Paracentrotus lividus

Purple sea urchin

Paracentrotus lividus

Illes Medes, Spain, 8 meters, 2005, WBN


Paracentrotus lividus is a globular sea urchin of up to 7 cm in diameter. Spines are long (3 cm), thick and smooth. Its colour is variable: violet, green or brown. Rock sea urchin is an edible species living on stones, calcareous algae or rocks, often self-covered by shell remains, or algae. According to bedrock nature, wether it is soft or not, rock sea urchin may bore, with its spines, a hole large enough to hide in during day-time. Especially active at night, it mainly feeds on red algae. It may live in groups in rock pools but also down to 30 m deep.


Paracentrotus lividus is found in the Atlantic Ocean up to West Ireland, rarer in the English Channel, and in the Mediterranean Sea.

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

Données de distribution : Paracentrotus lividus in GBIF Secretariat (2019). GBIF Backbone Taxonomy. Checklist dataset accessed via on 2022-12-06.


Source : World Register of Marine Species

! La connexion au serveur WoRMS est momentanément indisponible !


Text : Anne Bay-Nouailhat © 2005 - 2022.

Photos : © Wilfried Bay-Nouailhat. Published with his kind permission.
Websites and reference works : Consult bibliography

How to cite this page

Bay-Nouailhat A., September 2005, Description of Paracentrotus lividus, [On line], consulted on 2022 December 06.


Photographie de Anne Bay-Nouailhat

Anne Bay-Nouailhat

Project manager in marine environment
Professional diver - Naturalist

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