Tuxedo Urchin (Mespilia sp.)
Sea urchins are considered by marine ecologists to be keystone species in tropical seas, as they promote the development of reef-building corals via the intense grazing pressure they exert on benthic algae. As such, they are an indispensable herbivore in any reef aquarium clean-up crew. Highly valued for its beautiful appearance as well as for its ability to eradicate filamentous algae, the tuxedo urchin has long been a reef aquarium hobby favorite.
Though less active during daylight hours, it emerges at night to feed on a wide variety of algae. Particularly in smaller tanks or where benthic algae growth is minimal, it will eventually require supplemental feedings in the form of dried algae or offerings of live material from the refugium.
The blue tuxedo urchin (Mespilia globulus) bears broad, velvety, dark bluish bands between rows of short spines. An equally attractive reddish variety (Mespilia cf globulus) is currently believed to belong to the same species.
These captive bred specimens are considerably hardier than those we’ve used in the past. Available in both blue and red color forms.
See below for more information.
Size and Care Requirements
- Purchase Size: ~1″ (length)
- Max Size: 3″ (length)
- Water Parameters: 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.2-8.4, sg 1.023-1.025
- Color: Blue or red (see above)
- Reef-Safe: Yes
- Diet: Herbivorous
Tuxedo Urchin Species Information
The tuxedo sea urchin occurs on shallow reefs, rubble flats and seagrass beds throughout the Indian Ocean and the Western Atlantic Ocean from Indonesia to Southern Japan.
The Benefits of Captive Bred Urchins
Captive-bred invertebrates provide a huge advantage over wild-caught specimens. Because they are cultured under captive conditions, they are better adapted to living in an aquarium and tend to be more disease resistant. They are also better able to handle shipping/acclimation stress. By purchasing captive-bred sea urchins, you are supporting the aquaculture of marine organisms and helping to make our hobby sustainable!
AlgaeBarn keeps these tuxedo urchins in an invertebrate-specific system to minimize the transfer of fish parasites and other unwanted hitchhikers.
100% Alive on Arrival (AoA) Guarantee
We guarantee that every tuxedo sea urchin we sell will be Alive On Arrival and in good health. Should any arrive in any other state, we will either replace them free of charge (including shipping). If the total livestock loss is less than $40, we will issue store credit. For more information, please also visit our 100% Alive On Arrival Guarantee page.