The pinto abalone is the smallest abalone species (Racerocks 2010) and is the only abalone species found in Canada (COSEWIC 2009). It has a flattened, ear-shaped, scalloped-edged, rough (rugose)shell that has a dome at one end, and ranges in size from 4 to 6 inches (Racerocks 2010, COSEWIC 2009). The shell colour is linked to diet, but is generally a mottled reddish or greenish with areas of white and blue (sometimes orange) and is iridescent inside (COSEWIC 2009). It has 3 to 6 raised, oval-shaped, respiratory holes in a line on the surface paralleled by a groove. The epipodium (lateral lobe of the foot) is lacy-edged and mottled yellowish to brown in color; and thin yellowish brown to green tentacles surround the tan-coloured foot and extend out of the shell (COSEWIC 2009).