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Toxopneustes pileolus - Brief summary

The "flower sea urchin" (Toxopneustes pileolus) is a rather big regular sea urchin, which can reach up to 15cm in diameter (6 inches). Its pentaradial symmetry is obvious, often showing the ten radial sutures, ornated by a purple zigzag pattern. Its spikes are clear whitish, yellowish or pinkish. They are short and almost blunt, hidden under a bush of long podia and mainly big flower shaped pedicellariae, showing a white corolla (4-5mm diameter) with a purple dot at the center and a bright white circle at the rim. These can close like a tridente pinch.

After a simple contact with the skin, these pedicellariae can inject a powerful neurotoxin, which can even be lethal to humans. It is the most dangerous sea urchin (and even echinoderm) of the world. 


Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Frédéric Ducarme

Supplier: Frédéric Ducarme

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