Haliotis cracherodii Leach, 1814
Distribution: Northern California to SW. Baja California.
Size up to 216mm. From tidal line to 6m deep, under rocks and in crevices.
Click here to see a supertidal colony of Black Abalones in the Channel Islands Marine Sanctuary.

Shell round, smooth except growth lines, close to black, with numerous holes.
Spire rarely visible on ventral side; anterior margin always black.
California, 111mm. From coll. Annie Bombeke (FR).
Above and below:
Two shells that are said to come from La Paz, SE. Baja California, in the Sea of Cortez.
60-82mm. From coll. Ernest Zurrer (NZ). Notice as the margin climbs along the columella.
A distinctive feature: the holes that never rise upon the surface.
This young abalone still has its complete protoconch. This would not have lasted.
Protected in California, the species is still harvested in Mexico.
Two specimens from subtidal shores of Guadalupe island, off Baja California.
Var. "californiensis". 86-90mm. Original pictures © R. Kershaw.

All pics © Olivier Caro