Rainbow Urchin (Asthenosoma varium)
Max Size: 10 inches
Reef Compatible: No
Minimum Tank Size: 100 gallons
The Fire Urchin (Asthenosoma varium) is an absolute marvel of the sea, albeit a perilous one. It ranks among the most exquisite sea urchin species in the entire ocean, owing its name to its resemblance to a glowing ember. The vibrant red body appears as though it could genuinely emit warmth against the backdrop of its darker, cooler spines.
Despite its mesmerizing allure, one must exercise extreme caution and resist the temptation to touch it. The name "Fire Urchin" also derives from the fact that its spines are brimming with venom. A mere prick from one of these spines can result in a painful experience lasting anywhere from 15 minutes to several hours. It's almost reminiscent of the giant ruby in the tale of Aladdin, where Abu couldn't resist temptation, and we all know how that story unfolded.
Sea Urchins are renowned for their valuable role in controlling nuisance algae. They can often be spotted on the sandy substrate or among live rocks, diligently patrolling the area and continuously cleaning up leftover fish food and algae.
These sea creatures are highly favored in the marine hobby due to their amicable disposition. They tend not to bother other marine life and adapt well to a wide range of conditions. Sea Urchins are easily recognizable by their circular body at the center, adorned with spines that serve both as their means of locomotion and as a defense against potential predators.