Whorl-spined Urchin (Prionocidaris verticillata)

Also known as Crown Urchin, Crown Sea Urchin, Knobby Sputnik Sea Urchin, Land Mine Sea Urchin, Large-spined Urchin, Mine Urchin, Spiky Urchin, Spiny Urchin, Thorn-spined Sea Urchin, Thorn-spined Urchin

Description

Also known as Crown Urchin, Crown Sea Urchin, Knobby Sputnik Sea Urchin, Land Mine Sea Urchin, Large-spined Urchin, Mine Urchin, Spiky Urchin, Spiny Urchin, Thorn-spined Sea Urchin, Thorn-spined Urchin.

Found hiding during the day amongst coral and rubble bottoms of coral and rocky reefs.
They feed nocturnally on detritus, dead fish, invertebrates and sponges.
Length - 10cm
Depth - 0-50m
Widespread Indo-Pacific

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=3106

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