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Echinus melo

Echinus melo

Melon sea urchin

   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 yellow.
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)

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

Page glossary

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 © 2006-2020.
Translation :  Anne Bay-Nouailhat © 2007-2020.

How to cite this page in publications

Bay-Nouailhat A., March 2006, Description of Echinus melo, Available on line at http://www.european-marine-life.org/30/echinus-melo.php, consulted on 10 July 2020.
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