Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Haliotis fulgens
(green abalone)



Haliotis fulgens (green abalone)


  • Last modified
  • 14 July 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Threatened Species
  • Host Animal
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Haliotis fulgens
  • Preferred Common Name
  • green abalone
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Metazoa
  •     Phylum: Mollusca
  •       Class: Gastropoda
  •         Order: Vetigastropoda
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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Haliotis fulgens Philippi, 1845

Preferred Common Name

  • green abalone

Other Scientific Names

  • Haliotis (Haliotis) planirivata Reeve, 1846
  • Haliotis (Haliotis) revea Bartsch, 1940
  • Haliotis (Haliotis) splendens Reeve, 1846

International Common Names

  • French: ormeau du Pacifique

Local Common Names

  • Mexico: blue abalone


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The green abalone, Haliotis fulgens, supported an important fishery in California, landings peaking in 1971 and declining rapidly thereafter (Leet et al., 1992). Overfishing has, however, reduced the numbers of this species, and the green abalone commercial and sport fisheries are currently closed in the USA. H. fulgens is also affected by withering syndrome, caused by the bacterium Candidatus Xenohaliotis californiensis. It is currently farmed in Mexico with a commercial fishery for it still in place, managed by local cooperatives. The meat (foot) is a highly valued delicacy while the entire shell is used as an ornament or divided into smaller parts and polished for use as jewellery.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Mollusca
  •             Class: Gastropoda
  •                 Order: Vetigastropoda
  •                     Unknown: Haliotoidea
  •                         Family: Haliotidae
  •                             Genus: Haliotis
  •                                 Species: Haliotis fulgens


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As described by Ault (1985): H. fulgens has an oval shell with a mean length of 175 mm; a maximum length of 250 mm may be achieved. Externally the shell is olive-green to red-brown with a regular form and sculpture with fine spiral ribs. The surface of the shell is usually covered by algae and invertebrates. The interior of the shell is smooth and highly iridescent with shades of green, blue and lavender with black spots. The columnar muscle scar is prominent and central. The cephalic and epipodial tentacles are olive green. The edge is scalloped with a rough frilled surface.


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H. fulgens can be found from Point Conception to Bahia Magdalena, Baja California Sur, Mexico (Leighton et al., 1981) including the regions of San Clemente, Santa Catalina, Santa Barbara, Anacapa and the Coronado Islands in California.

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes

Sea Areas

Pacific, Eastern CentralPresentNative Not invasive Leighton et al., 1981

North America

MexicoPresentNative Not invasive Leighton et al., 1981
USAPresentNative Not invasive Leighton et al., 1981
-CaliforniaPresentNative Not invasive Leighton et al., 1981

Invasive Species Threats

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Invasive SpeciesWhere ThreatenedMechanismReferencesNotes
Xenohaliotis californiensisCaliforniaPathogenicNational Marine Fisheries Service, 2009


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Alvarez-Tinajero M del C; Cáceres-Martínez J; Gonzáles Avilés JG, 2002. Histopathological evaluation of the yellow abalone Haliotis corrugata and the blue abalone Haliotis fulgens from Baja California, México. Journal of Shellfish Research, 21(2):825-830.

Alvarez-Tinajero MDC; Cáceres-Martínez J; González-Avilés JG, 2001. Shell boring clams in the blue abalone Haliotis fulgens and the yellow abalone Haliotis corrugata from Baja California, México. Journal of Shellfish Research, 20(2):889-893.

Ault JS, 1985. Species profiles: life histories and environmental requirements of coastal fishes and invertebrates (Pacific Southwest). Black, green and red abalones. US Fisheries and Wildlife Services Biological Report 82(11.32) US Army Corps of Engineers, TR EL-82-4.

Durazo-Beltrán E; D'Abramo LR; Toro-Vazquez JF; Vasquez-Peláez C; Viana MT, 2003. Effect of triacylglycerols in formulated diets on growth and fatty acid composition in tissue of green abalone (Haliotis fulgens). Aquaculture, 224(1/4):257-270.

Durazo-Beltran E; Viana MT; D’Abramo LR; Toro-Vasquez JF, 2004. Effects of starvation and dietary lipid on the lipid and fatty acid composition of muscle tissue of juvenile green abalone (Haliotis fulgens). Aquaculture, 238:329-341.

Farías A; García-Esquivel Z; Viana MT, 2003. Physiological energetics of the green abalone, Haliotis fulgens, fed on a balanced diet. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 289(2):263-276.

Gómez-Montes L; García-Esquivel Z; D'Abramo LR; Shimada A; Vásquez-Peláez C; Viana MT, 2003. Effect of dietary protein:energy ratio on intake, growth and metabolism of juvenile green abalone Haliotis fulgens. Aquaculture, 220(1/4):769-780.

