Radiata Fire Urchin (Astropyga radiata)
Max Size: 8 inches
Reef Compatible: With Caution. May eat coral.
Minimum Tank Size: 50 gallons
The Blue Spot Longspine Urchin, also known as the Radiating Hatpin Urchin, boasts a stunningly colored body adorned with bright electric blue spots, creating five bands emanating from a central ring. The long, slender spines add to its allure, banded in tan and brown hues, constantly in motion as the urchin gracefully patrols the reef.
In an aquarium housing aggressive fish, the Blue Spot Longspine Urchin serves as an excellent algae controller. To ensure its well-being, provide the aquarium with ample hiding places and enough space for the urchin to roam freely. Sturdy rock formations are recommended since the urchin might dislodge rocks while exploring the tank. Being primarily nocturnal, the Blue Spot Longspine Urchin hides during the day and actively forages for food at night.
When approached by most fish, these urchins will sense their presence and protect themselves by directing their spines towards any potential threats. In their natural habitat, these urchins sometimes offer shelter to various other organisms, such as commensal shrimp, crabs, and cardinalfish, seeking refuge from predators within the protective spines during daylight hours.
It is crucial to maintain excellent water quality for the Blue Spot Longspine Urchin, as it is very sensitive to high levels of copper-based medications and cannot tolerate high nitrate levels. If it starts shedding its spines, it indicates extremely poor water conditions.
It is essential to be cautious as the Blue Spot Longspine Urchin is venomous, with its sting being comparable to that of a bee sting.
The diet of the Blue Spot Longspine Urchin should primarily consist of dried seaweed along with some animal-based supplemental foods. Without a sufficient food source, the urchin may attempt to consume corals in the aquarium.