Taxon profile


European edible abalone
Haliotis tuberculata Linnaeus, 1758

kingdom Animalia - animals »  phylum Mollusca - mollusks »  class Gastropoda - gastropods »  order Lepetellida »  family Haliotidae - abalones »  genus Haliotis - Abalone

Scientific synonyms

Haliotis tuberculata tuberculata Linnaeus, 1758
Haliotis barbouri Foster, 1946
Haliotis tuberculata var. bisundata Monterosato, 1884
Haliotis incisa Reeve, 1846
Haliotis janus Reeve, 1846
Haliotis japonica L. A. Reeve, 1846
Haliotis lucida Requien, 1848
Haliotis pellucida von Salis, 1793
Haliotis reticulata Reeve, 1846
Haliotis lamellosa var. secernenda Monterosato, 1877

Other names

= Abalone
= European abalone
= Green ormer
= Ormer
= Sea Ear
= Tube abalone
= Tuberculate ormer


Taxon in country check-lists*

* List of countries might not be complete


This shell has remarkable varieties in the colouring pattern and in the ornamentation and this is the reason for several variety names with no taxonomic value. The typical sculpture is made by several spiral little ribs, often irregular ones, that sometimes change in undulating transverse folds. However such a sculpture is not much strong or it can be completely absent. In the young shells, up to 2 mm in diametre, the typical rounded holes are not yet defined; in the adult specimens they can be some tens too, of which 7-8 only are opened, while the other ones are closed by the deposit of the molluscs internal mantle. It mainly feeds on algae, scraped by the radula. Above all this species is active during the night, since it is heliophobe. The reproduction is effected at the beginning of the Summer period. The average measures are abt. 50-60 mm.
Scaperrotta, M. ,Bartolini, S. & Bogi, C., 2009. Accrescimenti, Vol. 1. Stages of growth of marine molluscs of the Mediterranean Sea.


Common all over the Mediterranean, mainly in the rocky infralittoral algae-covered, up to 15 m depth. This species lives in the littoral and submerged areas, often under the stones, sticking to the rocks with its strong foot (which is green, wide and with many lateral tentacles), camouflaging, since its back is often algae and crusts-covered.
Scaperrotta, M. ,Bartolini, S. & Bogi, C., 2009. Accrescimenti, Vol. 1. Stages of growth of marine molluscs of the Mediterranean Sea.
Author: Jan Delsing

Similar species

Haliotis diversicolor Reeve, 1846 - Variouslly coloured abalone
Haliotis marmorata Linnaeus, 1758

Included taxa

Number of records: 3

subspecies Haliotis tuberculata coccinea Reeve, 1846

Haliotis tuberculata coccinea - 0000000001010

subspecies Haliotis tuberculata fernandesi Owen, Grace & Afonso, 2012

Haliotis tuberculata fernandesi - 000000000111000

subspecies Haliotis tuberculata lamellosa Lamarck, 1822

Haliotis tuberculata lamellosa - 000000000101100

Links and literature

EN Galli C.: WMSDB - Wolrdwide Mollusc Species Data Base July 10, 2013 [] [as Haliotis tuberculata Linnaeus, 1758]
Data retrieved on: 23 November 2013
CZ Pfleger V. (1999): České názvy živočichů III. Měkkýši (Mollusca), Národní muzeum, (zoologické odd.), Praha, 108 pp. [as Haliotis tuberculata LINNÉ, 1758]
Data retrieved on: 11 November 2013
EN Petović S., Gvozdenović S., Ikica Z. (2017): An Annotated Checklist of the Marine Molluscs of the South Adriatic Sea (Montenegro) and a Comparison with Those of Neighbouring Areas, Turkish Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 17: 921-934 [as Haliotis tuberculata tuberculata Linnaeus, 1758]
SP Prats Pi, L. (2002): Gastròpodes marins de la cala de Binissafúller, Menorca (Illes Balears) [], Spira, 1(2): 21-24 [as Haliotis tuberculata tuberculata Linnaeus, 1758]

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