Haliotis diversicolor Reeve, 1846
Distribution: Korea, Japan, China, Indonesia, Thailand, possibly West Australia,
if these last records do not concern the subspecies squamata Reeve, 1846. Far east to Tonga.
Size to 114mm. Farmed in Asia.

This is a highly variable species, in sculpture as in color & pattern.
Hence, the numerous synonyms, forms and subspecies found worldwide in any domain related
to this abalone, are of poor conchological value; H. squamata remains the only valid subspecies.
Above: 3 Japanese shells that illustrate the variability of the species within a same area.
Low tide on rocks, Minabe, Wakayama-ken, Kii Peninsula, Honshu, 61-72mm.
Two smooth specimens collected by local divers at 2m deep, Kushimoto, Wakayama-ken, Kii. 55-57mm.
Close to the preceeding, this 84mm shell from Burma (3 to 5m deep) has a fine sculpture,
in which the light plays like on velvet.
When farmed, Tokobushi, like many other Haliotidae, often bear this kind of design,
made of unicolored surfaces. The variation from green to brown is linked to a diet change.
55mm, Tokyo farms, Shinjuku-ku, Kanto, Honshu, Japan.
Two fully adult specimens. 84-86mm, Japan.
Haliotis diversicolor:
" Hal. testâ ovatâ, subplanulatâ, spiraliter liratâ, liris obtusis irregularibus, transversim leviter plicatâ ;
foraminibus octonis vel novenis perviis ; castaneo-fusco coccineo-rufo viridique radiatâ,
maculis undatis lutescentibus variegatâ
. Hab. New Holland".

Haliotis aquatilis:
"Hal. testâ oblongo-ovatâ, plano-convexâ, medio depressâ, lævigatâ, prope marginem peculiariter plicatâ ;
foraminibus senis perviis ; pallidè viridi, albido aut flavescente undato-variegatâ, intus albicante
Hab. Kurile Islands, south of Kamtschatka. "

Haliotis tayloriana:
"Hal. testâ oblongo-ovatâ, solidiusculâ, convexâ, spirâ subterminali, spiraliter obtusè et irregulariter liratâ ; foraminibus septenis ad novenis perviis ; extus coccineo- fuscâ, flavido, coccineo-fusco maculato,
prope spiram, nebulatâ ; intus albicante.

Hab. —— ?
Named in honour of my worthy friend Thomas Lombe Taylor, Esq., of Starston, Norfolk".

L.A. Reeve: Descriptions of forty new species of Haliotis, from the collection of H. Cuming, Esq.
Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, XIV: 53-59
Source Biosphia, archive 00000065.
Nota bene that many farmed abalones are sold under the name Tokobushi :
for example, Haliotis supertexta, or, in Philippine islands, Haliotis varia.
The two pics above show specimens fished at 3-5m deep, in the mouth of Tokyo Bay, 62-64mm.
Two shells from Phuket area, W. Thailand. 62-63mm.
In finely sculptured specimens, the dorsum often emits a kind of golden reflection.
In this species, the spire, often hardly visible in ventral view, always shows a very little apical depression.
Typical pattern from Kii peninsula, Kansai, Honshu.
At low tide, under rock, Hino misaki (=cape). 51mm.
Comparison between H. diversicolor diversicolor (A, 63mm) & H. diversicolor squamata (B, 59mm).
Both from Indonesia.

Apex: A on longitudinal axis. B near right margin.
Shape: A oval. B lengthened.
A fine spiral lines crossed by weak radial folds. B coarser, cancellate, with stronger folds, often scaly.
Original pictures © F. Frydman.

All pics © Olivier Caro