Purple sea urchin (Paracentrotus lividus)
|Researched by||Paolo Pizzolla||Refereed by||Admin|
|Other common names||-||Synonyms||-|
Recorded distribution in Britain and IrelandParacentrotus lividus is found in the Channel Islands, in a few locations in western Scotland and occasionally on the south west coasts of England. It is common on the west coast of Ireland and is abundant in areas such as County Clare.
HabitatThe purple sea urchin is found on the lower rocky shore in rock pools and into the shallow sublittoral down to depths of 3 m, but may be found deeper. It can also be found higher up on the middle/upper shore in rockpools e.g. in Scotland. It uses its spines and teeth to bore into soft rocks, its burrow providing protection from both wave action and desiccation at low tide. The urchin increases the size of its burrow as it grows. They are also sometimes found in beds of the seagrass Zostera spp.
- Round, greenish, flattened test.
- Test up to 7 cm in diameter.
- Spines long and sharp, dark purple to dark green in colouration.
- Ambulacral plates with 5-6 pairs of pores.
- Tube feet arranged in arcs of 5-6.
Additional informationThe gonads are considered a delicacy in the Mediterranean.
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OBIS (Ocean Biodiversity Information System), 2023. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. www.iobis.org. Accessed: 2023-12-02
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Last Updated: 10/09/2007