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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

Biogeographic distribution

Map of the Indo-Pacific Region showing the current distribution (black dots) of Haliotis ovina.
Modified from Geiger and Poppe (2000).​

Members of the genus Haliotis are found in both tropical and temperate waters throughout the world on rocky or coral surfaces at depths of less than 30 metres (Geiger and Poppe, 2000).

Haliotis ovina is found only in the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific region from the Maldives to Tonga and as far north as south-western Japan (Geiger and Poppe, 2000). The distribution of H. ovina is limited by water temperature, the availability of suitable substrate (hard rocky or coral surfaces with crevices and spaces for refuge during daytime as it is nocturnally active) and the availability of an appropriate food source (Geiger and Poppe, 2000).

As H. ovina are largely sedentary animals, they are not able to disperse as adults, so any dispersal must occur during the planktonic larval phase and is therefore reliant on ocean currents and the availability of a suitable substrate upon which to settle when the larvae become competent (Geiger and Poppe, 2000). Dispersal is also limited by the length of time between fertilisation and competence which is one to two weeks in most Haliotis species (Morse and Fenteany, 1993; Geiger and Poppe, 2000).