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Phylum Echinodermata > Class Echinodea > sea urchins
Black sea urchin
Temnopleurus toreumaticus
Family Temnopleuridae
updated Apr 2020

Where seen? This black sea urchin with short spines is commonly seen on some of our Northern shores. Large heaps of many individuals are sometimes seen. At other times, there are none to be seen. Sandy areas near seagrasses as well as coral rubble and rocky shores and under jetties.

Features: Body diameter 4-5cm, sometimes tiny ones about 1cm in diameter are seen among seaweeds. Short slender spines (1-2cm) with long translucent tube feet that may extend past the spines. The spines on the upperside are black and pointed. Spines on the underside are flattened and may be banded. Some have obvious light-coloured zig-zag lines radiating from the centre around the body. The sea urchin appears to 'carry' shells and other debris. This behaviour may help camouflage it or shield it from sunlight.

May be confused with the Long-spined black sea urchin (Diadema sp.) which has much longer spines and is not often seen on the Northern shores.

Prickly Home: Sometimes, an Urchin-mouth worm is seen curled around the mouth of the sea urchin.

Changi, May 05

Zig-zag lines on the upperside.
With long tube feet.

Sometimes found in large groups.
Changi, Jul 04


Worm-like animal often seen around the mouth.
Changi, Jun 05

Carrying a shell.
Changi, Aug 19

Black sea urchins on Singapore shores
On wildsingapore flickr

Other sightings on Singapore shores

Changi Lost Coast, Jun 22
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

Beting Bronok, Jun 10

Photo shared by Toh Chay Hoon on her blog.

East Coast, May 08
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.

Temnopleurus species recorded for Singapore
from Wee Y.C. and Peter K. L. Ng. 1994. A First Look at Biodiversity in Singapore.
^from WORMS
+Other additions (Singapore Biodiversity Records, etc)

  Family Temnopleuridae
  +Mespilia globulus (Globe urchin)

Temnopleurus mortenseni=^Temnopleurus toreumaticus
Temnopleurus toreumaticus
Temnopleurus siamensis=^Temnotrema siamense?

Links References
  • Jeffrey K. Y. Low. 29 May 2015. Globe urchin in the Singapore Strait, Mespilia globulus. Singapore Biodiversity Records 2015: 65
  • 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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