Rahul Sharma (Editor)

Arbacia punctulata

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit



Scientific name
Arbacia punctulata

Higher classification

Arbacia punctulata Global Species Arbacia punctulata purplespined sea urchin

Arbacia, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, Lytechinus, Strongylocentrotus, Lytechinus variegatus

1890 arbacia punctulata purple urchin 3 6 2016 rec0000

The Atlantic purple sea urchin (Arbacia punctulata) is a species of sea urchins from the family Arbaciidae, native to the Atlantic Ocean.


Arbacia punctulata Arbacia punctulata Lamarck 1816 Purplespined Sea Urchin


Arbacia punctulata Purple Sea Urchin Atlantic City Aquarium

The Atlantic purple sea urchin is a spherical, dark purple-spined sea urchin, with a nearly flat oral face. It can reach up to 8 cm in diameter, and is native to the North Atlantic Ocean.

Habitat and range

Arbacia punctulata Purple Sea Urchins Arbacia punctulata MarineBioorg

Its natural habitat is in the western Atlantic Ocean. A. punctulata can be found in shallow water from Massachusetts to Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula, from Texas to Florida in the Gulf of Mexico, the coast from Panama to French Guiana, and in the Lesser Antilles, usually on rocky, sandy, or shelly bottoms.

Ecology and behaviour

Arbacia punctulata Arbacia punctulata purple sea urchin Borrowed from the s Flickr

A. punctulata is omnivorous, consuming a wide variety of prey although Karlson classified it as a generalized carnivore. Its galactolipids, rather than phlorotannins, act as herbivore deterrents in Fucus vesiculosus against A. punctulata.

Uses in science

Arbacia punctulata httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu

For more than a century, developmental biologists have valued the sea urchin as an experimental model organism. Sea urchin eggs are transparent and can be manipulated easily in the research laboratory. Their eggs can be easily fertilized and then develop rapidly and synchronously.

Arbacia punctulata Arbacia punctulata

For decades, the sea urchin embryo has been used to establish the chromosome theory of heredity, the description of centrosomes, parthenogenesis, and fertilization. Research work during the last 30 years established such important phenomena as stable mRNA and translational control, isolation and characterization of the mitotic apparatus, and the realization that the major structural proteins of the mitotic apparatus are microtubules. Sea urchin studies provided the first evidence of actin in nonmuscle cells.

Arbacia punctulata is also a model organism of marine sediments toxicity and sperm study.


Arbacia punctulata Wikipedia