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Related FAQs: Sea Urchins, Urchins 2Urchins 3Urchin Identification, Urchin Behavior, Urchin Compatibility, Urchin Selection, Urchin System, Urchin Feeding, Urchin Disease, Urchin Reproduction

Related Articles: Echinoderms, An Introduction to the Echinoderms:  The Sea Stars, Sea Urchins, Sea Cucumbers and More... By James W. Fatherree, M.Sc. Algae ControlNutrient Control and Export

/A Diversity of Aquatic Life

Some Spines Now! Sea Urchins (and Sand Dollars), the Echinoids, Pt. 5

To: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 6

 

By Bob Fenner

 

Family Temnopleuridae: Mespilia, Microcyphus.

Mespilia globulus (Linnaeus 1758), the Blue Tuxedo Urchin (Sphere Urchin of science). Eastern Indian Ocean to western Pacific... in shallows amongst algae it grazes on. To three inches in diameter. Needs hard substrates, shady areas. Can be kept solitarily or in small groups. Eats mainly algae, including corallines. Aquarium and N. Sulawesi pix.

Microcyphus rousseaui (Agassiz & Desor 1846), Rousseau's Sea Urchin. Western Indian Ocean; Red Sea to eastern Africa. Shallow water (0-5 meters), mainly on upper reef slope. Nocturnal, feeds on algae and sessile invertebrates. To three inches in diameter. Red Sea image.  

Family Toxopneustidae: Lytechinus, Toxopneustes, Tripneustes.

Lytechinus semituberculatus (Agassiz & Desor 1846), Green Sea Urchin. To 6.4 inches in diameter. Southeastern Pacific; Columbia to Peru and Galapagos Islands. Decidedly yellow green in color. Common in rocky shores to 134 meters. Feeds principally on benthic algae. Galapagos pic.

Lytechinus variegatus (Leske 1778), the Variegated Urchin. Family Toxopneustidae. Tropical West Atlantic; Bermuda to Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico. Lives in mud to rocky substrates. Eats algae and animal based foods. Temp.: 22-28 C. A good choice for TWA biotopic presentations. 

Toxopneustes pileolus (Lamarck 1816), Flower Urchin. Indo-Pacific. Very toxic to touch.  To 12 cm. in diameter. At right, with typical shells, debris stuck on with its tube-feet (in the Marquesas). Below in Mabul, Malaysia, a close-up a bit further south in N. Sulawesi. 

Toxopneustes roseus (A. Agassiz 1863), the Flower Urchin. Costa Rica (Pacific side) 2011 

Bigger PIX:
The images in this table are linked to large (desktop size) copies. Click on "framed" images to go to the larger size.

Tripneustes depressus A. Agassiz 1863, the White Sea Urchin. To 12.5 inches in diameter. Eastern Pacific; Southern California to Ecuador and Galapagos Islands. Principally feeds on coralline algae. Galapagos pix.

Tripneustes gratilla (Linnaeus 1758), the Priest-Hat or Collector Urchin. Family Toxopneustidae. Indo-Pacific; Red Sea to Hawai'i. Toxic to the touch to sea life. To about five inches in diameter overall. Mentioned so hobbyists will avoid it. Shown: At right in Nuka Hiva, Marquesas, Polynesia. Below: specimens in the Red Sea at night, Andaman Sea and Hawai'i.

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The images in this table are linked to large (desktop size) copies. Click on "framed" images to go to the larger size.

Tripneustes ventricosus (Lamarck 1816), the (West Indian) Sea Egg. Tropical East and West Atlantic coasts. Up to eight inches in diameter. Juveniles inhabit rocks, adults moving out to sand, grass beds. Cozumel at night and close up in the Bahamas. 

Bigger PIX:
The images in this table are linked to large (desktop size) copies. Click on "framed" images to go to the larger size.

To: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 6

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