Longspine Urchin

Longspine Urchin on a reefLongspine Urchin (Diadema setosum) as a lovely member of a reef aquarium look much safer in an aquarist tank than they do in nature.

Imagine snorkeling after low tide several for miles with these long spine urchins beneath your belly, thighs and knees. Then finally be able to level off from the careful frog surface crawl, with hundreds, if not thousands of these lovelies rolling in the tide only three or four inches below your entire body as you also bob with the tide.

So many long spine urchins rolling about in fact; that walking is a sure way to get stung badly, numerous times.

And when you relax to tread water in the coral bowl, you find that the area is also occupied by a mama shark (stuck in the bowl until the tide rolls in) is already forming a warning crescent less that fifty or sixty feet away.

And now its time to go frog crawl back over the long spine urchin fields if you want to survive and leave the mama in peace.

This is when the aquarist or a house guest can appreciate these creatures for the dangerous and calm beings that they are. Appreciating them in the reef tank behind more glass than the eye covering of underwater goggles adds a sense of real appreciation for these interesting black and not so menacing creatures.

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Posted in Fish on December 8, 2008.

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