Animal Species:Purple Sea Urchin
The Purple Sea Urchin is one of the most common sea urchins found on Sydney's coast.
Colours can vary so dramatically in this species, from light olive green to pink to a dark purple, that the Purple Sea Urchin was once thought to be three separate species.
Purple Sea Urchins are found in southern Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.
Purple Sea Urchins live on intertidal rocky shores and in coastal waters to a depth of 35 m.
Other behaviours and adaptations
In order to gain protection from predators and the elements, Purple Sea Urchins cluster together and use their sharp spines to burrow into the rock. They are often seen with parts of shells and sand covering its test (body).
This species is sometimes collected for food. In Sydney there are bag limits, and certain rock platforms have been designated Aquatic Reserves where collecting is not permitted.