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Echinus acutus

Echinus acutus

White sea urchin

   Echinus acutus is a sea urchin that has a diameter of up to 15 cm. Its test is conical and its colour is reddish to brown-red, sometimes green, with vertical white stripes on the ambulacral plates. Spines are scarce, greenish or reddish at their base and white at their tips. There are two types of spines : primary ones are long and tapering, secondary ones are shorter and thinner. There are no spines around the mouth but instead many pedicellariae. The white sea urchin feeds on algae and small organisms such as crustaceans.
Echinus acutus is found on coarse sustrata mixing stones, gravel and muddy sand from 20 to more than 1000 m deep in the Atlantic Ocean, the English Channel, the North Sea and The Mediterranean Sea.


 (source : European Register of Marine Species)

  • Echinodermata [Phylum]
  • Echinozoa [Subphylum]
  • Echinoidea [Class]
  • Euechinoidea [Subclass]
  • Echinacea [Superorder]
  • Echinoida [Order]
  • Echinidae [Family]
  • Echinus acutus de Lamarck, 1816

Page glossary

Test : Rigid skeleton of sea urchins.
Ambulacral plates : Test plates pierced by numerous holes through which tube-feet can extend.
Pedicellariae : Minute jawed elements of sea urchins and starfish used to clean body surface and as defensive means.


Top Photo :
© Mat Vestjens. Published with author's kind permission: 
Echinus acutus, Lysefjord, Rogaland, South-Western Norway. Depth 18 meters.
Text :  Anne Bay-Nouailhat © 2008-2020.
Translation :  Anne Bay-Nouailhat © 2008-2020.

How to cite this page in publications

Bay-Nouailhat A., November 2008, Description of Echinus acutus, Available on line at http://www.european-marine-life.org/30/echinus-acutus.php, consulted on 10 July 2020.
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