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Marine Animal Encyclopedia

Red Abalone Haliotis rufescens

The largest of the abalone species, the red abalone is so called because of the brick-red color of its thick, roughly oval shell. There is an arc of three to five clearly visible holes in the shell, through which it respires and expels waste products. These are filled and replaced with new holes as the abalone increases in size. Sea otters are one of the red abalone’s main predators, along with human divers.

Red Abalonezoom image
Red Abalonezoom image
  • Class Gastropoda
  • Length 6–8 in (15–20 cm)
  • Habitat Rocks from low tide mark to 100 ft (30 m)
  • Distribution East Pacific coasts from southern Oregon, US to Baja California, Mexico
Red Abalone habitat mapzoom image