Holopneustes pycnotilus Click to enlarge image
Pink Sea Urchins, Holopneustes pycnotilus Image: Dr Isobel Bennett
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    pycnotilus
    Genus
    Holopneustes
    Class
    Echinoidea
    Phylum
    Echinodermata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    16 cm

Introduction

This small delicate-looking urchin lives among kelp and often wraps itself in the fronds for protection.

Identification

The Pink Sea Urchin's tube feet are transparent and the test (body) and spines are pink-brown.

Habitat

Pink Sea Urchins live on intertidal rocky shores and in coastal waters to a depth of 75 m.

Distribution

Pink Sea Urchins are found in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania.

Feeding and diet

The Pink Sea Urchin is a scavenger and feeds on a variety of plants and dead animals.

Other behaviours and adaptations

Commonly found washed up onto beaches or in the bottom of rock pools after storms, parts of the Pink Sea Urchin's test ('skeleton') can sometimes be mistaken for shell fragments.