Haliotis mariae Wood, 1828
Distribution: Yemen to Oman, Somalia.
Size to 121mm. Seasonal fishings in 15m deep.

The largest abalone of the northern Indian Ocean. Shells from Oman are said to belong to a subspecies named dentata Jonas, 1844: dorsal ribs more raised, anterior margin more serrated, range restricted to Oman. But the Omani sufailah and the shells from Yemen do not differ enough, and the question to know if dentata is a form or a subspecies is easily solvced by comparisons. Intergrades do exist. Masqat, Oman, on rocks, 112mm.
Variations of sculpture in a population.
Collected at low tide, clinging to sides of large rocks, Salalah, south Oman.
You notice shells can change of sculpture many times, some of them
passing by a kind of "dentata" fashion. 67-103mm. Picture © F. Frydman.
Specimen of about same size, collected on and beneath intertidal rocks, Masqat.
Picture © F. Frydman.
Two examples of the form dentata, collected in shallow water around boulders and ledges,
Salalah, Dhofar, Oman. 99-105mm. Pictures © R. Kershaw.
2 juvenile specimens from Dubai, United Arab Emirates. 5m deep, on rocks. 19,5-21mm.
The dorsal sculpture appears on ventral side. Spire always visible.
Colors: green, brown, white. Exists also in red.
An other juvenile found under rocks, at 10-15m deep, in Martini bay, Al-Fujayrah,
United Arab Emirates. 22mm.
Variations in adult mariae from Oman.
Original pictures © F. Frydman.

All pics © Olivier Caro