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Haliotis ovina (Gmelin, 1791)

Sheep's Ear Abalone
Oval Abalone

Tim Vance (2013)



Fact Sheet



Physical Description


Life History & Behaviour

Feeding Preference Experiment

Anatomy & Physiology

Evolution & Systematics

Biogeographic Distribution

Conservation & Threats

References & Links


Haliotis ovina (pictured left) and a sunset view from the reef crest looking towards Heron Island.
In the Indo-Pacific region, Haliotis ovina is found at depths of less than 30 m below sea level in rocky and coral reef zones. They are active mainly at night when they leave the crevices and undersides of stony corals to forage for the macroalgae upon which they feed (Geiger and Poppe, 2000; Degnan et al., 2006). On Heron Island they inhabit the outer reef inter-tidal and sub-tidal zones particularly where there are some sandy channels allowing water flow between coral boulders (personal observation). They can be located by turning over coral boulders and examining the underside and are often found with cowries, chitons, sea urchins and sea cucumbers (Jarayabhand and Paphavasit, 1996). H. ovina are well camouflaged for their environment and some persistance is required to find them. The specimens used in this study were located near the reef crest of Heron Island Reef north-east of Shark Bay.