Melon sea urchin (echinus melo)
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Common name Melon sea urchin
Scientific name Echinus melo
Class Echinoidei
Order Diadematoidi
Family Echinoderm
Distribution The Mediterranean (possibly absent in the west) and the Eastern Atlantic Ocean from Ireland to Cape Green.
Habitat rocky and/or coralline substrates from depths of 20 - 30 metres up to 100 m.
Dimensions Can reach a diameter of 14.5 cm.
Characteristicts Semi-spherical body; sparse short spines; ambulacrum plates with regularly alternating tubercles

A large semi-spherical or slightly conical shell. Seen from above the melon sea urchin appears to have a pentagonal shape. The interambulacrum plates regularly alternate plates with or without primary tubercles. The spines are short and sparse. When alive the spines are green and the shell is a light green to yellow colour with marked alternating white and brown lines giving the urchin a distinctly segmented appearance.

An algae and small invertebrate consumer. Reproduction most probably take place in the spring (March / April)