Edible sea urchin - Echinus esculentus - General information
Have you seen Echinus esculentus?
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| Researched by:
||Dr Harvey Tyler-Walters
|| Refereed by:
||Prof. David Nichols
||Starfish, brittlestars, sea urchins & sea cucumbers
||Sea urchins, heart urchins and sand dollars
| Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland
||Common on most coasts of the British Isles but absent from most of east coast of England, the eastern English Channel and some parts of north Wales.
| Habitat information
||Found on rocky substrata from the sublittoral fringe to circa 40 m, although it may be found at depths of 100 m or more.
||A large globular sea urchin, up to 15 -16 cm in diameter at 7-8 years of age, although the largest diameter recorded was 17.6 cm. The test may be relatively flat in shallow water but taller in deep water. Test pinkish-red but occasionally yellow, green or purple. Spines closely cover the test and are reddish, usually with violet points and white bosses. Primary and secondary spines and their bosses are similar in size, except in small specimens in which the primaries are conspicuous. Ambulacral plates bear 3 pairs of pores. Primary tubercles (bosses) found on every second or third ambulacral plate. All coronal plates bear pedicellariae (modified spines). Plates covering the mouth membrane bear small, club shaped spines as well as pedicellariae. Globeriferous pedicellariae bear 1 lateral tooth below the terminal tooth. The polychaete Flabelligera affinis may be found amongst its spines.
This review can be cited as follows:
Dr Harvey Tyler-Walters 2008.
Edible sea urchin.
Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line].
Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom.
Available from: <http://www.marlin.ac.uk/speciesfullreview.php?speciesID=3237>