Variegated urchins range in color from green, white, pink, brown, and red to purple.
  • Size

    3 inches (7.7 cm) across
  • Diet

  • Range

    Western Atlantic Ocean
  • Habitat

    Turtle grass flats, sand and gravel bottoms

Physical Characteristics

  • Coloration varies: green, white, pink, brown, red and purple. High density of short and stout spines.
  • Common width is 3 inches (7.7 cm). Common height is 1.3 inches (3.2 cm).

Animal Fact

Variegated urchins often carry bits of shell, plant material and other debris with their tube feet.

Diet / Feeding

  • Diet consists of seagrasses.

Range / Habitat

  • Occurs in the Western Atlantic from North Carolina and Florida, through the Bahamas and the West Indies.
  • Found in turtle grass flats, sand and gravel bottoms and among mangroves at depths to 180 feet (55 m).

Reproduction & Growth

  • Broadcast spawners- both sexes release gametes into the water column.

Conservation Status

  • “Not Evaluated” on IUCN Red List.

Additional Information

  • Tube feet often carry bits of shell, plant material, and other debris.
  • Will sometimes aggregate at densities of up to 250 individuals per square yard, decimating areas of seagrass.
  • Typical density below one individual per 2 square yards.


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