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Asthenosoma varium is a sea urchin (an echinoderm, a member of the phylum that also includes star fish). Growing up to 22 cm (9 in.) in diameter, it lives on sand and rubble sea bottoms in the Indo-Pacific, from the Red Sea to Australia and Southern Japan. Its venom tipped spines, with distinctive globular swellings below the tip, can inflict a painful sting if handled; the pain lasts as long as several hours. This capacity, perhaps coupled with its reddish brown color, has given it the common name Fire Urchin.
- T. Gosliner, D. Behrens & G. Williams (1996). Coral Reef Animals of the Indo-Pacific. p. 271.
- Matteo Guardini & Massimo Boyer. "Fire Urchin". World Database of Marine Species. Retrieved March 11, 2012.
- Paul Humann & Ned DeLoach (2010). Reef Creature Identification: Tropical Pacific. p. 448.
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