Echinus melo

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Echinus melo
Riccio Melone a Capo Caccia
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Echinodermata
Class: Echinoidea
Order: Echinoida
Family: Echinidae
Genus: Echinus
Species: E. melo
Binomial name
Echinus melo
Lamarck, 1816 [1]

Echinus melo, melon sea urchin, is a species of sea urchin in the family Echinidae.


This species grows up to 17 cm (7 in) in diameter. It is spherical or slightly cone-shaped, and the colour of the test is mainly pinkish, yellowish, or greenish-yellow, and banded with white and pale brown, giving it a segmented appearance. The long primary spines are few in number and olive green with pale tips. They grow in a single row on each ambulacral plate. The much shorter secondary spines are yellowish green and are densely packed in several rows.[2]


The melon sea urchin is found in the Mediterranean Sea and the eastern Atlantic Ocean between the Azores and the Bay of Biscay, and occasionally as far north as Ireland and Cornwall.[1][2]


E. melo is mainly a herbivore, grazing on algae, but it also consumes small invertebrates.[3]


  1. ^ a b Echinus melo Lamarck, 1816 World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved 2011-09-12.
  2. ^ a b Echinus melo European Marine Life. Retrieved 2011-09-12.
  3. ^ Melon sea urchin (Echinus melo) Ustica Diving Resort. Retrieved 2011-09-12.