Echinus tylodes

Echinus tylodes is a species of sea urchin belonging to the Echinidae family. It’s white with rather sparse pink colored spines and is native to the eastern coast of North America including the Gulf of Mexico.

This species has a sub-globular test that is about two-thirds as high as it is wide and grows to a diameter of 4 inches. The joints that are between the ambulacral plates and the pores through which the tube feet project are both sunken below the general surface of the test. The tubercles to which the primary spines are attached are somewhat raised, making it appear as if they’re on vertical ridges. The primary spines are short and stout and the test is easily visible as there are few secondary spines. The general color of this urchin is white and it has pink colored spines.

Echinus tylodes can be found on the east coast of the United States from Cape Cod southwards to the Straits of Florida and within the Gulf of Mexico. It’s a deep water species, being found at depths between 890 and 2,660 feet. It is frequently found around deep-water corals, sitting on the coral branches or around coral mounds among the remains of dead corals.

The majority of deep water echinoderms feed on algal debris and detritus. An examination of the gut contents of this species also showed small shells and the skeletons of hydroids. The eggs are small which entails that this species has echinopluteus larvae which are planktonic.

Image Caption: Echinus tylodes. This sea urchin is a common member of the deep coral community. Credit: NOAA Photo Library/Wikipedia (CC BY 2.0)

Echinus tylodes

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