Echinus melo

Melon sea urchin

Echinus melo

Corsica, France, 25 meters, WD


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.


Echinus melo is found in the Mediterranean Sea and in the Atlantic Ocean from the Azores to the Bay of Biscay.

Image satellite: © Esri, DigitalGlobe, GeoEye, Earthstar Geographics, CNES/Airbus DS, USDA, USGS, AeroGRID, IGN, and the GIS User Community.

Données de distribution : Echinus melo in GBIF Secretariat (2019). GBIF Backbone Taxonomy. Checklist dataset accessed via on 2022-09-25.


Source : World Register of Marine Species

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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.


Text : Anne Bay-Nouailhat © 2006 - 2022.

Photos : © William Desmartin. Published with his kind permission.
Websites and reference works : Consult bibliography

How to cite this page

Bay-Nouailhat A., March 2006, Description of Echinus melo, [On line], consulted on 2022 September 25.


Photographie de Anne Bay-Nouailhat

Anne Bay-Nouailhat

Project manager in marine environment
Professional diver - Naturalist

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