Pin Cushion Urchin - Lytechinus variegatus
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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 Name||Pin Cushion Urchin|
|Scientific Name||Lytechinus variegatus|
|Origin||Caribbean, eastern Pacific|
|Reef Safe||Yes, with caution|
|Max Size (in inches)||3 (excl. spines)|
|Min Tank Size (in gallons)||45|
|Specific Gravity Range||1.022-1.026|
|Armed Forces Americas|
|Armed Forces Europe|
|Armed Forces Pacific|