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Sphaerechinus granularis

Sphaerechinus granularis

Purple sea urchin

   Sphaerechinus granularis is a sea urchin of up to 12 cm in diameter. It is globular, slightly top-flattened. The test is dark purple and spines may be purple too but very often with white tips or even entirely white. It often covers itself with algae or shell remains held by its tube-feet and pedicellariae. It feeds on algae grazed on rock surface. It lives on rocks, boulders and also on Maerl, a calcareous algae.
It is found from surface to 100 m deep in the Atlantic Ocean down to Cape Verdes, in the English Channel and the Mediterranean Sea.


 (source : European Register of Marine Species)

  • Echinodermata [Phylum]
  • Echinozoa [Subphylum]
  • Echinoidea [Class]
  • Euechinoidea [Subclass]
  • Echinacea [Superorder]
  • Temnopleuroida [Order]
  • Toxopneustidae [Family]
  • Sphaerechinus granularis (de Lamarck, 1816)

Page glossary

Tube foot : Tube-shaped element ending by a sucker-disc used to attach to subtratum or to bring food particles into the mouth.
Pedicellariae : Minute jawed elements of sea urchins and starfish used to clean body surface and as defensive means.


Top Photo :
© Wilfried Bay-Nouailhat. Published with author's kind permission : 
Sphaerechinus granularis, Baie de Concarneau, South-Brittany, West of France. Depth 8 meters.
Text :  Anne Bay-Nouailhat © 2005-2020.
Translation :  Anne Bay-Nouailhat © 2007-2020.

How to cite this page in publications

Bay-Nouailhat A., November 2005, Description of Sphaerechinus granularis, Available on line at http://www.european-marine-life.org/30/sphaerechinus-granularis.php, consulted on 06 August 2020.
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