The name Haliotidae derives from the Greek hàls, alos = sea and us, otòs = ear. This family includes about 100 species found in the all seas of the world and provided with a shell shaped like a human ear. For this reason in Italy they are commonly called "ears of sea" or "ears of St. Peter".
Much sought by collectors, mother of pearl is used in the field of objects. Mollusc meat is also appreciated for its flavor.