a term for a marine gastropod, Mollusc haliotis of the genus Haliotidae. A species of ear shell, also called ormer, from which mother-of-pearl is produced. The other pearl-bearing shellfish from abalone genus is the Ormer shell or Haliotis tuberculata, which lives in shallow waters. Haliotis rufrescens is a reddish member of the abalone family. Colored baroque pearls produced by abalone have the same iridescence as the interior of the shell. These shellfish originate in the waters of California, Mexico, New York, Japan, and are also found in the Atlantic Ocean. Abalones in New Zealand are known as Paua shell and in Japan Awabi shell. Haliotis, paua shell.