Haliotis virginea virginea Gmelin, 1791
Distribution: New Zealand and adjacent islands.
In shallow water to 15m deep, on rocky bottoms in Kelp fields. Size to 75mm.

The shell looks like the finest diversicolor : a sculpture made of narrow radial cords, crossed by thin growth striae. Nevertheless, the apex is more eccentric, and the shell is lighter and thinner. Average coloration: green, mottled with dark brown or red. "True" virginea live in South Island, Stewart and the southern end of North Island. Some local variations exist elsewhere, with doubtful taxonomical status. 10m deep, on rocks, Patterson's Inlet, Stewart island. 45-51mm. From coll. Ernest Zurrer (NZ).
Nacre with the aqua-green reflections.
On rocks, at 3-5m deep, Marfells Beach, Seddon, Marlborough, South Island. 46,5mm.
Collected under and around intertidal rocks, Kaka point, The Catlins, South Island.
64-70mm. Original pictures © R. Kershaw.
A, B: washed ashore, at hight tide, Marfells beach, South Marlborough, South Island. 36-51mm.
C, D: From Cod's stomach, Queen Charlotte sound, Marlborough. 38-39mm.
Original pictures © F. Frydman.
An interesting morph occurs in North Island. Usually red, but green and marbled shells exist. The nacre displays other sheens than in southern virginea: blue & magenta instead of aqua & green. This is the form or subspecies crispata Gould 1847, of a smaller size, and a more visible spire on ventral view. 15m deep, underside of rock slab, south of Leigh Harbour, Auckland, 34mm.
From Ernest Zurrer's collection.
Variations in crispata: the strenght of the cords and of the undulating folds, the pattern.
Bay of Islands, 34mm. From Ernest Zurrer's collection.
Crispata set from Elliot Bay, Northland, North Island.
Original pictures © F. Frydman.