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Haliotis brazieri Angas, 1869

Description : Spire high, strongly shouldered; spiral sculpture absent, or present as strong spiral ribs; closely packed transverse growth lamellae. Siphonal holes on high tubercules, 4-6 open. Irregularly and usually brightly coloured with pink, red and green, often in radial bands. Interior nacreous.

Size : Up to 45 mm wide.

Distribution : Endemic to Australia; Caloundra, Queensland, to Green Cape, NSW.

Habitat : Subtidal; uncommon.

Synonyms: Haliotis hargravesi Cox, 1869 was assigned to the variety with strong spiral ribbing. Marinauris ethologus Iredale, 1927 and Marinauris melculus Iredale, 1927 have sculpture which appears to be within the range of variation, and are probably conspecific (Short & Potter 1987).

Comparison : Often similar in colouring to H. coccoradiata but readily separated by the high spire with strongly angulate shoulders, and the raised siphonal holes.

Remarks: There is continuing debate on whether the smooth form and the spirally ridged form are separate species, or forms of the one variable species. Intergrades between the two shell forms exist (although uncommon), supporting the view that there is only one variable species.  Until anatomical studies are available the issue remains unresolved. 

Fig. 1a, 1b: Bellinger River, NSW (C.073384)

Fig. 1c, 1d: Botany Bay, NSW (C.352797)

Copyright Des Beechey 2000