Coelopleurus exquisitus

Exquisite Urchin

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Exquisite Urchin Exquisite Urchin



Coelopleurus L. Agassiz, 1840 is a genus of regular sea urchin in the family Arbaciidae Gray, 1855. Eleven Recent species, including several varieties/subspecies have been described (sensu Mortensen, 1935), all of which are found in the tropics at depths from 55 m to 2380 m (Mortensen, 1935). These sea urchins live on hard substrates feeding on encrusting organisms and have long protective spines to ward off predators. They also have large numbers of ophicephalous pedicellariae (small pincer-like appendages) to remove and disable fouling organisms that try to settle on the test (the urchin's "shell"). Species in this genus are typically brightly coloured, with large naked and highly patterned interambulacra. This has made them highly desirable to collectors.


New Caledonia


The test is subcircular and has broad, straight edged, naked median interambulacral regions. These are purple, with each median region having an undulating lavender line that starts from the genital plate and continues to the ambitus. These naked median regions have orange borders that contine to the margin of the test. The peristome is proportionally large measuring 56 % of the test's horizontal diameter (<48 % in all other Recent Coelopleurus). Primary spines are long and highly curved, banded red and pale-green on their dorsal surface for three quarters of the distal length, blending from pale-green to lavender mid-way through the spine's collar. The collar has longitudinal ridges dorsally and ventrally, with granules between dorsal ridges. Secondary spines are pointed (not club-shaped). Ophicephalous pedicellariae are abundant both orally and aborally, the valves having distal and proximal regions of equal length. These valves are constricted aborally, but are unconstricted orally.




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