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The Abalone Mapping Project


Haliotis asinina on Florida Beach
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 web-site.

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