Tuxedo/Globe Urchin

ANIMAL:
Tuxedo/Globe Urchin Mespilia globulus

Type of Animal:
Camarodont

Habitat:
Shallow reefs, rubble flats, seagrass beds

Location(s):
Indo-Pacific

Appearance:
Sphere-shaped to oval/round-shaped urchin, 5-10 blue/black broad-colored bands, w/ red/brown/dark spines, short spines

Food/Diet:
Algae, food scraps, nori

Status in Wild:
Stable

Lifestyle:
Solitary or small colonies

Additional Info:

Called:
Male
Female
Young: Pluteus
Group: Colony
 
Diameter:
1.5-3 in

Gestation:
4 months 

Life Span:
10 years

Length:
1-3 in

Main predators are crabs, fish, birds, sea stars, lobsters
 
Active at night (nocturnal).
 
Important in keeping algae populations in check.
 
Reproduce by releasing sperm/eggs in water simultaneously.
 
Eggs spend up to 4 months in water column before hatching.
 
When eggs hatch, they’ll float among plankton for up to 2 years.
 
Settle on sea floor at 2 years old & reach maturity a few months later.
 
Main mode of defense is the spines. Spines also used in moving around.
 
Extend sensory tentacles to seek direction of food availability.
 
Sometimes appear in aquarium trade.
 
Like most urchins, they’re very slow-moving animals.
 
Much of their day is spent hiding.
 
Often move by crawling w/ tube feet.
 
Use tube feet to attach/hold shells/small rocks/debris to surface.

Fun Fact(s):
These are very mild-mannered urchins.
 
They’ll lose spines when stressed from water fluctuations.
 
Fairly easy to care for.
 
They can regenerate lost spines.
 
While not venomous, caution should always be used when handling these animals due to spines, which can poke/prick skin.
 
Other names are Blue Tuxedo Urchin, Red Tuxedo Urchin, Sphere Urchin, Pincushion Tuxedo Urchin, Red & Blue Tuxedo Urchin, Blue Tuxedo Sea Urchin, Pincushion Urchin, Globular Sea Urchin, Royal Urchin, Ball Urchin, Globe Sea Urchin, Blue Stripe Pincushion Urchin, Blue Tuxedo Pincushion Urchin, Blue Sphere Urchin, Blue Globe Urchin, Crown Urchin, & Blue Sea Urchin.
 
Have habit of placing things on top of themselves like a top-hat to help w/ camouflage. This is where Tuxedo Urchin name came from.

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