Echinus melo is a globular sea urchin of up to 17 cm in diameter. Spines are
scarce and of two types: short thin greenish-yellow spines, called secondary spines, and long thin olive-green
spines with whitish tips, called primary spines. Primary spines are rarer: they are laid out in a single row
on the interambulacral plates. Test colour is variable: pale yellow with orange spots or sometimes greenish
It lives on rocks from 25 m to depths down to several hundred meters, but it is abondant around 40 m deep. It is found in the Mediterranean Sea and in the Atlantic Ocean from the Azores to the Bay of Biscay.
(source : European Register of Marine Species)
Test : Rigid skeleton of sea urchins.
Interambulacral plates : Test plates placed between the ambulacral plates.
Ambulacral plates : Test plates pierced by numerous holes through which tube-feet can extend.
Tube foot : Tube-shaped element ending by a sucker-disc used to attach to subtratum.
Top Photo :
© William Desmartin. Published with author's kind permission:
Echinus melo, Pointe de Locca, Corsica, South of France. Depth 25 meters.
Text : Anne Bay-Nouailhat © 2006-2016.
Translation : Anne Bay-Nouailhat © 2007-2016.