Guzmán del Próo SA; Serviere-Zaragoza E; Siqueiros-Beltrones D, 2003. Natural diet of juvenile abalone Haliotis fulgens and H. corrugata (Mollusca: Gastropoda) in Bahía Tortugas, Mexico. Pacific Science, 57(3):319-324.

Hardy R; Wendell F; DeMartini JD, 1980. A status report on California shellfish fisheries and fisheries. In: Griffman R, Richards J, eds. Social Science Perspective on Managing Conflicts Between Marine Mammals and Fisheries. University of California Santa Barbara Sea Grant-Cooperative Extension, USA, 328-340.

Hines AH; Pearse JS, 1982. Abalones, shells, and sea otters: dynamics of prey populations in central California. Ecology, 63:1547-1560.

Leet WS; Dewees CM; Haugen CW, 1992. California’s Living Marine Resources and their Utilization. California Sea Grant Extension Program, Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Biology, University of California, Davis, California, USA, 257 pp.

Leighton DL, 1966. Studies of food preference in algivorous invertebrates of Southern California kelp beds. Pacific Science, 20:104-113.

Leighton DL, 1974. The influence of temperature on larval and juvenile growth in three species of southern Californian abalones. US National Marine and Fisheries Services Fisheries Bulletin, 72:1137-1145.

Leighton DL, 1998. Control of sabellid infestation in green and pink abalones, Haliotis fulgens and H. corrugata, by exposure to elevated water temperatures. Journal of Shellfish Research, 17(3):701-705.

Leighton DL; Byhower MJ; Kelly JC; Hooker GN; Morse DE, 1981. Acceleration of development and growth in young green abalone (Haliotis fulgens) using warmed effluent seawater. Journal of the World Mariculture Society, 12(1):170-180.

McBride SC; Rotem E; Ben-Ezra D; Shpigel M, 2001. Seasonal energetics of Haliotis fulgens (Philippi) and Haliotis tuberculata (L.). Journal of Shellfish Research, 20(2):659-665.

National Marine Fisheries Service, 2009. 2009 NMFS West Coast workshop on abalone species of concern, 1 September 2009. Seattle, Washington, USA and Long Beach, California, USA: National Marine Fisheries Service, 25 pp.

Nava-Guerrero R; Vásquez-Peláez C; Viana MT, 2004. Replacing kelp meal (Macrocystis pyrifera) with a winery by-product in a balanced diet for green abalone (Haliotis fulgens). Ciencias Marinas, 30(1b):227-234.

Nelson MM; Leighton DL; Phleger CF; Nichols PD, 2002. Comparison of growth and lipid composition in the green abalone, Haliotis fulgens, provided specific macroalgal diets. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. B, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, 131(4):695-712.

Olin P, 1994. Abalone culture in Hawaii. Haliotis fulgens and Haliotis diversicolor supertexta. Sea Grant Extension Service, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Center for Tropical and Subtropical Aquaculture, Waimanalo, Hawaii, USA, Fact Sheet No. 3.

Searcy-Bernal R; Anguiano-Beltrán C; Esparza-Hernández A, 2003. The effect of irradiance on the survival and growth of abalone postlarvae Haliotis fulgens fed Navicula incerta. Aquaculture, 228(1/4):237-248.

Searcy-Bernal R; Vélez-Espino LA; Anguiano-Beltrán C, 2001. Effect of biofilm density on grazing and growth rates of Haliotis fulgens postlarvae. Journal of Shellfish Research, 20(2):587-591.

Serviere-Zaragoza E; Mazariegos-Villareal A; Ponce-Díaz G; Montes Magallón S, 2001. Growth of juvenile abalone, Haliotis fulgens Philippi, fed different diets. Journal of Shellfish Research, 20(2):689-693.

Sevilla ML; Hernandez H; Mondragon E; Farran DN; Giovanini A; Hernandez A, 1965. Estudio histologico comparativp de algunos moluscos de importancia economica en Mexico. Instituto Nacional Investigaciones Biologia Pesquiras, 3:1-19.

Tutschulte TC, 1976. The comparative ecology of three sympatric abalones. PhD thesis. University of California, San Diego, USA.

Tutschulte TC; Connell JH, 1981. Reproductive biology of three species of abalones (Haliotis) in southern California. Veliger, 23:195-206.

Viana MT; Guzman JM; Escobar R, 1999. Effect of heated and unheated fish silage as a protein source in diets for abalone Haliotis fulgens. Journal of the World Aquaculture Society, 30(4):481-489; 28 ref.


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Main Author
Uma Sabapathy Allen
Human Sciences, CAB International, Wallingford, Oxon, OX10 8DE, UK

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