Pincushion Urchin

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The Pincushion Urchin, Lytechinus variegatus, is characterized by an oval or round shape, adorned with numerous uniform spines. Its coloring varies, presenting shades from green, red and purple to white and blue. In a home aquarium, it needs plenty of hiding spots and space to roam and forage. Typically, it conceals itself in caves or burrows in dense substrates during daylight hours. At night, it emerges to feed on algae, using its suction-like podia arranged in ten rows for movement.

The aquarium environment should be rich in live rock to provide grazing opportunities. This urchin might also feed on certain stationary invertebrates within the reef habitat. Aquarium rock structures should be solid and secure to accommodate the urchin’s habit of squeezing into gaps. While generally a solitary creature, it can coexist with others of its species. It is sensitive to elevated levels of copper-based treatments and cannot endure high nitrate levels. Poor water conditions may lead to spine loss.

Should the aquarium lack enough algae, its diet should be enhanced with dried seaweed to compensate.

Inverts: Allow 3-4 days for collection
Fish: Allow 5-10 days for collection


Scientific Name

Lytechinus variegatus

Origin Caribbean
Max Size 3″
Family Toxopneustidae
Provider Keys Marine Life Direct

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