BIOTIC Species Information for Echinus esculentus
Researched byDr Harvey Tyler-Walters and Lizzie Tyler Data supplied byMarLIN and University of Sheffield
Refereed byThis information is not refereed.
General Biology
Growth formGlobose
Feeding methodGrazer (grains/particles)
Grazer (fronds/blades)
Grazer (surface/substratum)
Environmental positionEpifaunal
Typical food typesRecorded feeding on; worms, barnacles (e.g. Balanus spp.), hydroids, tunicates, bryozoans (e.g. Membranipora spp.), macroalgae (e.g. Laminaria spp.), bottom material and detritus (reviewed by Lawrence 1975). HabitFree living
BioturbatorNot relevant FlexibilityNone (< 10 degrees)
FragilityFragile SizeMedium(11-20 cm)
Height Growth RateSee additional information
Adult dispersal potential1km-10km DependencyIndependent
General Biology Additional InformationGrowth rates are variable depending on time of larval settlement, food availability, water temperature and age. Growth rates vary with locality although there is evidence to suggest that largest specimens are found in the south west (Nichols 1979). Growth rates based on growth lines in skeletal plates are probably underestimates (Gage 1992a & b). In the UK population growth is continuous in the first year after metamorphosis and considerably faster than adults in their 2nd year. In adults maximal growth occurs in a few months in spring and early summer but mature adults are slow growing. Comely & Ansell (1988) recorded 28 invertebrate species associated with Echinus esculentus from the west cost of Scotland near Oban. These included the parasites Echinomermella grayi and Euonyx chelatus mentioned above and in additional; 4 species of commensal polychaetes, a copepod and 10 amphipod species. The polychaete Adyte assimilis and the copepod Pseudoanthessius liber were regular commensals amongst the spines. Hyman (1955) states that Echinus esculentus is often infested with parasitic copepods e.g. Asterocheres echinola.
Biology References Hayward & Ryland, 1995b, Mortensen, 1927, Fish & Fish, 1996, Lawrence, 1975, MacBride, 1903, Kozloff & Westervelt, 1990, Comely & Ansell, 1988, Hyman, 1955, Gage, 1992(a), Gage, 1992(b), Nichols, 1979, Nichols, 1969, Emson & Moore, 1998, MacBride, 1914, Nichols, 1984, Boolootian, 1966, Birkett et al., 1998b, Hayward & Ryland, 1990, Julie Bremner, unpub data, Mortensen, 1927, Rees & Dare, 1993,
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