Strongylocentrotus pallidus (G.O. Sars, 1871)
Common name(s): Pale urchin
|Strongylocentrotus pallidus, about 8 cm diameter, captured at 110 m depth in San Juan Channel|
|(Photo by: Dave Cowles, July 2000)|
How to Distinguish from Similar Species: S. droebachiensis is similar size and only a slightly darker green hue. However, S. droebachiensis has tube feet darker than the spines, and usually purple. The spines of S. droebachiensis have ridges with rounded surfaces and with periodic, somewhat fan-shaped sculpturings.
Geographical Range: (Occurs at least here and in Norway, off Russia from the Barents Sea down to the central part of the Sea of Japan). Probably pan-Arctic. This and S. droebachiensis are the only species of urchin in the Puget Sound area that are also found in the NW Pacific off Russia (Bazhin, 1998).
Depth Range: Strictly subtidal, and usually deeper than 30 m
Habitat: Known to occur on both sandy/shell hash bottoms and in rocky areas.
Biology/Natural History: Deep-living. May harbor the intestinal rhabdocoel flatworm Syndisyrinx (=Syndesmis) franciscanus. We find this species on sandy/shell hash bottoms in the San Juan Channel at about 100-120 m depth.
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Lambert and Austin, 2007
Bazhin, A.G., 1998. The sea urchin genus Strongylocentrotus in the seas of Russia: Taxonomy and ranges. pp 563-566 in Rich Mooi and Malcolm Telford (eds), Echinoderms: San Francisco. Proceedings of the Ninth International Echinoderm Conference, San Francisco, California USA 5-9 August 1996.
McEdward, Larry R. and Benjamin G. Miner, 2006. Estimation and interpretation of egg provisioning in marine invertebrates. Integrative and Comparative Biology 46:3 pp 224-232
Vilela-Silva AC, Castro MO, Valente AP, Biermann CH, Mourao PA., 2002.
Sulfated fucans from the egg jellies of the closely related sea urchins
Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis and Strongylocentrotus pallidus ensure
species-specific fertilization. J Biol Chem. 2002 Jan 4;277(1):379-87
View of S. pallidus underside. Photo by Dave Cowles, Rosario, Jul;y 2000