Short Spine Urchin
The Shortspine Urchin, also known as the Rock Burrowing Urchin, boasts an oval to round-shaped black body adorned with hundreds of uniform reddish-orange spines. This night-dwelling algae cleaner is typically found in the back reef and is known to burrow small niches in carbonatic rocks (dead corals) to hide. In a home aquarium, the Shortspine Urchin requires ample hiding places and sufficient room to forage. During the day, it generally hides in caves, but may also create burrows in thick substrates. At night, it emerges to graze on algae, using its suctorial podia aligned in five doubled rows to move around. To accommodate the Shortspine Urchin in an aquarium, it is recommended to include large amounts of live rock for grazing. The rock formations must be stable and capable of withstanding the Urchin’s burrowing movement as it wedges itself into crevices. Although the Shortspine Urchin is typically solitary, it may tolerate others of its own kind. It is sensitive to high levels of copper-based medications and will not tolerate high nitrate levels. Poor water quality can cause it to lose its spines. If there is insufficient algae available for grazing, the diet should be supplemented with dried seaweed.