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Phylum Echinodermata > Class Echinodea > heart urchins
Tiny maretia heart urchin
Maretia planulata*
Family Maretiidae

updated Oct 2019

Where seen? Small ones are sometimes seen on Pulau Semakau, in sandy areas of the coral rubble area.According to Lane, were collected subtidally at Pulau Semakau by dredging. Other larger ones are sometimes seen on Pulau Sekudu, usually only their skeletons and seldom, living ones.

Features: About 2cm, body oval mostly white. The sparse long spines directed backwards and are banded orange and white, while there are more white short spines. The petaloid is brownish with brownish patches on the upperside. On the underside, there is a pale orange patten of five petals around the mouth.

Pulau Semakau, Feb 09

A few long banded spines, many more short spines.
 

This one seemed to have popped out
of the sand, leaving a hole of the same shape.

Side view.

Underside.

*ID needs confirmation.

Tiny maretia heart urchins on Singapore shores
On wildsingapore flickr

Other sightings on Singapore shores


Pulau Sekudu, May 12
Photo shared by James Koh on his blog.

Cyrene Reef, Apr 18
Photo shared by Liz Lim on facebook.


Pulau Semakau, Feb 09

Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.


Links
  • Maretia on The Echinoid Directory by Dr. Andrew B. Smith on the London Natural History Museum website: everything you could possibly want to know about heart urchins with lots of large close-up images and explanatory diagrams. With technical descriptions of Order Spatangoida
  • Maretia planulata on SeaLife Base: Technical fact sheet.
References
  • Lane, David J.W. and Didier Vandenspiegel. 2003. A Guide to Sea Stars and Other Echinoderms of Singapore. Singapore Science Centre. 187pp.
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