Goniocidaris tubaria

Pencil urchin
Goniocidaris tubaria
Goniocidaris tubaria, Port Stephens , NSW, Photo: Tom Davis


Temperate Australasia


Large, serrated primary spines, which are often eroded and covered by sessile invertebrates, and platelike secondary spines, which form a corona-like structure around the base of the primary spines. The similar Goniocidaris impressa has scrobicular spines which are club shaped, not pointed or flattened as in G. tubaria.


Max Size: 6 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 9.1-23.9°C

Depth: 0-630m

Habitat Generalization Index: N/A

Also referred to as the SGI (Species Generalisation Index), this describes the habitat niche breadth of the species. Species with values less than 15 are found in a relatively narrow range of reef habitat types (specialists), while those over 25 may be found on most hard substrates within their range (generalists). Learn more here.

Conservation and Rarity

IUCN Status: Not Evaluated

Occurrence: Frequent (19.7% of sites)

Occurrence describes how often the species is found on surveys within its distribution. It is calculated as the % of reef sites surveyed by RLS divers across all the ecoregions in which the species has been observed

Abundance: Few (4 per transect)

Abundance is calculated as the average number of individuals recorded per RLS transect, where present.

Edit by: GJ Edgar. 2008. Australian Marine Life. New Holland, Sydney