Haliotis pourtalesii

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Haliotis pourtalesii
Haliotis pourtalesii 000H.jpg
A shell of Haliotis pourtalesii
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
Clade: Vetigastropoda
Superfamily: Haliotoidea
Family: Haliotidae
Genus: Haliotis
Species: H. pourtalesii
Binomial name
Haliotis pourtalesii
Dall, 1881[1]

Haliotis pourtalesii, common name Pourtale’s abalone, is a rare species of deepwater sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Haliotidae, the abalones.[2][3]


Distribution of Haliotis pourtalesii in the Atlantic Ocean

The known distribution for Haliotis pourtalesii reported in the literature puts it in a range that extends from the coast of North Carolina to Florida in the United States of America[4][5][6] and from there through the Gulf of Mexico,[7][8] to Cuba,[9][10] the Caribbean coasts of Colombia,[11] Venezuela[12][13] and Suriname[14]), the West Indies[15] and to the shores of Brazil.[16][17][18] It has been collected in a bathymetric range between 25 and 230 meters depth, usually on hard substrates.[19]


The shell is relatively small, varying from 18 mm to a maximum length of 30 mm. There are 22 to 27 to wavy, spiral cords on the outer surface which is colored a waxy yellow to light-brown, with a few irregular patches of reddish orange. A light-orange band runs from each hole to the edge of the shell. The inside is pearly–white.[20]

"The small shell is painted with a pale brick-red color, with white dots on some of the spirals, The spire is rather elevated, consisting of about two and a half whorls. The small apex is prominent. The shell contains about twenty-five holes, of which five remain open. The margins of these are rather prominent. Outside the row of hole, s the usual sulcus is strongly marked. About midway from the suture to the lines of holes is a raised rib, rather obscure, but differing in different individuals and corresponding to an internal sulcus. Between the central ridges and the suture there are no undulations or transverse ridges of consequence. The sculpture of the shell shows a well marked, rather flattish, spiral, close-set threads, sometimes with a single finer intercalary thread, overlaid by smaller rather compressed transverse ridges, in harmony with the incremental lines. On top of the spirals, the ridges bulge like the threads of worsted on canvas embroidery. The spire is situated well forward and with sides. The inner surface is pearly. The coil of the spire is rather close and the margin of the columella is flattened." [21]

The radula of this species is peculiar in possessing a very narrow lateral tooth. The cephakic tentacles show concentric rings. Within Haliotis, these characteristics can only be found also in Haliotis dalli Henderson, 1915 and in Haliotis dalli roberti Mclean, 1970 [22]

Sometimes young specimens of abalones from other oceans are offered for sale as this species.



  1. ^ Dall W. H. (1886). "Reports on the results of dredging, under the supervision of Alexander Agassiz, in the Gulf of Mexico, and in the Caribbean Sea, 1877-79, by the United States Coast Survey Steamer 'Blake'". Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 9: 33-144
  2. ^ Rosenberg, G. (2010). Haliotis pourtalesii Dall, 1881. Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species at http://www.marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=taxdetails&id=419376 on 2011-09-06
  3. ^ Dall, W. H. 1889: “Preliminary report on the collection of Mollusca and Brachiopoda obtained in 1887-88. VII. Scientific results of exploration by the U. S. Fisheries Commission Steamer Albatros”. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 12: 219-362.
  4. ^ Bartsch, P. 1940. “The west American Haliotis”. Proceedings of the United States National Museum. 89:49-57.
  5. ^ Bartsch. P. 2000: “An ecological cross-section of the lower part of Florida based largely upon its molluscan fauna”. National Research Council. Division of Geology and Geography. Washington, D.C.
  6. ^ Guice, C. J. 1968: “Haliotis pourtalesii Dall, 1881 from Florida waters”. The Veliger. 11(2):140-141.
  7. ^ González, N. E. 1998: “Moluscos de la expedición del R/V Edwin Link en las costas del Caribe mexicano”. Revista de Biología Tropical. 46(3):62-631.
  8. ^ Harry, H. W. 1966: “Haliotis pourtalesii Dall, 1881, from Yucatan”. The Veliger. 8(4):2007-208.
  9. ^ Aguayo, C. G., & M. L. Jaume. 1947. “Gastropoda-Haliotidae”. Catálogo Molluscos de Cuba. 140:1.
  10. ^ Sarasua, H. 1968: “Primer hallazgo del género Haliotis (Mollusca: Gastropoda) en aguas cubanas”. Poeyana. Ser. A. 55:1-8.
  11. ^ Worms: Haliotis pourtalesii Dall, 1881 AphiaID: 419376 2011, http://www.marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=taxdetails&id=419376
  12. ^ Martínez E, R. y Ruiz B, L. 1994: “Nota acerca de la presencia del gastropodo Haliotis (Padollus) pourtalesii Dall, 1881 (Archeogastropoda, Pleurotomariacea) en aguas del Caribe venezolano”. Acta Biológica Venezuelica. 15(1):63-64.
  13. ^ Bitter, R. S. Y Martínez E, R. 2004: “Inventario de los moluscos marinasen las costas del estado Falcon, Venezuela”. Acta Biológica Venezuelica. 21(1):21-41.
  14. ^ Nijssen-Meyer, J. 1969: “On the occurrence of Haliotis pourtalesii Dall, 1881, off Surinam (South America)”. Zoologische Mededelingen. 43(16):203-206.
  15. ^ Jung, P. 1968. “Fossil Pleurotomaria and Haliotis from Barbados and Carriacou, West India”. Eclogae Geologicae Helvetiae. 61:593-605.
  16. ^ Foster, R. W. 1946: “The family Haliotidae in the Western Atlantic”. Johnsonia. 2(21):36-40.
  17. ^ Klappenbach, M. A. 1968: “Notas malacológicas I. Haliotis pourtalesii Dall 1881 en la costa brasileña de San Pablo”. Comunicaciones Zoológicas del Museo de Historia Nacional de Montevideo. IV(122):7.
  18. ^ Rios, E. C. 1985: “Seashells of Brasil”. Fundaçao Cidade Do Rio Grande. e Fundaçao Universidade do Rio Grande. Museu Oceanografico.
  19. ^ Titgen, R. H., & Bright, T. J. 1985: “Notes on the distribution and ecology on the Western Atlantic abalone, Haliotis pourtalesii Dall, 1881 (Mollusca: Gastropoda)”. Northwest Gulf Sciences, 7:147-152.
  20. ^ Abbott, R Tucker. 1954. American Seashells. D. Van Nostrand Company Inc. xiv + 541 p. N.York.
  21. ^ H.A. Pilsbry (1890) Manual of Conchology XII; Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, 1890
  22. ^ Mclean, New Species of tropical Eastern Pacific Gastropoda, Malacological Review 2 115:116 (1970)


  • Turgeon, D.D., et al. 1998. Common and scientific names of aquatic invertebrates of the United States and Canada. American Fisheries Society Special Publication 26 page(s): 57
  • Geiger D.L. & Poppe G.T. (2000). A Conchological Iconography: The family Haliotidae. Conchbooks, Hackenheim Germany. 135pp 83pls.
  • Owen B. (2009). Checklist of the abalones of the world

External links[edit]