational basis only in Northern California (north of San Francisco). Due to a significant decline in stocks resulting from multiple environmental stressors, the red abalone recreational fishery was closed in 2017. Following an ocean warming event and offshore kelp declines, the red abalone appeared to find temporary refuge in the intertidal. This was followed by a decline in intertidal red abalone as kelp cover decreased in the intertidal. Observed declines suggest environmental conditions as well as the recreational fishery impact the population to varying degrees throughout their range. Lack of population recovery resulted in the Fish and Game commission extending the closure to at least 2026.

    Since most of the wild populations of abalone have been decimated, abalone farming has become an increasingly successful mariculture. Attempts to culture abalone began in California in the 1960s and developed into a successful business by the 1980s (Leighton 1989). Red and green abalone are the only species farmed on a large scale in California with red abalone farming concentrated north of Point Conception.

    RA1-5 One Red Abalone 3 to 5 inch..... $4.25

    RA2-5 One Red Abalone 5 to 7 inch..... $5.75
    RA3-5 One Red Abalone 7 to 9 inches....$11.95

    Pearl Oval Abalone Ao-17



    One Pearl Oval Polished Abalone 2 to 2 1/2 inch.... OUT OF STOCK

    Abalone Black Polished PBA2-5


    Scientific name: Haliotis cracherodii

    usually inhabits deep crevices in rocks between the high and low tide lines. This abalone can be found subtidal zone, but usually only to about 20 feet deep. Under normal conditions, they can also be found on or under rocks crowded close together and even stacked on top of each other. Black abalone can live up to 30 years.

    These were abundant in the past, though now they are rare. National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). The NMFS made a final ruling to list black abalone as endangered under the ESA (Endangered Species Act), published in the Federal Register on January 14, 2009, which became effective as of February 13, 2009.

    Abalones are found Worldwide, there are about 130 species, subspecies and hybrids belonging to this genus (Haliotis). A flattened ear shaped shell distinguishes abalones from other gastropods and imparts their genus name, Haliotis, which literally means sea ears. This shell is prized for its beautiful iridescent inner layer that is more commonly known as mother of pearl.

    Haliotis cracherodii has a very smooth outer shell that is dark blue to greenish black. The epipodium and tentacles are black and smooth. The bluntly oval shell is usually epiphytic free. The interior of the shell is pearly with pink and green iridescence and no muscle scar. The shell has five to nine open holes that are flush with the shell surface. Occasionally shells may lack holes altogether. A subspecies found on Guadalupe Island, Baja California, Haliotis cracheroidii californiensis, has 12 to 16 small open holes.

    Black Abalones are Herbivores, feeding mostly on large brown algae

    Black Abalones suffer from a lethal disease referred to as the Withering Syndrome, or Abalone wasting disease. This disease attacks the lining of the abalone's digestive tract and inhibits the production of digestive enzymes. The abalone is forced to consume its own body mass, causing its foot to whither. The abalone loses its ability to adhere to rocks and becomes vulnerable to predation and starvation. Commercial and recreational fishing have also played a role in decreased population size, especially after other abalone species were overfished.


    One Black Polished Abalone 3 to 5 inch.... OUT OF STOCK


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