English : European edible sea urchin
French : Oursin comestible
Class : Echinoidea
Order : Camarodonta
Family : Echinidae
Notes : No subspecies known.
Adults can reach a total diameter of up to 20 cm with 2 cm long spines. Spines are short and thick, being greenish to pink or even violet. The test is often rounded and voluminous, it is flattened for juveniles.
Range and habitat
The species occurs in the eastern Atlantic Ocean, from Spitzberg and Norway to Portugal, including the North Sea and English Channel. Lives on rocky substrates, from the littoral area to more than 1000 m deep.
IUCN RED LIST : NEAR THREATENED
CITES : Not listed
Status : The species suffers more and more from habitat destruction and pollution, less from overfishing. Global warming is probably a big threat.
Ex-Situ Programs : None known