Flower Urchin (Toxopneustes sp.)
Phylum: Echinodermata, Class: Echinoidea
Size: 6 in. Space:: 100+ gal. Diet: Algae, detritus
Reef Safe: Yes Care Level: Moderate Temperament: Peaceful
Natural History: The Flower Urchins are all toxic and potentially deadly to humans. They are primarily found in rocky areas and feed on algae. They are reported to require some 'meaty' food from time to time. The 'flowers' they possess are modified spines (pedicellariae) that each support 3 jaws. Each jaw has sharp teeth that cut into the outer layers of any animal that touch them. Closure of the jaws injects venom into the cuts made by the teeth.
Husbandry: The Flower Urchin should be provided an aquarium with a healthy growth of algae on live rock. It should be handled with great care because its 'flowers' are venomous and can be deadly. No one should handle this invertebrate unless they understand it is venomous!
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