Species Images
The large Paua. 145mm
Under rocks and ledges below low tide. 90mm
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Key to Geographical Ranges
The symbols K.A.C.F.M.An. are used to indicate the geographical range of the species. They have been adopted to give an approxomation of the range of each species within New Zealand.
Kermadec Islands
Aupourian - Kaipara Harbour, north around North Cape, encompassing the Three Kings Islands and south to East Cape
Cookian - Lower North Island and the northern part of the South Island
Forsterian - Otago, Fiordland and Stewart Island
Moriorian - Chatham Islands, Pitt Island
Antipodean - Subantarctic Islands of New Zealand
FW =
L =
N =
North Island
S =
South Island
E =
I =

Haliotis (Paua) iris Gmelin, 1791

Classification:Mollusca (Phylum) > Gastropoda (Class) > Vetigastropoda (Subclass) > Lepetelllida (Order) > Haliotoidea (Superfamily) > Haliotidae (Family) > Haliotis (Genus) > Paua (Subgenus)
Size/Grows to:Length 150mm, Width 120mm
Distribution:North, South & Chatham Islands
Geographical Range:ACFM
Paua, Black-footed Abalone. Endemic. Interior is brilliant irridescent colouration of blue and green. Exterior almost always encrusted with coralline algae. Animal is black with a dark grey foot
References and Publications:
  • Eagle, M.K. Dec/2010: Aspects of Abalone Aquaculture and Polyculture, Poirieria, 35 (p.11)
  • Eagle, M.K. 2002: Review of fossil Haliotidae (Gastropoda) from New Zealand with description of a new early Miocene species., Records of the Auckland Institute and Museum, 39 (p.35)
  • McShane, P.E., Schiel, D.R., Mercer, S.F., Murray, T. 1994: Morphometric variation in Haliotis iris (Mollusca: Gastropoda): Analysis of 61 populations, New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, 28(4) (p.357)
  • Powell, A.W.B. 1979: New Zealand Mollusca: Marine, Land and Freshwater Shells, Collins, Auckland (p.36)
  • Poore, G.C.B. 1972: Ecology of New Zealand abalones, Haliotis species (Mollusca: Gastropoda), New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, 6(3) (p.246)

Note: Localities are approximate, and represent only some of the known localities for the species.

*2 © Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa CC BY-NC-ND