Pin Cushion Urchin - Lytechinus variegatus

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SKU: 243078
Manufacturer: That Fish Place
MPN: 1212-urchin

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The images here are representative only and the piece you receive may vary in color, size and shape. Please contact a Livestock Mailorder representative at 877-367-4377 or for more information on current availability. Groupings are shown for representative purposes only; items are sold individually.

Lytechinus variegatus is referred to most often as either the Variegated Urchin or Pin Cushion Urchin. They are variable in color and are usually light green or tan but can also be found in shade of pink or purple. They are round with very short spines and only grow to about 3 inches in diameter (not including the spines). These urchins may pick up and carry bits of rubble, algae, shells and other materials in the aquarium as camouflage or shade.

Urchins are grazers that will roam about the tank searching for food and algae on the substrate and rockwork. Most will not actively eat corals, but some delicate corals may be damaged if the urchin crawls on top of them or knocks them over. Urchins may also occasionally feed on coralline algae that some aquarists may be trying to promote. If algae levels in the aquarium are low, urchins can be fed by attaching algae sheets to a piece of rock with a clip or rubber band.

Some urchins are venomous, but most species are harmless to aquarists. The most common injuries from urchins happens when the aquarists bumps against an urchin and gets poked by its spines. Spines can become broken off in the skin, especially with thinner-spined urchins, so always take care around your urchin to avoid injuring it or yourself.


That Fish Place
Common NamePin Cushion Urchin
Scientific NameLytechinus variegatus
OriginCaribbean, eastern Pacific
Reef SafeYes, with caution
Invert SafeYes
Community SafeYes
Max Size (in inches)3 (excl. spines)
Min Tank Size (in gallons)45
Specific Gravity Range1.022-1.026
pH Range8.0-8.4
Temperature Range75-82
Internal Id

State Restrictions
Armed Forces Americas
Armed Forces Europe
Armed Forces Pacific
Puerto Rico


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