Needle-spined Sea Urchin (Echinostrephus aciculatus)

Also known as Boring Urchin, Boring Sea Urchin, Burrowing Sea Urchin, Burrowing Urchin, Needle-Spined Urchin, Red Needle Pin Urchin, Reef Boring Sea-hedgehog, Rock-boring Sea Urchin

Description

Also known as Boring Urchin, Boring Sea Urchin, Burrowing Sea Urchin, Burrowing Urchin, Needle-Spined Urchin, Red Needle Pin Urchin, Reef Boring Sea-hedgehog, Rock-boring Sea Urchin.

Found singly or in groups burrowed into coral or limestone rocks over shallow, sand covered parts of coral reefs.
They feed on plankton.
Length - 8cm
Depth - 0-30m
Widespread Indo-Pacific

The spines on the side of these sea urchins are worn down by continual abrasion trying to stay in the hole while the longer dorsal spines act as a defence against predators.

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: http://www.saltcorner.com/AquariumLibrary/browsespecies.php?CritterID=3126

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