Mollusc Database

      Haliotis rugosa      Lamarck, 1822
 Common Name(s):

 Scientific Name:
 Haliotis rugosa, 
 Lamarck 1822, (non Reeve, 1846)
 Usual Size:
 about 34 mm

 Photograph by Andy Horton


The particular tint of green coloration of the shell is also very typical for H. pustulata/rugosa

    Click on images for a closer view

The width of the columella (the ridge along the outer board of the shell when viewed from inside) is quite telling. 

Similar species:
Haliotis pustulata; its relationship to H. pustulata Reeve, 1846, is still debated, 
i.e., are these two different species or just one variable species? The distinction of the two taxa is the strength of the spiral cording, which is pronounced in H. rugosa, but much weaker in H. pustulata.
Haliotis clathrata; the particular tint of green coloration of the shell is also very typical for H.pustulata/rugosa, but not that often seen in H. clathrata, where more red tones prevail. The columella is quite a bit more narrow in H. pustulata/rugosa than in H. clathrata. And many shells of pustulata have a bit of a crucked growth, whereas H. clathrata is usually much more even. H. clathrata is a Pacific species. H. crebrisculpta Sowerby, 1914, is the name that was most often associated with what is now
correctly referred to as H. clathrata Reeve,1846 (non Lichtenstein,1794).


Distribution: Indian Ocean (east African coast); H. rugosa is particularly found on the Mascarene Isles (Mauritius and Reunion Isles) and H. pustulata is found from the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea down to the northernmost tip of South Africa. Main coast specimens of H. pustulata tend to have stronger cording than the northern specimens.
Food:  algae. 
Credits: Identification of H. rugosa from these photographs and the information in this database was provided by Daniel L. Geiger, University of Southern California, Los Angeles. 
Malacology (Daniel L. Geigers Homepage) *** (with links to other sites)
Additional Information:
Some collectors use a name Haliotis form lamellosa rugosa Lamarck 1822 for a quite different Mediterranean Sea species. 
Please note that there are two H. rugosa: H. rugosa Lamarck, 1822, and H.rugosa Reeve, 1846. The first is the species featured and illustrated on this page, the second is a synonym of H. tuberculata Linnaeus, 1758. Haliotis lamellosa has also as author Lamarck, 1822,

Richard Huggett (Eastbourne, UK) discovered this abalone in his tropical marine aquarium in the autumn of 1997. He grew it up from a minute seed abalone to a mid-sized adult 34 mm long by the spring of 1999. The specimen had 16 holes.
Please also send any replies to the BMLSS

 Phylum:  Mollusca
 Class:  Gastropoda
 Order:  Vetigastropoda
 Family:  Haliotidae

For more information on all the abalone taxa, please refer to Geiger (1998: The Nautilus 111: 85-116)

Phylogeny of Abalone

The Epipodium of Abalone

Green Ormer Database file
Haliotis tuberculata

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