|En - Chilean sea urchin, Fr - Oursin chilien, Sp - Erizo blanco.|
3Alpha Code: UCH Taxonomic Code: 6930401701|
|Scientific Name with Original Description|
|Echinus albus Molina, 1782. Saggio sulla Storia Naturale de Cili.|
|Six-eleven ambulacral plates, geminated, each one with a primary tubercle. Dicyclic apical system. Numerous large periproctal plates.
Central anus. Primary spines short in adults, conical: secondary spines very numerous. Pedicelaries globiferous with a neck between stem and head, with large valves, variable number of lateral teeth, one-four per side.
Hemispherical test, greenish, occasionally with red ambulacres and interambulacres (large specimens from deep waters can be white, partially or completely).
|Habitat and Biology|
|Littoral, intertidal and subtidal pools. Up to 340 m in depth (Larrain 1975). This species feeds both at day and night mostly on drifting algal pieces captured with the aboral pedia. Small specimens (<3 cm) consume significantly more benthic than floating algae pieces (Contreras & Castilla, 1987)|
Timing and duration of spawning period is variable among adjacent areas and along the Chilean coast. Spawning period occurs later in the year as latitude increases: June (23° S), November-December in Chiloé, 45° S (Zamora & Stotz 1992). An exception are populations inhabiting the Magellan Region ( 53° S) since their spawning period lasts from July to September (Oyarzún et al. 1999).
|Up to more than 100 mm of testa diameter.|
|Interest to Fisheries|
|45.560 T and 44.843 T were landed in Chilean harbours in 1997 and 1998, respectively (Sernapesca 1998, Sernapesca 1999).|
Edible species in Chile and Perú. The specimens reach commercial size after 8 years.
The industrial catches for canned gonads has caused the extinction of many local populations.
Contreras, S. & Castilla, J.C. - 1987. Feeding behavior and morphological adaptations in two sympatric sea urchin species in central Chile. Marine Ecology Progress Series. .
Larrain, A. - 1975. Los equinoideos regulares fósiles y recientes de Chile. Gayana (Zool.) .
Oyarzún, S.T., S.L. Marín, C. Valladares & J.L. iriarte - 1999. Reproductive cycle of Loxechinus albus (Echinodermata: Echinoidea) in two areas of the Magellan Region (53ºS, 70-72ºW), Chile. Scientia Marina. .
63 (Suppl. 1): 439-449..
Sernapesca - 1998. Anuario Estadístico de Pesca 1997 Servicio Nacional de Pesca. Ministerio de Economía, Fomento y Reconstrucción de Chile, Valparaíso
Zamora, S. & W. Stotz - 1993. Ciclo reproductivo de Loxechinus albus (Molina, 1782) (Echinodermata, Echinoidea) en Punta lagunillas, IV Región, Coquimbo, Chile. Revista Chilena de Historia Natural. .