Species Profiles. Life Histories and Environmental Requirements of Coastal Fishes and Invertebrates (Pacific Southwest). BLACK, GREEN, and RED ABALONES.
COOPERATIVE INST FOR MARINE AND ATMOSPHERIC STUDIES MIAMI FL
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Black, green, and red abalones Haliotis cracherodii, H. fulgens, and H. rufescens, respectively are of commercial and ecological importance and are distributed widely along the California coast. The abalones are morphologically similar species are distinguished by particular shell sculpture, color, and body characteristics. Their latitudinal and bathymetric distribution is stratified and most closely related to temperature. Small juveniles eat mainly microflora adults eat primarily drift macroalgae, preferring specific brown or red algae, when available. Spawning occurs during summer gonad ripening depends on food quality and quantity and water temperature. Larvae are lecithotrophic and remain planktonic for periods of 5 to 14 days after hatching settling is substrate specific. Postlarvae and adults require hard substrate for attachment. Juveniles are cryptic, adults usually more exposed. Growth rates are similar, although maximum size varies with species. Increases in shell length and body weight correlate positively with food abundance and temperature. Below depths of 6 m, sea urchins are major competitors for food and space.
- Biological Oceanography