Animal Species:Pin-cushion Urchin

The Pin-cushion Urchin is a tropical species and its population in Sydney fluctuates. In some years it can be abundant while in other years quite rare.

Hairy Sea Urchin Tripneustes gratilla

Dr Isobel Bennett © Australian Museum

Standard Common Name

Pin-cushion Urchin

Alternative Name/s

Hairy Sea Urchin

Identification

The Pin-cushion Urchin has a brown or purple test (body), short white spines sometimes tipped with orange, and brownish-red tube feet.

Size range

15 cm

Distribution

The Pin-cushion Urchin is found in Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia. Also found in the Indo-Pacific region.

Habitat

Pin-cushion Urchins live in intertidal areas and coastal waters to a depth of 75 m.

Other behaviours and adaptations

This species has a habit of grabbing pieces of seaweed, shell or pebbles with its tube feet and covering itself. This may act as camouflage and protect it from predators and the sun.

Classification

Species:
gratilla
Genus:
Tripneustes
Family:
Toxopneustidae
Order:
Echinoida
Class:
Echinoidea
Phylum:
Echinodermata
Kingdom:
Animalia

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Tags sea urchins, echinoderms, invertebrates, identification, wildlife of sydney, marine,