|Red slate pencil urchin|
Heterocentrotus mamillatus, commonly known as the slate pencil urchin, red slate pencil urchin, or red pencil urchin, is a species of tropical sea urchin from the Indo-Pacific region.
This species is a big sea urchin, with a test reaching over 8cm and spikes up to 10cm. The classical color is bright red, but they can also be brown, or even purple. The test and spikes can be of different color, and the spikes can have a white ring at their stem, and be rounded with lighter or darker bands. The spikes are rouded to triangular in cross-section, but always blunt. Specimens from Hawai‘i tend to have bright red spines, while specimens from other parts of the Pacific may have yellowish or brown spines.
Heterocentrotus trigonarius is a similar species that has longer and darker spines, more angular, and is always monochromic.
This species can be found throughout the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific region (from the African est coast to Pacific archipelagos), but is especially abundant in Hawai‘i. It is found in shallow waters, often close to surf reefs, between the surface and 8m, sometimes down to 25m.
- Hoover, John P. (1998). Hawaiʻi's Sea Creatures: A Guide to Hawaiʻi's Marine Invertebrates. Mutual Publishing. ISBN 1-56647-220-2.
- UC Berkeley Moorea Biocode species listing
- "Heterocentrotus mamillatus". Integrated Taxonomic Information System.
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