PORT PHILLIP BAY


Heart Urchin 

Echinocardium cordatum (Pennant, 1777)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

See below for information.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Echinodermata
Class:
Echinoidea
Order:
Spatangoida
Family:
Loveniidae
Genus:
Echinocardium
Species:
cordatum

General Description

It has a shallow anterior notch in the test, and uses special funnel-building spines to construct and maintain a funnel for circulating oxygenated water over the surface of the animal. It possesses a sub-anal fasciole that has four pore pairs in each side. Test diameter up to 6 cm.

Biology

This heart urchin uses special spines to construct and maintain a funnel in the sand to enable oxygenated water to circulate over its body while it is buried. It is possibly the world's most widely distributed heart urchin.

Habitat

Buried in sand, to depth of 100 m.

Soft substrates

Distribution guide

Worldwide. Southern Australia.

Species Group

Sea urchins

Depth

Shore (0-1 m)
Shallow (1-30 m)
Deep ( > 30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

6 cm

Diet

Herbivore

Harmful

Spines can puncture skin. Venom status unknown.

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Species Code

MoV 900

Identify

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Not listed

Author

article author Miskelly, A.

Ashley Miskelly is a Consultant with expertise in echinoid taxonomy

citation

Cite this page as:
Miskelly, A., 2011, Heart Urchin, Echinocardium cordatum, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 23 Jul 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/7778

Text: creative commons cc by licence