Flower Urchin (Toxopneustes pileolus)

Also known as Flower Sea Urchin, Flower Tip Urchin, Toxic Sea Urchin

Description

Also known as Flower Sea Urchin, Flower Tip Urchin, Toxic Sea Urchin.

Found singly or in groups often covered in detritus over rubble, sand and seagrass beds of shallow bays, lagoons and coral reefs.
They feed on algae, organic detritus and invertebrates.
Width - 15cm
Depth - 0-90m
Widespread Southeast Atlantic, Indo-West Pacific

These beautiful sea urchins are extremely venomous and can be fatal, the sting comes from the petal like flowers.

Sea Urchins use tubed feet to get around, often in large impenetrable masses for protection.
Sometimes they hitch a lift on the back of crabs.
They have well developed jaws for grinding their prey.
Their anus is on top in most sea urchins, except the heart urchins where it is at the rear.
Predators of sea urchins are triggerfish and large wrasses, who nibble away at their spines before turning them over to eat the fleshy undersides.
Sea Urchins are highly venomous and can piece through a wet-suit.
Some are sensitive to light and have the ability to shoot venom loaded spines at a short distance.
To be avoided!! Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toxopneustes_pileolus

1 comment

  1. Posted by Dr ASV PRASAD
    June 18, 2020 at 13:47 pm - 1 person found this useful.

    Pedicillaria are important in injecting the venom in flower sea urchin whereas it is the spine in case of other poisonous sea urchins.

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