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Phylum Echinodermata > Class Echinodea > sea urchins
Salmacis sea urchins
Salmacis sp.
Family Temnopleuridae
updated Oct 2017

Where seen? This almost-cuddly white sea urchin is seasonally common on our Northern shores among seagrasses. At some times, many of these sea urchins are seen, and then none seen for some time. On Cyrene Reef, gatherings of many of these sea urchins are sometimes seen.

Body diameter 5-8cm, with tiny sharp spines. It has long tube feet and is often seen carrying all kinds of things from shells to seaweeds. It can quickly gather these things to cover itself. This behaviour may help camouflage it or shield it from sunlight.

What does it eat? It eats seaweeds.

Wormy mouth:
Sometimes, a worm-like creature is found curled around the mouth of the White sea urchin. Examination of tests (skeleton of a dead sea urchin) suggest that large snails might prey on them.

Sometimes gathered in large numbers.
Cyrene Reef, Apr 07

Hole with 'burn' mark suggests the urchin
was attacked by a Helmet snail.
Changi, May 08

Worm-like thing seen on the underside.
Changi, Oct 10

Carrying stuff.
Beting Bronok, May 06

Salmacis sea urchins on Singapore shores

White salmacis urchin
(Salmacis sphaeroides)

Spines shorter, mostly white,
banded with green or maroon.


Passion salmacis urchin
(Salmacis virgulata)

Spines shorter, all maroon,
not banded .


Two-toned salmacis urchin
(Salmacis bicolor)

Spines longer, banded white
and maroon


Salmacis species recorded for Singapore
from Wee Y.C. and Peter K. L. Ng. 1994. A First Look at Biodiversity in Singapore.
**from WORMS

  Family Temnopleuridae
  Salmacis bicolor
Salmacis dussumieri=**Salmaciella dussumieri
Salmacis sphaeroides
Salmacis virgulata

Grateful thanks to Dr Frederic Ducarme for identifying these sea urchins.



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