On 17th December 2023, I found this Little Pink Urchin, Amblypneustes elevatus at Lady Bay, Normanville in the shallowest subtidal at low tide at 2:09 pm. I have posted details on iNaturalist.

The sea was flat calm. There was no wind, and partial to full sun, so water close to shore was surprisingly warm for the time of year. I didn’t feel cold even after almost 3 hours in the water and I wore only a 2mm wetsuit.

The Little Pink Urchin, Amblypneustes elevatus is from the Family Temnopleuridae (Short-spine urchins). Amblypneustes elevatus was named by Hutton in 1872. According to “A field guide to the marine invertebrates of South Australia” by Karen Gowlett-Holmes, Amblypneustes elevatus has a test (shell) diameter to 50mm. It is “Found on reef and rubble, on sheltered to moderately exposed coasts; 0-40m depth.”

The colour of the species is “white to grey”. “the primary spines are restricted to the ambulacral areas* and usually have distinctive black bases.”

* (“5 areas on the tests of regular sea urchins which the tube feet extend through, interspersed with 5 interambulacral areas* with no tube feet.)

* (“5 areas on the test of regular sea urchins with no tube feet, interspersed with the 5 ambulacral areas with tube feet.”)

The species also occurs in New Zealand. It was previously called Amblypneustes pachistus.

By David Muirhead

David is a long-serving member of the Marine Life Society of South Australia. He has dived and snorkeled in South Australian waters for around five decades and has a particular interest in bony fishes. David has made the greatest single contribution to the society's Photo Index of local marine species.

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