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The Abalone Mapping Project
Haliotis asinina on Florida
Courtesy Eddie Hardy
A shell of the tropical Indo-Pacific abalone Haliotis asinina
was recently found on St Pete's Beach, the beach resort area just north
of St Petersburg, Florida, USA. The question arises, how that shell got
to that beach. Haliotis asinina is commercially sold in the shell
trade literally by the ton, and can be found in every sea-side curio shop,
from the North Sea to South Africa, and certainly also including Florida.
Most likely, either a tourist lost the shell while walking along the beach,
or may have been discarded by a shell trader. It is extremely unlikely
that H. asinia has established itself in the Caribbean: the coral
reef habitat required for the species is not found along the northern
gulf shore of Florida, where sandy conditions prevail.
My thanks to Eddie Hardy for sharing his find.
Photograph and copyright of photographs with Eddie
Hardy, see also his