Haliotis pulcherrima Gmelin, 1791
Distribution: French Polynesia to Pitcairn; Samoa.
Size to 35mm. Hidden in coral reefs.
The original designation was indeed pulcherrima, from pulcer, pulcra, which is an allowed variation of pulcher, pulchra. See Lin.: Systema naturæ. Tom. I. Pars VI. - pp. 3690. Lipsiæ. (Beer).
Haliotis pulcherrima was given by Martyn, 1788, in his description of a young Abalone from South Australia (maybe roei or scalaris, see Dillwyn, 1817 vol.2). The epithet survived since this time.

Shells always dead collected. The species may hide inside the reef, in inaccessible places.
No living animal known. 22-30mm, Samoa. From coll. Ernest Zurrer (NZ).
4m deep, under dead coral, west Rangiroa atoll, Tuamotu, French Polynesia. 26mm.
Beached, on reef, Takapoto atoll, Tuamotu. 22mm, june 1990.
Dead collected on outer reef, Teherau atoll, Tuamotu. 18mm.
Tuamotu again; specimens from Fakarava atoll, collec ted on eastern reef.
The species is very constant in shape, in sculpture, in pattern. Maybe the colour varies a little.
2005. 19-25mm. From coll. R. Huet (FR).
Spectacular specimen from Tahiti, in R. Kershaw's collection. 22mm.
Mataiva, Tuamotu, 19mm.
Original pictures © Fr. Frydman (FR).
Same place, 16,5mm.
Original picture © Fr. Frydman (FR).

All pics © Olivier Caro