Description: Haliotis rubra belongs to the superfamily, Haliotoidea. It is a family of sea snails in the clade of Vetigastropoda. They are some of the most primitive of all living gastropods. Some have shells with secondary openings or slits. Haliotis rubra is classified as an abalone, which are large, edible sea snails.
Haliotis rubra
Haliotis rubra

The Haliotis rubra's shell is angled at the row of siphonal holes, which are the last 6-8 holes open in the shell. A wide groove exists below the angle of the shell. The exterior is normally red, but it has been known to exhibit green streaks occasionally. Silver is the color of the interior of the shell, though. Also, the Haliotis rubra can grow up to about 200 mm wide, which is rather large for a sea snail.

Interestingly, the shell of the Haliotis rubra is exceptionally strong and is made of microscopic calcium carbonate tiles that are stacked on top of each other. A clingy protein substance resides between the layers of these tiles. This allows the abalone shell to absorb the energy of an attack or blow. The tiles slide upon impact, so it cannot shatter. Scientists are intrigued by the design of these tiles and are studying ways to use this structure to improve the durability of several things, like ceramic items.

Habitat: It is located primarily in Australia. Unsurprisingly, the Haliotis rubra is usually found in crevices, caves, fissures and on vertical rock surfaces, during low tide. Most shelled-mollusks share the same environment. The adult members of the species mainly stay hidden in caves, fissures or narrow crevices. Coastal areas worldwide are the homes of abalones.

Niche: This species grazes on drift algae and algae growing on rock surfaces. They are capable of capturing drift algae or overhanging kelp fronds by raising the front of their foot and trapping it. The biggest threat to the Haliotis rubra is human consumption. In Latin American countries, the meat of this mollusk is seen as a delicacy. It is also likely that the same predators of other sea snails, such as seagulls and fish, prey on this abalone, as well.

Structure of Haliotis rubra
Structure of Haliotis rubra

Reproduction: Haliotis rubra reproduces by releasing their sperm and eggs into the ocean. They are released through the same area where the gills and anus are located because there is always a gentle flow of water out of these areas, which can wash out the reproductive gametes.The release of these gametes is known as spawning. The reason for spawning is unknown, but usually, when one spawns, another will also spawn. The fertilized gastropod larva sinks and dwells self-sufficiently for a span of one to two weeks. Coralline algae tends to accumulate around the larval mass, so the new born would most likely eat that as its first meal. Back to home. Go back to Euprymna scolopes. Onward to Hapalochlaena lunulata.