The Rickettsiales-like prokaryote - Candidatus Xenohaliotis californiensis (Ca. Xc) – has decimated black abalone populations along the Pacific coast of North America. White abalone, – Haliotis sorenseni – are also susceptible and nearly extinct in the wild due to overfishing in the 1970s. Candidatus Xenohaliotis californiensis proliferates in epithelial cells of the abalone gastrointestinal tract and causes clinical signs of starvation. In 2012, evidence of a putative phage associated with Ca.