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Marine Animal Encyclopedia

Flower Urchin Toxopneustes pileolus

The flower urchin is extremely venomous and has caused rare fatalities. It has short, inconspicuous spines through which emerge an array of flowerlike appendages called pedicellariae. These help to keep the flower urchin’s surface clean but will sting animals that touch it. The pedicellariae also hold pieces of shell, rubble, and seaweed that shade the urchin from sunlight. Flower urchins may partially bury themselves, despite having few predators.

Flower Urchinzoom image
  • Class Echinoidea
  • Diameter Up to 6 in (15 cm)
  • Depth 0–300 ft (0–90 m)
  • Habitat Sand, rubble, rocky reef
  • Distribution Tropical waters of Indian Ocean, central and western Pacific Ocean
Flower Urchin habitat mapzoom image