Centrostephanus rodgersii Click to enlarge image
Spiny Sea Urchin, Centrostephanus rodgersii Image: Dr Isobel Bennett
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    rodgersii
    Genus
    Centrostephanus
    Family
    Diadematidae
    Order
    Diadematoida
    Class
    Echinoidea
    Phylum
    Echinodermata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    17 cm

Introduction

The Spiny Sea Urchin has long, needle-like spines, which it wedges in cracks and crevices to secure itself to rocks.

Identification

The spines of the Spiny Sea Urchin may have a green iridescence, while the test (body) varies in colour from deep red to black.

Habitat

Spiny Sea Urchins live on intertidal rocky shores and in coastal waters to a depth of 35 m.

Distribution

The Spiny Sea Urchin is found in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.

Other behaviours and adaptations

This species has been linked to changes in abalone populations. The Spiny Sea Urchin is usually found in large numbers and affects the ecology of the reef by clearing areas of kelp, causing barren areas known as white rock.