Prionocidaris callista

Sea urchin | Beautiful Pencil Urchin
Prionocidaris callista
Prionocidaris callista, Port Stephens, NSW, Photo: Tom Davis
Prionocidaris callista
Prionocidaris callista, Solitary Islands, Photo: Ian Shaw
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Prionocidaris callista
Prionocidaris callista


Tropical Indo-Pacific


Striking echinoid with purple colouration and large, serrated primary spines, which taper to a much finer point than the spines of Goniocidaris tubaria. This species is usually found in relatively deep water on the sides of channels in areas of strong current flow.


Max Size: 7 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 16.2-24.9°C

Depth: 1-275M

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 (10.8% 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 (3 per transect)

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