Tripneustes gratilla   (Linnaeus,  1758) (Sea Urchin)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Echinoidea

Image copyrights: David Harasti

Size: Ambital diameter (D) = 65-80 mm.

Color: Spines white, surface dark brown in ambulacral and interambulacral areas except along rows of tube feet where it appears mid brown. Primary spines normally inclined radially towards adjacent ambulacrum leaving clear test surface over most inter-ambulacrum giving the general appearance of a pentaradiate brown cross (Humphreys, 1981).

Aboral surface high and sloping, oral side flat. Ambulacra with three vertical series of pore pairs arranged horizontally. Ambulacral primary tubercles one after 3-4 plates. Primary spines short and whitish. Globiferous pedicellariae small and numerous. Ambulacral areas lighter contrasting with dark interambulacra. Gill slits deep and sharply defined.

Synonym (s)
Echinus gratilla Linnaeus, 1758
Tripneustes angulosa Bell, 1903
Tripneustes gratilla Clark and Rowe, 1971
Cidaris angulosa Leske, 1778
Cidaris variegata Leske, 1778
Echinus (Tripneustes) sardica (L. Agassiz & Desor, 1846)
Echinus fasciatus Lamarck, 1816
Echinus inflatus Blainville, 1825
Echinus pentagonus Lamarck, 1816
Echinus peronii Blainville, 1825
Echinus subcaeruleus Lamarck, 1816
Echinus variegatus (Leske, 1778)
Echinus virgatus Des Moulins, 1837
Hipponoe nigricans A. Agassiz, 1863
Hipponoe sardic (L. Agassiz & Desor, 1846)
Hipponoe variegata (Leske, 1778)
Hipponoe violacea A. Agassiz, 1863
Tripneustes (Hipponoe) variegasta (Leske, 1778)
Tripneustes angulosus (Leske, 1778)
Tripneustes bicolor Perrier, 1869
Tripneustes fuscus Michelin, 1862
Tripneustes lorioli Lambert & Thiery, 1914
Tripneustes pentagonus (Lamarck, 1816)
Tripneustes sardicus L. Agassiz & Desor, 1846
Tripneustes subcaeruleus (Lamarck, 1816)
Tripneustes variegatus (Leske, 1778)
Tripneustes zigzag Michelin, 1862

Common Name (s)
• Sea Urchin
Economic Importance and Threats

Habitat:  Benthic, Coastal


• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA (Record: 1963-1970)
• Lakshadweep, Agatti INDIA (Record: 24/12/1979, 05/04/1984)
• Lakshadweep, Andrott INDIA (Record: 20/12/1979)
• Lakshadweep, Bangaram INDIA (Record: 25/12/1979, 26/12/1979)
• Lakshadweep, Kavaratti INDIA (Record: 18/02/1983)
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, North Reef Island INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Krusadai Island INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Nancowry INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Port Blair INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Chettalatt INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Kilttan INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Kadamatt INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Amini INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Kalpeni INDIA
• Kerala, Kollam Coast (Lat: 8.9) (Long: 76.63) INDIA (Record: 07/2008-09/2008) (Depth: 1-3 mts)

Literature Source(s)
  • Tikadar, BK; Daniel, A and Subbarao, NV (1986) Sea shore animals of Andaman and Nicobar Islands The Director, ZSI, Kolkatta 188 Available at - ZSI, Pune
  • (2001) Invertebrate zoology collections Available at -
  • Venkatraman, K; Srinivasan, M; Satyanarayana, CH and Prabhakar D (2002) Faunal diversity of Gulf of Mannar biosphere reserve Conservation area series 15 ZSI 77 pp; VIII pla Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Sastry, DRK (2002) Echinodermata associated with coral reefs of Andaman and Nicobar Islands Zoological Survey of India ZSI 100(3-4) 21-60 Available at - ZSI, Pune
  • Nagabhushanam, AK and Krishnan, S (1993) Observations on the distribution of some of the marine organism inhabiting the inter-tidal zone along the western continental shelf of the Bay of Bengal, with particular reference to the Tamil Nadu coastal strip Records of the Zoological Survey of India 93(3-4) 449-490 Available at - ZSI, Pune
  • Jafari, RD and Mahasneh, DM (1987) The effect of seagrass grazing on the sexual maturity of the sea urchin Tripneustes gratilla in the Gulf of Aqaba (Jordan) Dirasat 14(1) 127-136 Available at - ZOOR12400045161
  • James, DB (1985) Echinoderm fauna of the proposed national park in the gulf of Mannar Proceedings of the Symposium on endangered marine animals and parks Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin 1 403-406 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Sastry, DRK (1991) Echinodermata: Asteroidea, Ophiuroidea and Echinoidea State fauna series 2: Fauna of Lakshadweep ZSI, Calcutta 363-397 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Dr. Ramesh, R; Dr. Nammalwar, P and Dr. Gowri, VS (2008) Database on coastal information of Tamil Nadu Report Submitted to Environmental Information System (ENVIS) Centre, Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu Institute for Ocean Management, Anna University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Available at -
  • Scuba equipment USA - Marine species gallery Available at -
  • Untawale, AG; Dhargalkar, VK and Deshmukhe, GV (2000) Prioritization of potential sites for marine biodiversity conservation in India Setting biodiversity conservation priorities for India: Summary of the findings and conclusions of the biodiversity conservation prioritization project World Wide Fund for Nature - India, New Delhi (India) Available at -
  • James, DB (1985) Echinoderm fauna of the proposed National Marine Park in the Gulf of Mannar Proceedings of the symposium on endangered marine animals and marine parks Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin, India 1 403-406 Available at -
  • Rao, GC; Rao, DV and Devi, K (1994) A faunal exploration of the North Reef Island sanctuary, North Andaman Journal of the Andaman Science Association Andaman Science Association, Port Blair 10(1&2) 68-81 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • James, PSBR ; Thomas, PA ; Pillai, CSG and Achari Kumaraswamy, GP (1969) ´╗┐Catalogue of types and of sponges, corals, polychaetes, crabs and echinoderms in the reference collections of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute Bulletin of Central Marine Research Institute CMFRI, Cochin 7 1-66 Available at -
  • James, DB. (1983) Sea cucumber and sea urchin resources and Beche-de-mer industry Mariculture potential of Andaman and Nicobar Islands-An indicative survey Bulletin of Central Marine Fisheries Institute CMFRI, Cochin 34 85-93 Available at -
  • Sastry, DRK (2007) Echinodermata of India : An annotated list Records of Zoological Survey of India Occassional paper No. 271 ZSI, Kolkata 1-387 Available at -
  • James, DB (1989) Echinoderms of Lakshadweep and their zoogeography Marine living resources of the union territory of Lakshadweep: An indicative survey with suggestions for development Bulletin of Central Marine Research Institute CMFRI 43 97-144 Available at -
  • Manilal, A; Sujith, S; Selvin, J; Kiran, GS; Shakir, C and Lipton, AP (2010) Antimicrobial potential of marine organisms collected from the southwest coast of India against multiresistant human and shrimp pathogens Scientia Marina CSIC 74(2) 287-296 Available at -
  • Rao, GC (1991) Distribution of plants and animals on the rocky sea shores of Andaman and Nicobar Islands Journal of the Andaman Science Association Andaman Science Association, Port Blair 7(2) 30-42 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Pillai, PKM and Augustine, SK (2000) A code list of common marine living resources of the Indian seas CMFRI Special Publication No.12 CMFRI 1-115 Available at -

Page last updated on:2011-12-23

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