Animal Species:Slate Pencil Urchin

The Slate Pencil Urchin is nnamed for its thick blunt spines that resemble old-fashioned pencils.

Slate Pencil Urchin

Dr Isobel Bennett © Australian Museum

Standard Common Name

Slate Pencil Urchin

Identification

With thick, blunt, round spines, this sea urchin is distinctive and is easily identified by beachcombers, snorkellers and divers.

Size range

15 cm

Distribution

The Slate Pencil Urchin are found along the east coast of Australia, including Queensland and New South Wales.

Habitat

Slate Pencil Urchings live on intertidal rocky shores and in coastal waters to a depth of 80 m.

Feeding and Diet

The Slate Pencil Urchin is a herbivore. It comes out to feed at night. The mouth is on the underside of the body and is equipped with five sharp teeth used to scrape algae from the rocks.

Other behaviours and adaptations

The Slate Pencil Urchin uses its spines to wedge firmly into holes and crevices during the day.

Classification

Species:
parvispinus
Genus:
Phyllacanthus
Family:
Cidaridae
Order:
Cidaroida
Class:
Echinoidea
Phylum:
Echinodermata
Kingdom:
Animalia

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