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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. 

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© Frédéric Ducarme

Supplier: Frédéric Ducarme

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